We'd been talking on the phone a while and I don't even remember how we got on the subject, but I was not happy. My birthday was coming up soon. He tried his best to be encouraging and to reassure me that I had indeed made valuable accomplishments in my life. But in that state of mind, it was hard for me to hear, hard to accept. All I knew was that I was about to turn 40 and in my mind had not achieved the level of whatever success I thought I should have by that time. Funny thing is, the birthday that I was on the precipice of during that fateful call with my boyfriend, now husband, was not 40. I was a couple of days from turning 37.
Yes, I half-jokingly call it a 'breakdown'. And I mean no disrespect to those who have truly struggled with mental illness and challenges along those lines. But for me that night, my world seemed overwhelming and I was coming to the realization that I was not where I wanted to be in life or where I thought I should be 'by then'.
Now, this may seem like a pretty depressing post for a woman who celebrated her 50th birthday only a few days ago and had a wonderful time doing so.
The funny part about that late night conversation with my ever patient boyfriend/husband, is that while I was whining away about how tough I had it, unbeknownst to me, he had planned a wonderful birthday celebration for us at a dinner theatre including a concert with one of my favorite recording artists, Kenny Loggins. He told me later how helpless and frustrated he was feeling, yet couldn't say anything or else spoil the surprise.
For fun, I asked my husband for his take on that little chat of ours and how he remembered it. First, he chuckled, shook his head, and then proceeded to break out into: " I'll never....wa wa wa..i'm old...ugghhhhh....I still haven't....!"
You know, kind of like this..
Sure it seems funny now. But believe me, that night it was anything but.
So, contemplating life now at the half century mark, I'd like to believe I've gained some perspective. Are there still things I want to accomplish? Yep, tons. Do I have regrets? Sure.
But I'd like to think I've come to a place of more peace and acceptance with who I am, warts and all.
What about you? Any particular birthdays that threw you into an emotional talespin?