Yesterday was my birthday. I have a hard time believing that I’m getting older, I still think of myself as 25. There is also the sudden passing of my Uncle. Making yesterday a bittersweet reminder, not only of family, and all who have died, but also of the mortality of my life.
It always happens to me, when a friend or family member dies, you begin to re-evaluate your life. When my mom died a few years ago, my husband and I began to reassess our attachment of “things” since she had been so obsessed with hers. We’re still working on it, especially me since I’m an only child and not good at sharing.
Yesterday I decided that I would continue my life and do the things I had planned for my birthday. I didn’t have big plans, but I decided to go head with them. I began my day with my usual early morning yoga class. I was hoping it would help me put the stress and shock from the day before into perspective, I was wrong. It was one of the worst days I’ve had on the mat in a while. I had no concentration for the poses and even felt nauseous. I was very relieved when we finally made our way into savasana and on to meditation, I was glad that I had gone to class, just couldn’t believe the off day I had.
I received a number of wonderful phone calls from friends wishing me happy birthday. I went to the local nail salon and treated myself to a mani/pedi, which my “hooves” are thankful for. I choose a bright blue nail polish called “Blue my mind” unusual for me since I usually wear pink polishes. I had a wonderful lunch with my good friend Al, whose wife calls me “the other daughter”, then I took myself to a movie. When I got home, to top off my night, my husband bought me a sushi dinner. A wonderful day despite the sad news of the day before.
Uncle Bruce’s death represents the end of an era for my cousins and I. He was the last of the “adults” to die on this side of the family, now my cousins and I are the “adults”. It feels wierd to say this, but it’s true. When you’re a kid there’s always someone in your family from the generations above you, the “adults”. Although we’ve all been grown up for quite sometime, and my cousins now have a grandchild, you always feel like your not that old because there is “adults”.
There are a lot of things that my Mother and Uncle wanted to do and didn’t, for a number of reasons. I’m sure financial constraints was the biggest reason, but as I look back, I’m beginning to see that age itself and fear could have been contributing factors. I know they both wanted to do some traveling that they couldn’t afford. My Uncle just came back from a month in Mississippi visiting with his cousin, he had a great time, I know he was worried about the money. Since they were older they didn’t move around as freely and I think there was a fear of the unknown involved.
I know that people make these promises to themselves every year, wether it be New Years or birthdays or because of a death of a friend or family member. A few years ago, I promised that I would tell people I loved them or missed them or wanted to spend time with them and I’m realizing now that there are some people I owe phone calls and visits to.
I only want to spend my time with people who enrich me positively. I don’t want to dread spending time with them, I want to be happy to be there. I also don’t want to spend my entire time doing what I should be doing instead of what I want to be doing, because I don’t want to live my life with regrets either. I want to always challenge myself to something new and wonderous, like when I took up surfing a few years ago, or having the courage to explore a foreign city by myself and seeing the wonders it has to offer.
I’m still young, despite the fact that my birth certificate doesn’t really agree with magazines concept of ‘young’. I plan to make the next year something exciting, there are a few serious things that my husband and I have decided that need to be done, however for the most part I’m going to have a good time. I’m going to spend time with my husband, my friends and family, eat wonderful things, and explore….everything. I’m going to make this a great year.
Life is too short, a cliché I know, but I’m beginning to realize that it’s actually true.
Dream and do big things.