OPTIONS WHEN DAYS DON’T TURN OUT TO BE THE WAY WE HOPED THEY WOULD …

In reading my Birthday Blog from last year, May 30th 2008, it’s clear to me now that I was feeling the need to count my blessings and, in so doing, hoped to encourage all of you to do the same.

But, for each of us, much happens in a year – occasions we have celebrated, friendships which have enriched our lives and, unfortunately, challenges we’ve had to overcome.  As for the challenges, we can only hope that we’ve handled them with grace and dignity.

So, while I still wish to count my blessings – my husband, my children and grandchildren heading my personal list – I also have learned that there are times when it is absolutely necessary to be selfish and to take care of myself, even at the expense of not spending time with nor offering myself to those whom I love the most.

The lesson is one that I have consistently attempted to teach my patients and when friends have opted to teach it to me, it has not landed on deaf ears.  However, it is one that I admit to not practicing often enough.

So, on this my 68th birthday, I hope all of you who are attempting to contact me (remembering that it is my birthday)understand that I am opting to respect my private space in a need to interrupt a bad migraine cycle. In doing so, I hope to be modeling – for any of you who may need such a model – that we do not honor ourselves nor truly make ourselves available to others when we do not take proper care of ourselves, even on a day which happens to a birth-day.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. I do think it’s necessary to celebrate our lives and whatever we feel we have accomplished.  It’s just that this year, with a bit of saging in my aging, I simply recognize the need to opt to act differently … and hope that in doing so I reach my goal to feel better and am not, of course, hurting anyone in the process of doing so.

With best wishes for good health and happy birthdays to one and all ~ Linda

3 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    A talented young writer once wrote:
    “…that synthesis of content and form wherein a reconciliation of personal need and the demands of moral law is achieved; where the rhythm of natural life impulses is neither stifled by artificial formalities nor by abstract ideals, and the mundane realities of daily living find a synthesis with the external order of the universe. It is only with these characters for whom that synthesis between content and form is achieved, that a clear conception of life is gained and the ultimate problem of living solved.”

    Oh yes, that writer was you and although you were writing of marriage in Tolstoy’s fiction, you are now writing about the marriage to the self. As Sark writes in a book called Succulent Wild Woman-a poster you once had framed for me and which one of your oldest friends just gave me for my recent birthday “Marry yourself…invent your own vows and promises, buy yourself a ring and flowers, love and honor yourself until the end of time!”

    That is what those who love you wish for you on this your 68th birthday. May it only become clearer and lovelier with the saging.

  • Lavinia says:

    Thank you Linda. Yup, saging, sagging and all combined, you're still ready for more. All great wishes for a healthy and wonderful year—unstifled and fulfilled.
    Love,
    L.

  • Hello, I just wanted to thank you for your memoir and your blog. Writing about one's life can be very vulnerable and is very different than the role of listening to others talk about their own very personal experiences. I am also a psychotherapist and recently published my first book, a memoir about my first year of college.

    I seek to practice what I "preach" and that is making the best of opportunities and trying to learn from and overcome life's challenges. I talk with my clients about these things and my book allowed me to share some specifics of how these values play out in some of my own very human experiences. We can all learn from each other.

    It is difficult to find time for book promotion in addition to my counseling work. My natural introversion and the occupational hazzard of reclusiveness as a means of self care are not the best combinations for book promotion. I try to exist in the space between the both… and of both maintaining strong relationships with family and friends and taking the time I desperately need for my own emotional well-being. Its quite a fine line to walk and sometimes I lean towards one side more than the other, but I do my best, as you do, Linda.

    I wish you all the best in the coming year.
    Carmella Broome EdS LPC LMFT/I
    Author: Carmella's Quest: Taking on College Sight Unseen (Red Letter Press 2009)