Embracing 41

I celebrated my 41st birthday on Tuesday! I originally did not have any plans except to meet with my client. Other than that, I planned to be a bum all day. My client and her husband surprised me with a mini birthday cake (trimmed in my favorite color – purple) and a bag of my favorite candy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! They even sang to me. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with emotion.

I had church choir practice that evening, which I originally planned to skip. However, I am glad I went. I got another rendition of happy birthday sang to me. As much as they get on my nerves at times, I love them! Afterwards, I went to dinner with two of my fellow choir members and the other part of my trio. I decided to try a new restaurant and surprisingly had a great experience (I typically have horrible experiences whenever I eat out). I even got a birthday shot from the bartender.

To continue the celebration, I went to a B2K concert in St. Louis. It was quite the experience. LOL. I am working on getting out of my comfort zone.

I met with my therapist today and in addition to working on decreasing my anxiety when I’m driving at night and over bridges (I had a major panic attack a couple of weeks ago and they are happening more frequently), I am to work on journaling/blogging at least twice a week and to focus on postive things (versus the negative all the time). This will be a challenge for me as both my therapist and life coach have noticed how even if I say something postive about myself, I turn back around and follow it up with a negative. I have to learn to quit fixating on the negative and recognize the positive things about me and in my life.

I looked up what the number 41 signifies. I came across a couple of things.

  1. Biblically, it signifies separation. Which I find interesting because I was unaware of that until today, but I have been working on intentionally separating myself fron certain people, things, habits, thought processes, etc.
  2. According to a numerology website, it means conscientious, a sense of personal freedom, and working on securing a foundation for the future. I have been re-evaluating my life and trying to figure out how to make my non-profit profitable and sustainable. I have also been working on improving my finances so that my future is more secure for myself and my children.

I’m excited to see what chapter 41 has in store for me! Happy birthday to me!

Is it really spring?

The calendar says that spring started a couple of days ago. I am not convinced. My emotions are just a dreary as the the long, cold, bitter winter we experienced this year.

I am not even sure where I want to head with this post. I’ve been trying to write for the past few days and just haven’t been able to do so.

I started therapy. I had my first “real” session this week and my assignment is to ponder my relationships – if I want more or have I settled for how things are? This stems from my statement that I do not think that I will ever get married and that I will likely be alone/lonely after my last child leaves the house (he’s 9 and 1/2 now). Yes, I technically have people in my life that I would consider friends, but none of them are really “deep” relationships. We hangout out and have a good time, they celebrate my joyous moments and encourage me, but I don’t trust them to be there when I need them.

For example, I’m have a really difficult time right now emotionally and mentally (after something I saw on freaking Facebook, ugh). I attempted to call one person, they didn’t answer, so I have turned my phone off, making myself unavailable. Is that fair? Probably not, but at this point I don’t want to be bothered. I have someone else I could call but they don’t/won’t understand so I don’t feel like being patronized or told to “get over it.” But enough about that.

I FINALLY purchased my books to begin studying for the certified diabetes educator exam. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I know that it will benefit me and the work I am striving to do within my community, I just do not do well on big exams (and it costs a nice piece of change).

I am excited that I get to start teaching another diabetes prevention cohort on April 1st. I have to travel about 30 miniutes to Jefferson City, but I am willing to go where the need is. I have also made some wonderful connections that will help my non-profit expand its reach in the community.

So why am I a total emotional wreck? I once again feel like I’m not good enough.

My birthday is in two days. I don’t even want to be around any one on my birthday. I have zero excitement about my birthday this year. I need to shake off this funk and focus on the positive things going on in my life. (If only it were that easy.) C’est la vie.

Mid-March Update

March has been a very unusual month for me and we are only halfway through it.

I have only worked ONE day since February 17th. One week was for a scheduled staycation. The remainder of time has been due to what started as a lower back injury due to rearranging my house, which later changed to sacroiliac joint (i.e. hip) pain. Due to the nature of my work (a bedside nurse), I have been restricted from working. Thankfully, I will get a needed injection next week and will hopefully be able to return to work without restrictions. I sure miss my coworkers and the patients that I have the privilege to care for.

In the meantime, I have been keeping myself busy with ways to make my nonprofit successful. I have a few (more) potential partnerships in the works. I had lunch with a wonderful member of the community who understands the trials of having a small non-profit organization and was given some tips on ways to raise funds. I have been preparing for a college health fair next week where we will have a booth to provide information about our programs. I was interviewed by a journalism student to discuss the work that I do with my nonprofit. I am excited that the name of the organization is starting to be mentioned in our community a little more. We are working hard on brand awareness.

I have also started classes in my new degree program, public health. I am enjoying the content of the class thus far, although I despise having a group project.

I have continued working with my life coach. I think I have cried at least once in each of the sessions. After a couple of very stressful situations trying to find a therapist, I had my first appointment with a psychiatrist today. It wasn’t too heavy since it was more focused on what I want to gain from my therapy sessions. I have my first “real” session next week, so I will definitely share my thoughts afterwards. I have continued working on one of my bad habits/obsessions and happy that I am slowly making progress.

I have enjoyed the amount of time that I have been able to spend with my 9 year old son. I have missed our mother-son dates. He may be getting tired of seeing me every day, but I am loving it. I feel comfortable with some of the changes that I have made because I know that I am providing a better life for the both of us. I still have a lot of work to do and progress to make, but I am going to enjoy each and every day and quit taking things for granted.

Movie date with my son

March Madness

I am normally super excited for the month March for a couple of reasons:

  1. My birthday is in March and I tend to celebrate the ENTIRE month!
  2. I love college basketball, so I enjoy having multiple NCAA brackets going during March Madness
  3. I usually have a week off work to enjoy my birthday and spring break with my children.

This year, things are going a little differently. I am a little bummed that I will not be able to travel this year for my birthday. However, my oldest son will be on spring break at the same time as my youngest son, which also happens to be the week of my birthday, so I get to spend some much-needed mother/son time.

A few days before my next session in school began, I made the decision to change my degree plan. I am no longer pursuing a nurse practitioner degree (at this time) but rather going the public health route, since that is more in line with my nonprofit work. It requires fewer practicum hours, which I need at this point in my life as I still have a young child at home, plus work full time, plus still trying to run my nonprofit. I recognize that I am not superwoman and that I want to spend time with my children as much as possible.

I have known that I needed counseling and coaching but have always found an excuse to not pursue the options. I have had a life coach for a couple of weeks now, and the sessions are going okay. The homework is challenging at times, but it helps me to get to the root of some of my issues. You know you truly need counseling when your life coach recognizes you need one. LOL. I finally took the step to contact an area practice and filled out the initial intake paperwork. Now, I am just awaiting the initial visit. I am really hoping I will “gel” with this therapist because I am not sure if I have it in me to go through the process all over again.

Basically, I feel like I am having the “crisis” I expected to experience last year when I turned 40 that didn’t happen. This is probably the most reflective I have been about my life. I just want to get to the place where I can enjoy the good things in my life for longer than a few minutes. I want to live the best life possible and savor each moment. I run on auto-pilot so often, that I often forget to relish the sun on my skin, or smell the roses, or enjoy a leisurely stroll down the street.

My goal for this year is to be intentional about achieving happiness in all areas of my life.