Stories

On Birthday Blues and Hues

Quarry Lake Park Canmore, AB

 

For the last few years on each birthday I bring myself to spend some quiet time ruminating on my life, the struggles I went through to meet the goals I have set for myself and let out a sigh knowing I have fallen short of reaching them, every single time.

I don’t let failures get into me, as I have consciously tried myself to always look at the bright side of things. Life is tough and going through it requires all the guts and if sometimes it pulls you down, you just have to fake it till you get on a more stable ground and breathe, then try again.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Well, technically every time we wake up. Turning 37 is no exception, it’s just that today is a special day for an existential moment of reflection. I have had my fair share of triumphs and disappointments. Looking back on how I spent the past two weeks on contemplating a career move, I realized now that I have wasted so much time and effort on such a no-brainer decision. I only made it complicated by thinking of how it would impact my far future. Maybe because a lot of factors come into play, and being a mom and wife has a lot to do with making such decisions. I have just decided on it a couple of days ago, and thankfully I did so it won’t add to my birthday blues.

This past year, life has given me a lot of experiences; on things new and not so new to me. I went back to school which earned me an internship and eventually a job in the profession I know and love. It was a big deal for me as I have explored many ways on how to get back on track in my professional life since coming here in Canada some 4 years ago, leaving a very stable job and career in my home country. With that opportunity, I have met people on the same journey as mine, finding our mark in this foreign land I now call home. Funny that after all this time, I still have this feeling of culture shock although I have sometimes felt that I have already blended in. Nobody will know and care anyway. Moving to a different city gained us a new set of friends that became family, these good souls who help each other and make life a bit easier. I couldn’t be grateful enough for having them. My dad also overcame a health challenge, which is a good thing to be thankful for. We did have our material difficulties but with a conscious effort to minimize the excess, we managed to get through it all.

So, with this birthday, it is a special time to bask in the warmth of being celebrated by family and close friends who really know me by heart (since I turned the birthday reminder off in Facebook). This is the time to be grateful for another year, time for new resolutions just like starting a new year (but following though with these resolutions is another story), and a time for extra calories since a birthday for me is not complete without a slice of cake.

I won’t make goals on my 37th year. I have resolved to just continue what I have started. Health wise, I will continue to try to stay away from red meat and unhealthy foods, and eat more veggies, fruits and fish. To continue my physical exercise and maintain my 51-kilogram weight (which I have maintained even before I got pregnant). One goal though; I will never give up on envisioning that one day I will run and complete a full marathon.

I will be a more present mom; not just in a physical sense but being more aware of my son’s developing personality – his quirks and sensibilities. I realized that I have a lot to discover with my son even if I have been with him all his life. I will continue to have deep talks with him, or just plainly listen to him rant about his day amidst the noise of clanking dishes or frying oil.

I will be a more intentional wife; that I will consciously acknowledge my husband’s needs and be generous with my response while being more appreciative of his presence and the good that he brings out in me. That I will continue to do my share of the task we took upon ourselves to make our married life as blissful and bearable.

I will be a better daughter, friend, co-worker.

Sharing all these thoughts on my birthday. This day is all about gratitude for family and friends who care.

 

Author

palaparjoan@gmail.com

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