It’s the evening before my 40th birthday, and it would be very easy to let myself slide into a wallow of all the things my life isn’t, all the achievements I’ve failed to reach, all the things that feel wrong about my life.
Failed marriage, single motherhood, still renting after all these years, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia radically changing the quality of my life, finances in rough shape, career at a screeching halt due to Heath issues, Depression, bad relationships, bad decisions, missed opportunities, the list could go on.
Taking a deep breath though, I make myself think of the positives, the things I did accomplish, where things could have gone so much worse ….
When I saw things were wrong in the marriage, I had the courage to speak up. We did what was best for our child and ourselves and din’t put our child through years of fighting and bitterness.
I got saddled with the debt that accrued during the relationship, yet I managed to pay it off in only a couple of years. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, especially considering how bad it was.
I have a wonderfully imaginative, active, caring young lad. He has absolutely no doubt that he is loved.
I learned to knit properly, and discovered how to make things mine. I learned patterns are guidelines, not laws. I discovered a love of fibre, and opened myself up to learning new things, and not just about knitting.
I have met so many many wonderful people. I’m sure many I wouldn’t have met if I made different choices, and I am glad of all the friendships I’ve had.
I learned to speak French very well, and even found that I enjoyed it.
I rediscovered a love of photography.
Pre-cancerous cells were discovered and removed early enough that they never turned into anything scarier. A few years after, I learned of a friend who was not able to have children of her own as she’d not wanted to deal with regular doctor visits. What if I’d made different choices?
I have a University degree and a resume that while not exactly what I might wish it to be, is also nothing I am ashamed of.
Only 1 speeding ticket, and two minor accidents in my 23 years of driving … Would be nice to stick close to those numbers for the next 23!
I have an endless capacity for love.
I never stop hoping completely. I have had some really awful moments. Some deep dark pits. Times of wondering what the point is and much, much blacker thoughts. There is ALWAYS an ember deep within though that refuses to go out, and I have been stubborn enough to be able to fan that ember back into flames time and time again. Which explains why I chose a Phoenix for my tattoo. My life has felt like it’s been in ashes on more than one occasion, but I always manage to fly again eventually.
I am a little bit crazy, and I like that about myself. I like that I can giggle about splashing in puddles, that I make “that’s what she said” jokes with my friends, that I sometimes make the car “dance” and so many other silly little things. I think life doesn’t have enough laughter and joy in it, and you’ve got To laugh when you can.
I am a bookworm. I am a bit on the geeky side. Sensitive. Quiet in crowds or with people I don’t know that well. Shy about new situations. Scared of change. I’ve learned to embrace all that and challenge myself on some of it.
There’s so much ahead of me still.
I might never own a house. And that’s ok. I’ve learned how to make a home. It’s very unlikely I’ll have more kids of my own. There’s so many who can’t have any. My health will never be the way it was but it could be so much worse. The finances won’t always be this rough. I won’t always be single, but I’m also not going to settle for a relationship for the sake of having someone. There’ll be more rough times, more dark patches, more challenges, but there’ll also be more hoy, and laughter and hopefully more peace with myself ahead.