Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy 29th!!

I was in Tennessee last week (in case you're new here) and the morning news show there had a segment on things that you never say to a woman. One of these things was to never ask her age. I may be in the minority of those who don't mind this question. Because 9 out of 10 times I get, "No way! You are not that old!" So it's worth it just for that reaction.

The other side of that is that I earn my age every year. Each gray hair is most likely caused by my teenager. As much as it frustrates me, she's doing what she's supposed to be doing: finding her way. Even if that means that I stay up nights worrying about her or spend hours making sure she's keeping up in school or listening while she opens up to me about her relationships, feelings, or depression. The blessing of that double-edged sword is that she keeps talking to me. The wrinkles are because I have friends to be concerned about. The laugh lines are from our times together that I treasure above most everything.

Each year brings a little more self-acceptance. Reasons to like myself a little more. Opportunities to grow and learn and share.

In this last year alone I was able to accept my dad for who he is and what he offers. After 42 years, that was huge. I got my sister back. I witnessed the passing of two very special dogs, which is an honor I'm not sure I deserve. I saw more of the country than I ever had. I made better decisions for me and for D. I got a damn MBA. I learned to be honest and I risked getting hurt. There were struggles and tears and laughter and heartbreak and each experience added to the sum total that is Me.

I think each year that goes by just brings me closer to myself. There are things I do now that my 20-year-old self never would have dreamed of. I speak up. I stand up. If the price of Being Me is a few wrinkles or gray hair, it's the price I will pay. Knowing who I am and accepting that is priceless.

I'll be a goof and I'll make mistakes and I'll be a friend and I'll be the only mom I know how to be in each moment. I do the best I can and I fall down and I get up again and I try it over and over and over. I will laugh too loud and cry too often because it's all part of the experience of Being Me. Next year I will know more than I do today. I'll have better friends even if there are fewer of them. I'll still be a crazy dog lady.

It's all part of growing up. Or growing older. Or Being Me.


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