Even though it was just a ride for me, it was my longest ride of my life and a bit interesting because I knew a relay team needed me to do my part. These bigger races always seem to have a let-down period that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (for me. Not everyone is affected this way, I know.). I was disappointed by the election in North Carolina. Both of my children have struggled at school and home lately.
And I am turning 40 this Tuesday. Lordy 40. Mortified fortified. Etc.
So. The "reflection". Well, let's see. I spent high school enjoying the benefits of music, nerd classes, being a social defect and having permed hair. College was pretty much the same but with beer and without permed hair. Kind of a lot of beer, though.
My twenties. I was briefly engaged to a man who was not very nice. I lived in a few different places. Struggled with finding my voice and finding my purpose. Managed to turn 30 relatively unscathed but bruised, for sure.
Turning 30 - the event - was actually nice. I had started teaching again, I was single. I had learned to play poker and I felt like I was going to get a handle on life. Then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, stage 0, at age 32. After the procedure to remove part of my cervix, the doctor told me if I already had children he would advise me to have a hysterectomy, just to be safe. Instead he referred me to an oncologist that I saw every three months for testing. A few times cells came back showing dysplasia, then tests were clean (and have been. Fingers crossed). That sucked. Could have been much worse, but still sucked. Every visit, every test, every wait for results. For almost three years.
Then I met my now-husband. Moved to North Carolina. Taught at a great school, met awesome people. Worried about the cancer/cervix thing and if we could ever have a child. Then after our one-year anniversary - surprise! Nine months later we had Alex.
Wanted to keep teaching. Just didn't work. That was heartbreaking. I would not trade my life now for any other, but it was heartbreaking to walk away from my career. It still kind of breaks my heart.
Lots of talks. Alex started sleeping again. Should we .... Well, there it is. Moved into a bigger house, had Mads. She's a character. I love them both.
Started exercising a little. Ran a half marathon. Tried a few triathlons. I like those. Let's see if I can pretend to be a badass and complete 70.3 miles (in a row) of nonsense. Will let you know how that goes next May.
Lordy lawdy look who's 40. I once told Derek, during a "life reflection" chat, that I am no one's favorite anything. Never was anyone's favorite teacher. I really didn't try to be, I just tried to not suck and tried to get kids to try hard at life. Teaching is trying. (Those jokes also explain the "no one's favorite" thing, I know) I never quite balanced doing that without being an asshole, so... never was anyone's fav. teach.
Never have been the kind of person people always ask to go out or hang out. I go through periods where I want to be more social and I either invite myself to hang at the fringe of activities/parties or just go to open social events. But there aren't pictures of me at parties with people over the years. *shrug* No one's favorite friend.
I know I am my parents' favorite daughter. It helps I am the only one. :-) I love them so much. They've never walked away from me.
But back to my conversation with my husband, "I am no one's favorite anything." He didn't skip a beat, he reached out and held my hand and said, "you're my favorite."
"You're my favorite." That was all he said out loud to me. His eyes, his gentle hand on mine, told me a lot more. I love you, bubs.
I have tried to change my health for the better the last few years. I still struggle, I always will. But I hope through triathlon and endurance athletics I can encourage someone else to see that life is what you make of it. You just get the one shot. Live it hard, live it furiously, live it thankfully. Especially the thankful.
I made these two little people who call me mommy. They're kind of ok. They're polite, sweet, funny. I love them. I want to help them learn the world, to love and be kind to it all. I'm probably not their favorite parent, but I think I'm their favorite lady-who-takes-care-of-them.
I don't play music enough, but I have made some pretty good stuff over the years, beer-eokee aside. I still teach a few awesome private students. I love it. That's a favorite part of *my* week.
I anger a lot of people with my politics and religion. I furiously just want people to treat other people with compassion. Even if that means taxes. Even if that means putting your gun in your pants at Target. Even if it means not using a racist word as a team name. Even if it means accepting that other religions are ok. Even if it means same sex marriage, even though someone told you to interpret the Bible differently, is just fine. Even if I anger everyone I know by talking about animal rights, children refugees, the environment - I will always stand up for those who need help. I won't be their favorite. To me, it's about what's right. (To me)
If I have learned anything in 40 years, it's that I am no one's favorite (except the husband and being my folks' favorite daughter). And that's 100% fine. I've also learned it's ok to feel sorry for yourself. It's ok to be whiny. It's ok to be a jerk sometimes. It's ok to be sad and angry. It's ok to want what other people have. It's ok to dislike other people.
But then you MUST STOP. After you feel the feelings, and be thankful. Take one moment of each ungrateful hour to remember to be thankful.
Go to sleep being thankful.
Start the day being thankful.
Thankful for that moment, for that particular breath. And then move on.
Those thankful moments - and all the things, people, memories, and ideas in them - are *my* favorite. I hope they grow longer each day for as long as I am alive.
Happy almost-birthday to me. Lawdy forty.