Tag Archives: Birthday

Another Successful Trip Around the Sun

Yesterday was my birthday.  I made it another 365 days.  Hooray!

Birthday cake with candles

It never fails that I have a little alone time on my birthday and honestly, I’ve come to look forward to that alone time. If I don’t get it, I make sure I make it.  Last night, it involved a little drive, blasting music in my car, and singing along as I drove around aimlessly looking at the beautiful houses, the pristine beaches at night, and just reflecting.

First, I realized I don’t know why driving is so cathartic for me.  I don’t know that I care, I just know that it helps clear my mind and I really miss my clutch and stick shift.  I miss it more than I ever realized I would miss it.  This is the first car I have ever had that was an automatic.  It’ s a nice car but it’s not complete.  It’s missing that one element that makes driving fun.  The countdown is now on for when I can get back into a car that has a clutch…roughly 1200 days.

Second, I have been facing down some serious decisions in life.  Like the kind of decisions that keep you up at night wondering if your fairy godmother is hiding in the closet laughing her ass off at you.  Being a grown-up is rough.  It’s even more rough when there are small people, commonly referred to as children, that can be impacted in so many various ways by one [not so small] decision.  Having almost 95% made up my mind, I think that I’m happy with the choice.  No one ever tells you these choices are going to be this hard when you actually have to make them. Though it is possible that my choice is compounded by my obsessive need to think about every possible outcome.  I have stopped and that might be why it’s easier for me to sleep at night with this decision.  Only time will truly tell.

Third, I’m not giving up.  My NaNo novel from 2012 is done…well the third re-write is done.  I think I’m ready to write that query letter.  I’m back into the full swing of WW.  I strayed for a while which was not good but it’s in the past.  I’m one step closer to that Daily Double – something I’m INSANELY proud of.  I have my new list of goals.  I have a new list of ideas.  I have the old list that I’m still chipping away at.  Over the next 365 days, I’m going to cross off at least four things from that list.  Four.

Fourth, I’m lucky.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  I am alive.  I have a family that loves me.  I have a beautiful daughter who amazes me every day.  I live in a beautiful place where I can see the ocean every day.  I have a roof over my head.  I have a job. I am relatively healthy (oddly enough and please knock on wood).  All of these things are so often overlooked yet are the reasons why I am so incredibly lucky.

Another year is in front of me.  Another year full of chances, opportunities, friendships, love, laughter, tears, and whatever else may come my way.  I cannot wait to see what it brings.

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Birthday Traditions

Today, June 11, would have been my aunt’s 60th birthday.  It might explain the pouring rain today.  She must have been camping somewhere in heaven.  I’d like to imagine that at 60 she would have been just as active as she had been 10 years ago.  Camping with Girl Scouts, traveling, and just doing what she loved doing.

I thought about her a lot today to be honest with you.  I thought about how we would always celebrate the June birthdays (my Aunt, my Mom, and I all had our birthdays in that order too) on a Sunday in June at my Aunt’s and Nana’s house.  I thought about how much the Daughter would have had fun at one of those little family gatherings.  I thought about how they were just nice days together, laughing, talking, genuinely enjoying each other.

The tradition has morphed a little since she passed.  We do a little more than just go to my Mom’s house and have lunch and cake.  We go and do something: bowling, 5 Wits at Patriot’s Place, Dave & Busters, and other fun times. It’s nice because it keeps me and the three brothers, and my sister-in-laws (The Husband’s sister often comes with her Boyfriend which is nice) close.  We have fun.  We laugh.  We still keep that sense of family – something that is so very important to me.

Mom's Birthday Fun 2012

Mom’s Birthday Fun 2012

In addition to that tradition, I have my own personal tradition that I have started since the passing of my aunt.  She lost her battle to cervical cancer on January 12, 2010.  Now, twice a year, on that date in January and on her birthday, I like to remind people to take care of themselves.

If you haven’t made your annual doctor appointments, call and make them.  If you need to have your annual pap test, schedule it.  If you need to have your annual physical, schedule it.  Get your blood work looked at. Get screened for skin cancer.  Get your prostate checked.  Don’t lose the best defense you have – EARLY DETECTION!

gynecologic cancer

My aunt discovered her cancer too late, as often is the case with gynecological cancers.  Trust me – after my own freakish cyst managed to grow to the size of a grapefruit, unbeknownst to me, in less than six months – think about what it could have been if it had been undetected!  Gynecologic cancers are tricky because so many women write them off as cramping or as bloating from something they ate.  In my case, I thought it was just because I was overweight and it was just one more reminder to focus on Weight Watchers.  Scarily enough, no…it wasn’t.  Men often do the same thing.

GYN_symptoms_matrix

Know your body.  Know what’s normal for you.  When something is not up to your normal standard, talk to your doctor.  Ask questions.  Doctors are not scary mean people.  They are there to keep you healthy.  They like patients to take an active role in their healthcare.  Before my surgery, I went in with a list of written questions just because there were so many unknown factors.  The doctor thought that was wise and she took the time to answer every single one and then some!

So, dear readers, in honor of my Aunt, take the time to take care of yourself.  Your loved ones don’t want to say good bye too soon.  They want to celebrate your 60th birthday with you.  They want you to be around to laugh with them, talk with them, and maybe play laser tag at the next family birthday get together!

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Filed under Cancer Awareness, Family Activities, NaBloPoMo