Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The Unfolding of June: A Birthday and the Beginning of Summer

Ed Lighting My Birthday Cake

Every year since we've been together as a couple, Ed has tried his damnedest to make my birthday special. He will plot and plan, and start asking me how I want to spend the day at the beginning of May. The week before my birthday he'll ask me what I want to do, what I want for breakfast, where I want to eat dinner. The day before and the morning of my birthday he will ask me again. As I've said before, I appreciate the gesture, but I often feel pressured to come up with something special to celebrate my birthday. Having ADHD means I have trouble deciding what to do, especially when there's so many options. This leads to frustration and anger.

As you probably have read in my previous posts, I've also been in a bit of a funk. I'm sure my Mom's 10 year death anniversary isn't helping, neither is my own realization that I'm actually "middle aged." It's weird, but here we are. 

A Delicious Cake from Coffee Time. YUM!

Ed is a mensch of the highest order! After reading my last two blog posts, he decided not to ask me what I wanted to do on my birthday. He didn't insist that it be "special," or that he wants to make me "happy." Instead, he honored my feelings and let me be. The only plan was to get a cake from Coffee Time and to spend time together. 

Fort Sewell, Marblehead. One of Our Favorite Places

This single act of holding space for me and my feelings was the best birthday gift I could ever receive! It let me process what is usually a very complicated day. It also taught me that I need space and low levels of sensory data to make smart decisions. Otherwise, I tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated, and will lash out.

How did I want to spend my 51st birthday? I wanted a delicious vegetable sub from Shubie's in Marblehead and spend the day hopping around the rocks at Fort Sewell. I wanted a pepperoni pizza for dinner and a piece of birthday cake. I wanted to cuddle on the couch with Ed, Doc, Ziggy, and Bijou while watching a movie. I just wanted a quiet day outside in nature followed by an evening with my favorite critters. And this is what I got. HOORAY! 

Cleared and Planted with Grass Seed

Ed and I took off the week after my birthday and planned a "staycation." We somewhat finished clearing the jungle that was our backyard and planted grass seed. I am happy to report that it is growing, though I think the birds got the majority of it. 

Ed, the Wondrous Mensch

We're getting a new fence, so we aren't able to build the garden beds and plant all of the trees, bushes, and flowers this summer. I have amazing plans for this space! But alas, I have to wait. Ed built two raised beds for tomatoes and zucchini, and we have potted basil and cilantro on the deck.

Tomatoes and Zucchini

Herbs and Flowers

We spent our Summer Solstice in the garden, which was a wonderful way to celebrate! In the evening we had a special "nosh" outside. The weather was wonderful, though a bit chilly. 

Our Summer Solstice "Nosh"

I am very grateful that Salem has many wonderful small businesses, including a cheese and wine shop and a specialty food shop. The Cheese Shop of Salem and Pamplemousse have been supplying our noshes with an amazing array of cheese, meats, olives, wines, and beer. The best part is that both shops are within walking distance from our house. 

Ziggy and Doc Enjoying Solstice

With all of that said, how am I doing? Well, much better now. I allowed myself room to process and talk about how I feel about my birthday. I allowed myself the space to be angry and upset and lost. I didn't put on a "happy" face for the world because I'm supposed to ... and it was wonderfully therapeutic. I've been doing an awful lot of thinking, meditating, and reflecting about my life and career, who I am, my Mom's death, and my own mortality. It's been hard, but good. 

I'm feeling more like myself at my core, but much different than a decade ago when Mom died. I'm stronger, more determined, and much more focused on what's important. Something has changed. As Mom's 10th anniversary quickly approaches, I don't feel the same overwhelming dread as I did before. It's time to remember and honor her, but it's also time to move on and remember and honor myself.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you got to spend your birthday as you wanted it and I'm so glad that it soothed your soul.