Today is my birthday. 36.
36 sounds so old. My upper 30s.
Some days I feel old – cranky back or pesky knees, mainly. Most days I feel pretty darn good. Happy and just generally lucky to be in this life.
I love the start to a new year. The actual new year or my birthday. It feels like as good a time as any to do some self-reflection. Some evaluation of where things are and where I’d like to be a year from now.
35 was a magic year in so many ways. It was a turnaround year. 34 was a year of, what felt like, repetitive loss. 35 felt like a slow motion movie and a complete blur all at once. So much good happened this year. I will never let go of that good.
I had Simon just shy of two months into my 35th year. Love I never thought possible entered my world and changed me in a million big and small ways, some that I won’t even try to understand.
My year has been full of learning. Who I am as a mom. Who I am just as Mara. Learning to put someone else’s needs in front of my own with almost every decision that I make. Learning who I am at home versus who I am at work, and how those two worlds come together. Learning to ask for help in a very clear way that people can understand.
At 35 I learned that I can survive on much less than 8 hours of sleep a night. I won’t like it, but I can. I learned to sleep with one ear open and hear even the faintest peep.
I learned what it feels to really worry. Worry about things out of my control, but want to control them so much it’s anxiety inducing. In this, I learned that exercise has to continue, as a stress reliever as much as to be healthy.
I wanted this gig SO badly – there were times when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to be a mom, so at 35 when Simon was placed in my arms, it felt like I found my peace – my place.
At 35 I have a new appreciation for my body. New aches and pains, but also a new self-image. I still want to look good and wear nice things, but I look at my body in a different way than I did even a year ago. It has done amazing things.
The gray hairs are coming in full force and the lines on my face are probably not really “laugh lines” anymore. I wear my glasses more than contacts and yoga pants more than anything else I own. I fall asleep on the couch most nights and a night out usually includes dinner at 5PM so that we’re home in time for bedtime. An exciting Saturday looks much different than it used to – the standards have changed. I’m totally ok with this new life.
We’re still figuring it out as we go, but we’re doing ok. We’re adjusting when we need to. We are constantly learning.
I feel blessed to have been given this life and I hope to live it for many more rounds, surrounded by the people that I love the most.
If my 36th year is anything like 35, I’m ready. I got this.