Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is my birthday too. Is that applause I hear? Well, thank you. Thank you very much.  Here is a picture of one of my favorite birthday cakes I've ever had.  It's a few years old but every time I see this photo it makes me smile...

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.

I did not like what I saw on the scale but I am doing the best I can. I will not quit. I will continue to treat myself with loving kindness.
My 50th year happened as it happened. I will not have regrets… after all there are no expiration dates on my goals. I will keep on keeping on.
I will continue to do my ‘crazy’ exercise, no matter what I weigh or how old I am. It is probably one of the only things I do just for me because I want to be the best me I can be.

Onward...51 years and counting.



    I hope you are healed up soon. You are amazing with your 'crazy' exercise you know. Onward!

  2. Happy birthday, Helen. I hope this year is the year you have always dreamed of. Many blessings to you.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Great post, too! I think this year will be super wonderful for you (and your body)!

  4. Happy Birthday, Helen! You do NOT suck. Never ever did you suck and never ever will you. You know this to be true. But I'm on your cheering squad to remind you. XO

  5. Birthday Blessings to you Helen! Welcome to 51! I think you are amazing and I admire your level of exercise and your commitment to living healthy.

    I love how you said you will have no regrets! You are doing the best you can!

    That cake was adorable and so you.

  6. Happy Birthday - and you do NOT suck, you ROCK! That's why so many of us look for your blog to read for are an inspiration!

    I turned 50 a few months ago (Nov) and I get what you said about "wasting" the past year.....nope, not even close - you enjoyed the last year for the most part, didn't you? You make the effort to walk out to your treadmill so you can take care of business so to speak.....and you've done it in the absolutely WORST weather!

    Keep being you - and hope you have a relatively pain-free AWESOME BIRTHDAY!

  7. Kate said it best :-)

    Happy Birthday dear Helen...

  8. Happy Birthday to yooooou. Happy Birthday to yoooouuu. (everyone join me) Happy Birthday dear Heeeellllleeeeeen. Happy Birthday to yoooooou.
    *claps* Happy Birthday, beautiful lady!

    Don't be too hard on yourself with exercise or thoughts. :)

    LOVE that cake! Almost too cute to eat. Almost.

    Hope you have a joy filled day. Take care of those legs. Future races and roundhouse kicks await.

  9. Happy Birthday to you Helen!!!!! I do agree that you are hard on yourself - let's hope you can take some of Lori's self observations skills this year!

    You are strong, you are beautiful, you just ran the toughest half marathon of your life and lived to write about it! (and in the process made a bunch of us tear up!).

    Most people live their life on the sidelines - so you should be proud of yourself!

    Hugs and Hugs!

  10. Happy Birthday Helen! I hope you have a fantastic day. Sucks you are hurt though!
    But I LOVE your attitude!

  11. ~Happy Birthday Helen!!~ May this be the best one yet!!


  12. Happy Happy Birthday! I'm so glad you were born. And hey - you coached me to my first half marathon in your 50th year, so I'd say that was a pretty great accomplishment for you, my friend! :)

    My mom also says happy birthday, and that had she been young and promiscuous, she could have been your mother!

  13. Happy birthday! Seems the people I know who share this day with you & Dr. Seuss are very special indeed.

  14. ~ Happy birthday to you!!~

    You most certainly do not suck. At all. That has to stop. I seem to recall someone doing the hardest half of her life a few days ago.

    "I will continue to treat myself with loving kindness." Do this every day because you really deserve it. :D

  15. Happy happy birthday.
    I am sorry you got hurt again.
    I think you have done fabulous things since I have known you this year, and I also think you have had quite a few (ton?) of things that might have sent many packing, but you stayed in the race and are going for the finish line.
    I think you are just a perfect 51 years young.


    You've come through some hard stuff this past year. I recall a bad holiday, and a flooded basement, and all the family sorrow ... and you ROCKED the hardest half-marathon ... that's an AMAZING year in my book. Something to feel really good about, especially in how much you learned, and how much you inspire. Because your tenacity IS an inspiration.

    Thank you for the kind comment over at The Porch, it really helps.

  17. Happy Birthday!!!! I love that cake.

    I hope your 51st year is all that it can be and more. I think you did great with all the stuff you did last year!

  18. Haha--laughing at Shelley's mom's comment!

    Happy happy birthday, Helen! I hope you have a piece of one of those wonderful homemade cake concoctions you come up with! And I think you had a stellar year, finishing with that fantastic half-marathon!

  19. Happy birthday! That feeling from 50 to 51 where you realize the number didn't stop at the point where you dreaded it, is what I felt going from 30 to 31. Oddly enough, I didn't feel it going from 40 to 41.

    Passing 45 then made me realize I'm at that "halfway" point to fifty, and I'll probably spent the rest of this time just worrying about The Big One.


    You really should mail me your address sometime. I'm a person who likes mailing postcards to people, especially on their birthdays and now I'd wish I'd knew you were having your birthday and had your address.

    Reading your post opened my eyes because I realized I'm a bit like you. Although my training is going great for my half, every other part of my life is so so. I need to change something, do more fun things but somehow I just don't do it. And the weight .... let's not start on that but needs improvement.

    Helen I've been following you for a while now and I see you different than I see you. I see an active, caring, loving, beautiful woman who does the best she can every day. I only hope I can run a half marathon when I'm 50 like you did.
    You are an inspiration and motivation for me. Thank you for that.

    I hope you had a great day yesterday!

    And last: I want such a birthday cake too this year!

  21. It's those "crazy exercises" that keep your body young. Couch sitters never get injured or have sore calves ... they just always look 15 years older than they should. Don't change a thing!

  22. 1.) Your former boss sucks. Sucks the big one.
    2.) I suck for missing your birthday post.
    3.) YOU are fabulous and I heart your efforts each and every day.
    4.) Happy belated Birthday :)

  23. Dang - A day late to the party!
    Happy Happy Birthday, Helen!
    And here's to many many more!
    You are a gentle kind person....
    Thanks for all the kind words and insightful posts!
    Maybe give those hard-working legs a rest!

  24. Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday, Helen!!!!!!