Hello friends! Cheers to 2022! It has been a long time since I have put my words down for you all, and my how I have missed it. To say that this year has been a strange one is an understatement. I have had the busiest work season of my life. Taking on a new full-time job and a career change a year ago in June, has proved to seriously kick my butt. It’s been fabulous, but boy am I worn out. Each year I choose a word to carry me through another year, and although I will still do that, today is about something else, my birthday. I’ve decided to share a few thoughts in my usually over-wordy fashion. So, buckle up, it’s a long one.
I am not really sure how I got here, but nonetheless I am. I mean seriously, how the hell am I fifty? Fifty freaking years old. Wow! As I reflect on this milestone and where my life is, there is really only one thing that I feel and that is gratitude. In fact, gratitude is a gross understatement. I’m on my couch, my home is beautifully decorated for Christmas which anyone who knows me, knows is my absolute favorite time of year, and I am overwhelmed.
I should start by saying that thus far, my forties have truly been the best decade of my life. My oldest son just graduated college, and commissioned in the Navy, my daughter is in her second semester of her sophomore year of college, and my youngest his junior year of high school. The last two years have been anything but normal, but they have continued to work so hard to persevere through this weird time. I am thankful that they are back where they are supposed to be.
As for me, I am livin’ the dream, and I truly mean that. Every single day I get to work in a job that has challenged me in every way possible, and with people that I adore. It sucks the life out of me many days, but it is creative and has taught me that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am glad that I trusted myself enough to jump off that bridge, even though I was literally scared to death. Aside from work, every day I get to hang out with the best guy on the planet. He has supported me through my career change, shows me that he is proud of me, loves me unconditionally, and puts me first all of the time. I don’t deserve him, but I am glad that he is mine.
I guess I don’t know where I expected to be, half a century gone, but it went really fast. I know that time is fleeting, but I never imagined the speed at which it would go. I don’t know what I thought this life we navigate would be, but here are a few things that I’ve learned through the years, not that I am some overly prophetic person, but nonetheless, I’ll share in case someone out there cares.
I KNOW NOTHING: First of all, I’ve learned that I don’t know anything! I mean I know a lot, but I also know soooo little. If you are lucky enough you will get up each day and learn something new, and that is one hundred percent true in my life. This past year has been all about learning; learning a new job, learning to trust myself more than ever before, and learning that you really have to let things go. Let all the little things go. Dwelling on the little things creates so much stress, so you’ve got to just chalk it up to learning and move on.
FRIENDS: There is something that I always try to impress on my kiddos and that is that you do not need an army of friends, you just need a few really good ones. I have spent an ungodly amount of time being the doer and the one everyone relies on, and for much of my life it has been completely exhausting. I’m tired I tell ya, building everyone up all the time makes me want to take a big ‘ole nap!! Then I realized that being a true friend means you reciprocate those actions. I am blessed by those in my life that love me unconditionally, call me on my shit, and make me a better version of myself. True friends are never a guarantee in life, and I am humbled by my squad. I sure do love them.
IT’S NOT ME IT’S YOU: Another half a decade revelation. If you don’t like me at this stage of the game for who I am, that’s a YOU problem. I love my people hard, I’ve written about this before, and if your intentions towards others aren’t based in goodness down to your soul, then you’re probably not for me, and I’m not for you. If you can’t respect another person’s viewpoint, their choices whether good or bad, or differing opinions, yep, you’re not for me. It is amazing how many people judge you based on their perception. And much of it from social media. It’s downright hysterical that someone thinks they know anyone based on social media. Newsflash, social media isn’t real. If you aren’t in my life regularly, you don’t know me. You don’t know the hardships or adversity I have had in my life, so move on and judge somewhere else. You literally know nothing. But that’s OK, we can still like each other’s Facebook posts.
GOALS: Now on to goals. I have definitely learned that there are many ways to get to where you want to be. There are many paths. Not everything comes easy, not everyone is going to get to where they’re meant to be in the same way. Whatever you want to achieve takes work, crazy, driven, tireless navigation, and thought. The hardest path typically teaches you the most. Although, that path is the one that often makes you want to give up or quit, keep on trucking. You’ll make it. Don’t stop fighting for your goal! Don’t compromise your beliefs to appease others, and don’t take the easy road. Not one person who did great things in history did so by taking the easy path. On the rare occasion something does come easy, let it be the motivation to keep moving. Those are just little gifts that life throws our way.
Kicking Butt: I have battled many demons. I have crawled out of the deepest depression and anxiety and took back myself and my power after someone deeply hurt me and altered who I was. I looked him in the face and said no more. I am back and you have no power over me. It is horrible to carry secrets because of fear. Don’t let fear lie to you and control what you do. I let fear determine who I was for far too many years. Dig down deep and take back the you GOD meant you to be! You may lose family, you may lose friends, but you will have your dignity and your strength, and it is worth it. If someone is not willing to stand by your side, they are not your people.
LOVE: There is nothing greater in life than love. It is mind-altering, earth-shattering, deep, exhausting, fabulous, painful, and the most powerful force on Earth. The love that I have for my guy is all of those things. I said it above, and I’ll say it again, he is the only soul on the entire planet that completely has my back every single moment of every single day. Whether he wants to scream at me, which is often because I am seriously difficult (yes, I own that), oh and he never actually screams, or squeeze me, he is my number one, total soulmate, and I highly recommend finding someone who does that for you. Life is too short to settle for anything less.
And then I have my fab three. Nate would say I am bragging, and together we make fun of the bragging moms on Facebook, you know the type, every other day it’s “look what my little Johnny did today” and we laugh. But, if we can’t brag on our kids once in a while, what’s the point. I have witnessed the greatest gifts of my life, in watching my three become the most awesome humans I could ever dream of. It’s one thing for us to believe our kids are great. We’re supposed to. It’s our job. It’s another thing altogether when every other person they encounter tells you the same. They are smart, kind, seriously funny as hell, but they are also really hard workers, and they make me so incredibly proud every day. I remember being told I was way too strict when my kids were little. I would argue that without boundaries and rules you raise assholes. So, give your kids freedom, and give them choices, but always let them know that there are consequences to every single choice in life they make. As painful as it is, let them fall hard and deal with those consequences. It will make them great humans. My children are my greatest pride and joy, and I know Nate agrees. We did well. So, there’s my brag.
FIFTY: Life is way more complicated than I ever imagined it could be. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, difficult, happy, filled with so much laughter, and so many tears, and every single day is worth it. I can only imagine that the next fifty will be filled with as much learning, fun, and love as this fifty has brought. I carry a few more pounds and many more wrinkles than I would like, but each one is a badge of honor. God is good, and I am one very lucky lady. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Fifty years takes a lot of words. I sure hope my sweet Mama is proud of me, I think she is. Cheers to another year and another decade. Peace and love…. Deb