Since my last blog post, I celebrated my thirty-eighth birthday. I still can’t quite comprehend being “thirty-eight.” Mathematically speaking, that means my age now rounds up to forty.
It truly feels as if I just blinked and got older. Wasn’t I just celebrating my twenty-first birthday, ordering a pina colada, and dating the man who would become my husband? Now, suddenly it seems, I’m thirty-eight, the mother of an almost six-year-old son, married for fifteen years, and unable to drink any alcoholic beverages due to my daily medications.
Anyway, now I’m thirty-eight. Thirty-seven was a big year for me. If you follow my blog, you know last year was the year I stopped working. The year I became a stay-at-home mom. The year I admitted I have a disability.
Someone told me I should consider last year as a year of transition. And truthfully, that first year of transition was hard. The beginning part was honestly like a much-needed vacation. I was exhausted from trying to work, and trying to mother, and trying to live with my medical condition. But then, the rest of the year was full of ups-and-downs. Becoming a weekly contributor at MomsLA.com and being published in the Los Angeles Times are all ups. Having dates with my husband and being available to attend my son’s winter performance at school are all ups. Feeling like damaged goods, feeling like my body was failing me, and feeling disheartened that I wasn’t able to teach are all downs.
But now I’m thirty-eight. And I’ve decided that this year I’m going to do things for me. Things that might be a bit scary, things that might be new, but things for me.
My husband and I spent part of my birthday in Santa Monica. It’s the city-version of the ocean I love. I wasn’t going to let my medical condition stop me from seeing the beach close-up. So we walked, and we climbed down stairs until we were at the beach. And I somehow managed to walk back up the steep ramp near the pier. I didn’t feel good doing it; I didn’t feel good for the rest of the day. But I did it. And if I have to be in pain, I would rather it be pain for something that initially brought me pleasure.
I wanted to be near the ocean. That was a “thing” for me.
This year, I’ve got a couple of events planned, things just for me. This year I will purchase a bike. This year I will get the tattoo I’ve been thinking about for so long. This year I will attend a writer’s retreat; my first ever solo vacation.
I’ve said quite often that one of the worst things about my condition is the uncertainty of it all. Not knowing how I’ll feel from one part of the day to the next. Not knowing how this disease will progress or change. And that has always scared me and made me feel so helpless. Recently though, I read a book and discovered something that gave me a new way of looking at the uncertainty in my life.
“While one face of uncertainty is the vast, scary unknown, the flip side of uncertainty is the infinite possibility. When you don’t know what the future holds, anything can happen.” - Lissa Rankin, M.D. from her book Mind Over Medicine
And while I still acknowledge the certainty of the uncertainty in my life, I want to regard my thirty-eighth year as a year of “infinite possibility.”