Monday, April 1, 2013

ON THIS BIRTHDAY


I always feel compelled on the occasions of birthdays or anniversaries to try and write down or capture in some way the immediate state of my thoughts. What have I learned in the past 365 days since I celebrated this date? What have I experienced? What have I improved about myself and my life?

The year that has passed between 34 and 35 has been an eventful one for me. I have been raising a human toddler. I discovered I knew so much less about parenting than I previously had assumed. I’ve lived a dream, like the coming and going as my family’s heart desired, vacations and outings and whatever we wanted. I think most people who consider themselves my dear friends would agree that they had to work hard at being my friend this past year. I sometimes found myself disconnected as the responsibility of juggling a career, a marriage and three children felt like it gobbled me up for months at a time. I threw myself at the thing I’m most passionate about – my family – at the casualty of a few other great loves in the process. The need to be completely selfless in some aspects of my life caused me to be completely selfish in others. One of my goals for the coming year is to find a better way to balance the two.

As my thirties progressed, I learned I was capable of dealing with far more stress than I thought possible. I learned that my husband takes care of so many little teeny things in my life that add up to one big thing: peace of mind. I fell in love with the gray that speckles his hair. I learned to never underestimate the curiosity and will of my children. I’m learning we are all capable of far more than the limitations set upon us by others. I’ve grown braver, stronger, less afraid to SPEAK UP. (Which is something I think I write every year, but it’s true -- even if it’s happening in baby steps)

I asked for more responsibility at work. I prayed more and found a deeper spirituality in my faith. I stood in front of the mirror in my underwear and gave myself a hard time about what three children and the lack of sleep has done to me physically. Then I smiled and decided it was worth it. I felt the ache of watching my children grow too fast and the bursting pride in the milestones and accomplishments they conquered with each passing stage.

The greatest lesson I lived this year, was that I have a long way to go to becoming the wife, mother, and friend that I am capable of being. I will always hold on to a handful of struggles but I know my potential is great. So here’s to the gifts and knowledge that came with the passing of another year at life, and to all the possibilities that lie ahead. I lived this past year, through and through and I hope with all my heart for the opportunity to do it again.

24 comments:

  1. Love it! So glad I was able to spend one of your last days as a 34-year-old with you! :) So sorry to hear about your bout with food poisoning. :(
    BTW You're beautiful. ;)

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    1. Oh, my dear friend, I adore the memories we've shared over the years and I look forward to a hundred more. Thank you for celebrating me, but moreso, thank you for being the utmost bestest friend. XOXO

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  2. Fabulous post Mandi! I sure enjoy reading about your progression and thinking how nice to know that others are working towards and dealing with the same things as I am. Happy Birthday! Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. There's something to be said about never being alone in a field that often places you in solitude. ... You may be the only one at your site, in your area, but you're never alone. Thank you, Erin, for reading my blog and commenting here -- it means a lot to me!

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  3. Fabulous post Mandi! I love reading about your life and "progression". It's nice to know there are others in the same stage of life- and learn from different perspectives. Hope you have a great birthday and feel better soon!

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  4. Great post and happy birthday! I was supposed to be born on 4.1.83, but I was 13 days late...turning 30 on 4/14! www.styleoyster.blogspot.com

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    1. Turning 30?!? That seems so far out of my reach anymore. But let me tell you, no matter how good your twenties might've been, thirties are so much greater! Happy early birthday to you!

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  5. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
    download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a
    few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.

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  6. Loved the pic and the post. Well said, Mandi!

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    1. Thank you, Lauren -- I appreciate your kind words!

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  7. I think today is a great place to start and I can relate on so many levels. I never quite feel like I'm living to my true capacity. But we'll get there!! Happy Birthday

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    1. Everyday living is nothing short of miraculous—-that God would entrust His beautiful created life to me is an honor of which I am not worthy. We just need to live it as such.

      Thank you for being here, commenting here, and for the birthday wishes -- you are a jewel to me and I hope you'll visit again!

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  8. Happy Birthday and great post! Family should come first - and friends should understand!

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    1. Thank you and welcome to my online home. I am thankful that you have come. I hope you will find here some inspiration and encouragement for your own journey.

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  9. Jeannette TrailApril 01, 2013

    You are a beautiful writer, Mandi! You remind me of the blessings in my life and all of MY own happy endings! Happy 35th Birthday! Don't ever change!

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    1. Ah, you've brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for lifting me up with your words -- you are so incredibly appreciated. Because fact is, people get crazy ideas that our life must be wonderful and gracious all the time. But this is a blog—-a online journal, if you will, of our lives and my thoughts. We are so far from perfect. My house gets dirty and disorganized, my children scream and fight, the cats pee and chew on the furniture; and I am convinced, at times, that my toilet-cleaning schedule is a little lax. We are an ordinary family plagued with the same stresses and messes everyone else has. We've just chosen to be grateful -- even for the chaos. And that's what happy endings are all about, my friend. Hugs and kisses to you! Miss your presence!

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  10. Great post and happy belated birthday :D

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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  11. Wonderful post Mandi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Comments always mean a lot. :)

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  12. I'm following GFC from Loves On Thursday Blog Hop. please return the favor and follow me back at Evoluchun's Miscellaneous

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  13. Great post! Thanks for stopping by this week. I am turning 35 at the end of the summer... not sure I am ready. You seem to be in a good and happy place. :-)

    Julia @ Mom on the Run x2

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    1. People always told me while approaching 30, that they would be the best years of my life, and they were right -- I've discovered I am capable of so much more than I ever gave myself credit for. Give yourself a little grace, Julia -- try to see yourself the way your loved ones see you and you might gain a more positive perspective about self. You're beautiful just the way you are!

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  14. Happy belated Birthday. Such a wonderful thing to be able to do when we get older is to look back and see how we've grown. Who would have thought to do that in our 20's?! ;)

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    1. You're an angel -- thank you! I've cultivated a more grateful perspective in my 30's, that has allowed for a more accepting outlook upon who I am, where I am, and what I'm doing with my life. I'm just thankful that God has allowed me to have these years and this mindset -- I feel so blessed.

      Thank you for your love and encouragement -- it means the world!

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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