This is the start of my 49th year. I suppose it is one of those years that as a “lady” I could stay hanging in for ever. But heh as fifty is the new forty perhaps it will be okay!
As a Cancerian who likes to party I will naturally be celebrating over a week starting last Saturday with a barbeque with fellow Cancerian Susan and family, lunching yesterday and road trip in the camper today naturally dancing tomorrow night. My boys follow this theme with large boy suggesting we do a family celebration next week to celebrate his birthday too.
Birthdays are important in this house. Another example of what to pass down through the generations. Presents and cards are seen as an expression of love and caring for each other. We do not do big gifts of high value but we do enjoy unwrapping gifts and opening and reading cards.
My birthday this year started as it has for many years with the boys sneaking into my bedroom singing happy birthday and getting over excited and proud of the hand drawn cards and great presents they have bought me. It has to be noted this was preceded with a house exodus to town and a lot of sneaking about upstairs with sellotape and scissors! All of this makes me smile.
Teen boys are spotty, grumpy, selfish and distinctly un- cuddly (small boy has now stopped the hugs that he has given freely and happily for last 12 years not sure how I will cope). Observing their brotherly love for each other wrapping and giving me presents, making me coffee and singing Happy Birthday gives me a glimpse into the future of the potential lovely young men they can and hopefully will become.
As I am up so early and on my own I decided a birthday blog of reflection might be fun. These past few months have been very reflective and as I start my 49th year I am preparing for change.
I was asked this week to identify my favourite year in a group of folk who did not know me that well. I struggled but ended up saying my fortieth. I had the all clear from recovering from cancer in my colon and had a huge birthday party. It was however the year my in-laws died, my father died and my marriage ended. So naturally not the most positive!!! It was however the year of change.
So what have I been up to? Birthdays are for celebrating so this blog is about a decade of achievement and success so here is my decade of gifts and success list:
– Bought my house off the ex hubby –It is not the ownership but I have managed to pay the mortgage and enjoy having a home
– Survived divorce without bitterness and holding onto anger –I have worked hard at feeling compassion in adversity and indeed am proud that I have not filled my boy’s heads full of resent and bitterness.
– Provided good enough parenting to my two boys including love, putting food on the table, keeping them safe and providing shelter. They can also say please and thank you and use a microwave and toaster! I am still astonished how much I love my children and indeed love being a Mum
– Being independent and just getting on with it. Being a single parent is so hard. It is not the bill paying though that in itself is a challenge. It is the mental and heart stuff. You see you have to make decisions about schools, shoes, books etc. You have to sob alone and celebrate alone
– Teaching belly dance- I will have been teaching ten years in January. I have students who still come who came to that first lesson. Class is still busy but more importantly remains creative and fun and makes women feel good about themselves
– Lovely friendships – I have a lovely broad circle of beautiful wonderful and great friends. My investment in friendships has reaped some loving rewards
– Not giving up on my sense of self and “Jude”. I have worked hard with home/work/life balance and juggled and fought hard for “me time”. Dance weekends, sneaky dates away have all ensured as my children grow up I have an identity beyond being Mum
– Feeding creative Jude. Dancing, doodling, drumming, drawing have been occupations in this decade and ensured my creative self is still in existence
– Not giving up on dating and going out to seek my lovely man. I have kissed quite a few frogs but I now have found my lovely man
– Developing a loving relationship with Hopeton. Allowing me to be loved and to let my barriers down is one of my best achievements in this past decade. I am allowing myself to be loved and cherished and am excited about what the future brings
– Continuing to turn up at work, sustain a professional career and do an honest day’s work. I do not like my job I would prefer to be elsewhere but it sustains the above. I have many work achievements which I cannot write down here but I am proud that I do a job which is ethical and hopefully contributes to society. I am proud that I have been a single parent who has worked hard bringing up my kids without benefits.
I think that is enough. I just had a moment then. “Who does she think she is” just told me off for showing off and writing “I am proud…” Good grief I have flicked her away. It is after all my birthday and I am going to be proud and enjoy my day!