Each year on my birthday I find myself in a reflective mood – even more so than I am at New Year’s. Maybe because birthdays in my growing up years consisted of making a huge deal of the person being celebrated. So birthdays feel much more like a new year to me than New Year’s – which in turn causes that reflection of the past year.
While I know some bloggers like Ellen, Roxie, and KCL Anderson who are quite introspective thinkers who seem to use that to their advantage, if I get to thinking too deeply I find myself in a mental downward spiral. This does not mean I don't want to analyze things, it just means I have to be careful where my thoughts go.
As it so happens, several things have collided with my birthday that could make reflection today a dangerous thing for me:
First Wednesday of the month is when I weigh myself. Right now I am trying very hard not to be concerned about pounds but I do need to watch those numbers for sudden increases as that is one of the signals of my thyroid dysfunction. At my last doctor visit, she told me that my thyroid was borderline of me having to have a drastic increase in my meds and if I saw a huge jump in my weight to call right away.
This birthday puts me into the decade of my midlife as I turn 51. After dreading my 50th last year and then finding out it was pretty fabulous, turning over to that ‘1’ makes me realize there’s no turning back – and yet I don’t feel as anxious or worried as I did last year. At the same time, I do feel a sense of disappointment that I did not accomplish many of the things I thought I would in my 50th year.
I got hurt – again – at Muay Thai boxing last night. My legs have been really tired since I did the hardest half marathon ever last Saturday. My calves in particular have been super sore (hills, people). As we left for MT last night I told Mr. Helen that I was going to need to be careful. Don’t you know as careful as I was, about ¾ of the way through class in the midst of sets of 10 speed roundhouses, I went up on my toes to execute a right round and felt a sharp pull in my left calf. So sharp I was immediately hobbled. I went home and iced it, took Aleve and iced it some more. But today, it’s still hurt and I couldn’t run. I rarely give up my running for much of anything so you know I’m really hurt here.
So this is the place I find myself today on my 51st birthday... I could think like this:
I am quite unhappy with what I saw on the scale this morning. I suck.
I wasted a whole year of this decade. Why, why, why? I suck.
My former boss who told me often that I was too old and too heavy to do the kinds of “crazy” exercise I do, was right. I should just give up, because I suck.
Or I could be more like some of the maintenance bloggers I read. Lori, who always does a monthly wrap-up with no judgment. I have told her several times how much I appreciate her unbiased self observation. She does not berate herself for shortcomings, she simply observes, states the facts, and moves on from that point tweaking her plan. And my BIF Shelley, who I greatly admire for adjusting her running and training and eating plans any which way but loose to suit her needs at the time.
I tend to be much more stringent and harsh on myself with everything. Yet, I keep saying I want to be like that: loving and caring of myself without judgment. So today as I reflect on my 50th year, I think I’ll start.
Onward...51 years and counting.