Here we go again, approaching the end of yet another year and wondering where the time went. Somewhere between the middle of September towards the end of October are hints that the holiday season is quickly approaching. Before the Halloween candy is cleared from the shelves, the Christmas decorations are up in their full glory. At this point, you either feel pressured, excited, slightly confused, or maybe even a little angry that Thanksgiving seems to consistently get the forgotten holiday treatment. Either way, get with the program and prepare for whatever floats your boat.
Every year I buy a few new decorations to add to my growing collection of sparkly adornments. If it makes me go ooh and ahh then I know I have found the one that will go home with me. Traditionally I like to get the process started of putting up my glorious 8 foot tall tree immediately after Halloween. Yes, I am well aware this might seem a tad bit premature, but remember that thing about whatever floats your boat? It takes about a week to get everything just right, the proper placement of each set of lights, 4 sets to be exact, the perfect symmetry of the ornaments to ensure I leave enough space for the beautiful bows and the shiny beads. If it seems like a lot, that's because it is. The only thing left to do is plug everything in and wait for the magic to unfold. If anything was a sight to see, this would be it!
I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. "I want to date someone really really old, like around 35." I said it with such ease and conviction that the small audience listening at the time surely thought I was kidding. I assure you I was not. 24 years old and barely knowledgeable about anything of significant value, I was simply just speaking my mind and if given the opportunity, I wouldn't change a thing. Every single moment in life is part of setting a tone for what is to come.
The last of anything is always something to remember. That last slice of cake. The last swig of juice left in the fridge that when gulped seems to be the most satisfying thirst quencher on the planet. Or, the last ticket for that flight you have been procrastinating about that seems to have been waiting just for you.
As I reflect on my 40s, I can honestly say wow with great conviction. There are levels to it all, but this literally takes the cake. Full of lessons about life, self-worth, peace, and evolving. I knew the exact moment my leaf had turned over into a brand-new season and I welcomed it along with an invitation to stay for the rest of my days. Reflecting on times when I was clueless, unable to love myself and mentally shackled by the thoughts of others. If freedom was a feeling, it would be everything within me. My, what a difference a day makes!
I will always love birthdays, especially my very own. The well-wishes, the calls, the cards, the hugs, the friends, and most importantly the family. This year and the years to come I am blessed and thankful to spend my special day with my dear mother. Let the memories be made and the laughter fill my soul. May this last year of my 40s be one to remember. Chapter 49, here I come!
Happy Birthday to me...
For the last 25 years, I have played in the dirt in Georgia. The soil is easy to work with and the temperature was always on my side when it came to a longer season of warm weather. My planting would typically start somewhere around the end of March, to the beginning of April. I applied this rule for flowering plants as well as vegetables. This allows the plants enough time to get adjusted to the new soil, environment, and temperature. By mid-summer, my garden was always flourishing, and quite thirsty. The more my garden grew, the more water my precious plants required. As the temperatures soared closer to 90 degrees in late July this was a daily chore to ensure the plants didn't dry out.
Relocating to an entirely different climate gives me a brand new challenge and adventure. Like a kid in a candy store, I can't wait to dive in! I have a few ideas in store...
It wasn't love at first sight. More reminiscent of feelings like regret, disappointment, and betrayal. You know, similar to finding out you have just been catfished by the person you thought was your dream come true, only to find that it's a Nightmare on Elm Street. Hi ma'am, what is your reason for returning this item? Please check all boxes that apply. Is there a box that says, because I just don't want it and I would like a do-over?! Ughhh, didn't think so... How could I get myself into this type of quandary and how in the world do I get out of it? If I could I would escape into a black hole back to the real world, because clearly, this is straight out of the Matrix.
The deed was done, the documents signed, the handshakes shaken and it was officially the season of no turning back. 'Ok, deal with it,' I told myself, and get into this vibe cause baby it's full steam ahead now.
As I woke this morning I knew what my day would consist of. An early morning workout, using this amazing facial cleanser I bought, and a nice sensible breakfast. At some point, I know that I will need to do a bit of yard work and I'm perfectly fine with that as long as my music accompanies me during the grueling task of raking leaves. Oh, and I have to work today, but that's not as exciting as anything else I described so let me continue.
I quite like the beginning of a new week. It gives me a sense of discipline that I may have lost mid-week or perhaps during the weekend. Re-focusing my energy on anything positive and uplifting, as always. Things like planning my workout regimen, ensuring I follow a healthy diet, or refraining from shopping, at least for a few days. Or not! I believe in balance. If I want it you can guarantee I'm going to have it and the rules I have preset for myself are suddenly floating out the window. The art of deprivation only applies when I'm getting close to vacation time and my two-piece bikini is saying, 'girl put down that 6th slice of pizza!'
Motivation comes in many forms. A friend who is uplifting, a book that redefines the art of strength, perseverance, and resilience, or perhaps a movie about getting knocked down over and over again, yet learning to stand strong and tall ten times over. I accept it and receive it all.
"O, Sunshine! The most precious gold to be found on earth." -ROMAN PAYNE
I saw the sunshine through the blinds this morning and a smile grew across my face. The light that gives me so much life and makes me feel like anything is possible. Watching the squirrels chase each other in the yard as if they have not a care in the world. Or maybe they are in a rush to gather all the necessities for hibernation in preparation for the coming winter months. With so much going on around me, I'm alert and aware of how it all makes me feel.
The more I give in to the vibe of creativity and all that inspires me the more I find the joy of simplicity. The beauty in peace, and the art of continuing to find my own kind of balance.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Indiana. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman