This morning I woke up with a happy heart and a bruise on my bottom.
I felt happy because it’s my birthday today! Mine. Just mine. My birthday.
But bruised, because I keep forgetting that my 40-something-year-old body no longer moves like the 20-something-year-olds I encountered on the netball court last night. I bounced on my derrière when I tripped over my own feet trying to keep up.
I did literally bounce.
So I now have a bruised bum-cheek to add to the scab on my knee from last week’s match when I attempted to demonstrate my prowess as a Wing Attack, powering off the line to receive the center pass only to trip and land flat on my face, like a sack of spuds, as the ball sailed past somewhere over the top of my head.
Clearly, my joggers are too heavy.
After the game last night I iced my foot to ease the pain of my plantar fasciitis, (the latest affliction to my wide, high-arched, lumpy-heeled feet with thinning balls which you can read about here). I’m wondering now whether I should also have iced my bot-bot too?
I don’t know…..does one ice one’s bottom? Is that a thing?
Anyhow, as I was tending to my foot I noticed another bruise on my upper thigh and was reminded of the day before when Dean and the kids and I went fishing. We were all perched up in the boat on the edge of the dam when Dean suggested that our 11 year-old Lindsay jump out and push the boat out from the shore because ‘if Mum (that’s me) does it she might lack the agility to get back into the boat’. Or words to that effect.
Brave man isn’t he?
Mate, I jumped out of that boat like a gazelle, determined to prove him wrong. I pushed the boat out with gusto until I was waist deep in water and just like a gymnast mounting the parallel bars, I hoisted myself up onto the edge of the boat so that my arms took my weight, locked straight at the elbows, legs still dangling in the water. It was at this point that it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to throw my leg over the side of the boat like I used to! It was the same point at which the gymnast analogy becomes…um…no longer relevant.
Not that I was letting on.
So I did what any self-respecting 45-year-old wanna-be agile fisher-woman would do. I slowly leaned forward and just like a see-saw in slow motion (if you can imagine me as the see-saw …. tilting to and fro on the edge of the boat) I lowered my head, raised my feet behind and
slid into the boat face down, head first, feet in the air, grinding my thighs over the edge of the aluminium boat in the process.
The onlookers waiting to launch their boats behind us were impressed. I just know it.
I don’t mind telling you I am 45 today. Yep, and I am okay with that. I can’t believe it! Like, I don’t feel 45. I look at that number and it feels kinda like it belongs to someone else. And okay….maaayyybbeee I’m not as *cough* agile as I used to be *insert eye roll*. But….I have so much to be grateful for and so much more to look forward to that 45 is okay with me. It’s just a number isn’t it. A measurement of time. And so far, I’m pretty happy with my lot in life.
I’ve learned a lot in the last 12 months especially. It wasn’t all bells and whistles, let me tell you. I took a few hits emotionally last year. Not just hits that affected me personally but I was affected by sad things happening to people who I care about. By the end of the year I just felt deflated. It’s the reason I haven’t written for so long. I was feeling a bit….well…. sad I guess.
It might sound a bit ‘woohoo’ but I’ve since learned to be more ‘present’ and enjoy the moment. For a while there I feel like I lost the ability to do that and spent way too much time thinking, plotting, planning, dwelling, Facebook scrolling….instead of just making the most of the here and now.
But I think I am back to my old self. Already this year I’ve heard news of the impending arrival of a new baby and an impending marriage, both from people who have been through the ringer and deserve every happiness. I have a feeling things are looking up for 2018.
Let the good times roll.
So this morning my little family came bouncing in to my bedside with their handmade cards singing Happy Birthday and smothered me with kisses and hugs. I felt so very loved. There were no gifts because I asked them not to buy me any. Instead I just wanted to go out somewhere nice for dinner. Just the four of us. And that’s what we did.
My Mum and Dad gave me a beautiful birthday card. It made me cry. Among the many beautiful messages inside (it was one of those ones that keeps unfolding!) was this one.
I am thinking about so many moments that once seemed ordinary, but now add up to so many memories I wouldn’t trade for anything…
One thing I will say about birthdays is that they are good for making you feel loved and appreciated. Now with text messaging, the Internet and Facebook, people from your past and present come out of the woodwork to wish you well. And when that happens it makes you think about all of those people who you have come to know as friends over your lifetime. Moments that you’ve shared with them. Memories that you’ve made together. Those ‘ordinary moments’ that add up to so many memories that make you the person that you are today.
It just makes you feel good.
So today is the day I like to celebrate not just my arrival on this planet, but the moments and the memories. Forty five years worth! That’s nothing to sneeze at yeah?
With a happy heart and a bruise on my butt, I’d like to propose a toast to the ordinary moments that become the memories! *clink*
And Happy Birthday to meeeee!
What’s your take on birthdays?
Love them or loathe?