Monday, October 6, 2014

9:41 PM
I celebrated my birthday last Friday.  It was a delicious day filled with working out, getting pampered, hanging out with my family, and eating well.  It was also a day of reflection - on the year that has passed, on the one to come, and on the present moment.  It was time spent thinking about what it means (to me) to be 38.

A Parenting Skill I Have Yet to Master - Getting Two Kids to
Look at the Camera at the Same Time
1. It is About Being a Mother. I am a grossly imperfect mother of two bright and beautiful and growing-with-lightening-speed kids. I yell too much at them, expect too much of them, and love them more than anything. They alternately drive me bonkers and slay me with sweetness. They make me want to be my best self and make the best life possible for them and then sometimes they make me want to run away and hide. We are learning and growing together - me and my littles - no two days are the same, and no life experience has been richer. I only hope that we continue to recover each time we fall flat on our faces and that we always have a limitless capacity for forgiveness and unconditional love as the issues grow bigger and the stakes grow higher.

Taking Turns Leading the Way on the Trail and in Life
2. It is About Being a Partner. It has been thirteen years of give and take, of giving support and getting it. It has been, and continues to be, about creating and living a life of love, adventure, security and integrity. It is about giving space and creating intimacy. It is about routine and the fun that comes from spontaneity. It is knowing that my kids have the best dad ever. It is about the drudgery. It is knowing that I don't have to be strong or brave all the time and that it is okay to ask for help. It is about a marriage and all of the complexity and the certainty of it.

3. It is About Being a Daughter/Sister/Aunt. This is my family. This is my children's family. There is nothing more important in the world to me than to bring these people that I love closer together. The more arms that encircle my children with love, the better -- from the squishy, squashy hugs of my adorable nephew to to solid, foundational hugs of my brother and parents. This is my family. This is their family. This is our world.

4. It is About Building a Career. It is building a practice one client, one project, one deliverable, and one hire at a time.  It is putting in the extra time, and staying up late to get the last thing done and done right. It is having a vision, and making it happen. It is being self-confident enough to say "yes" to the offer of the corner office (even if I haven't actually moved my stuff in there yet). It is trusting my instincts and listening to others. It is about building a team and giving opportunities to others to grow.  It is about taking responsibility - for what goes right and what goes wrong. It is about taking deep breaths and keeping things in perspective.
Take the One on the Right and
Fast Forward 32 Years

5. It is About Wrinkles and Grey Hair.  It is getting used to a new face and the creases that line it. It is doing the math and assessing that most of the lines are from smiling and that only the two between my eyebrows are from stress and sleep-deprivation.  It is about gracefully acknowledging the situation and then belatedly investing in some wrinkle cream and a good hair stylist. It is about allowing myself to believe that my family thinks I am beautiful and caring even less about a stranger's opinion. It is about caressing the smooth unblemished faces of my children, and then slathering them with sunscreen. It is about letting go, and paying more attention to camera angles.

6. It is About Staying Fit and Healthy. Even though it is so very hard, staying fit has got to continue to be a priority - for my health, for my sanity, for my self-esteem. Last weekend I did two separate, epic mountain bike rides up in Tahoe - a total of 7 hours of mountain biking on some very challenging trails at altitude. I love that I can do this. I want to be able to do things like this for as long as I can.  But this can only happen if I continue to put in the time - early mornings, late nights and otherwise fitting it in. Right now I am balancing the fact that I have a couple chronic injuries (rotator cuff injury in my left shoulder and strained ligaments in my right index finger) and such limited time - but even so there is still a lot I can do, and should do - while at the same time acknowledging my limitations and giving my body time to heal. I will what I want.
I Always Want to be Able to Get Here

7. It is About Taking Time for Me. Whether is a long bath, a long run, or a long weekend with friends, 38 has got to be about asking for me time and not feeling selfish for taking it. This year will definitely be filled with work and family and a host of other elements.  What will make it even more memorable will be if I can spend some more time with my friends - working out, eating dinner, drinking wine and talking (mostly about our kids), but talking nonetheless.

That is it really. The vision  for 38 isn't grand, but thinking about it has made me feel very centered and like anything is possible. That is a pretty good place to start from I think, and who knows, perhaps great things will indeed happen.

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