The Eve of 41

This is impossible.  I can not possibly be sitting here, insomnia ridden, listening to the hum of the clothes dryer, on the eve of my 41st birthday.

It’s ridiculous to me that another year has passed with nothing to be excited about, to brag or even journal about. Not a single thing has changed – for better or worse – not one thing.

Embarrassingly, I used to be one of those girls who counted down to my birthday, announcing to everyone the number of days left to shop for a gift for me or to remind them of my very own special day.  Truthfully, I think I wanted this “special day” since everyone who has a holiday birthday – a December holiday birthday especially – knows how “ripped off” we feel.  Either no one remembers your birthday, or they lump it in with Christmas and you’re left feeling jilted.  New Years Eve, I’ve always thought, was the worst, since no one is ever there ONLY for your birthday, they are there to party into the new year!

I remember the days leading up to my 30th birthday and how, in the midst of a divorce, I felt like a monstrous failure.  I had nothing and was humiliated beyond measure. I could not fathom the idea of turning 30. My sister orchestrated a huge party – of mostly her friends if I’m being honest – and though a good time was had by all, I recall being very coherent of the fact that I was now 30, that I had few friends and that my life – as I knew it to be – was ending.

I remember the months and weeks preceding my 40th birthday.  It was not so much the number of the age as it was the number of the age of the year that my life’s dream had ended.  I would begin my 40th year on this earth knowing I’d never be a Mom.  I was angry (still am) and I begged people not to acknowledge the day, which of corse, they did.  Which annoyed & angered me even more. Though my sweet husband planned a get away that was relaxing & wonderful, I came away from the birthdate hurt and sad and full of resentment about how my life was turning out and the theme has carried on throughout the year.

This birthday has snuck up on me.  I still feel incredibly sorry for myself for the one thing I can not change.  Jilted at the hand I’ve been dealt.  I truly could care less about acknowledging, much less celebrating my birthday, outside of receiving a card from my hubby since he does not express much throughout the year and with the piggy back of Christmas & my birthday, I get a good spirit boosting from getting sweet cards from him.  He writes the sweetest things and chooses the sweetest cards. It’s like oxygen at a time I struggle finding reasons to breathe.

I can not believe I’ll wake tomorrow a whole other year older than today.  I’d rather crawl in a dark hole and sleep, hopefully waking 10 years ago, but instead of the girl who counted down to celebrate her special day, I’ll awake as the middle aged woman who counts down the moments until it passes, politely saying “thank you” to anyone who offers cheers.

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The Christmas that never was

And just like that, it’s gone.  The Christmas that never was.

The Christmas that should have been our last “first” Christmas.  The Christmas that should have been our most memorable, our most exciting, our most joyful.

The Christmas with no tree, no lights, no cards sent, not one Christmas song played.  The Christmas that had social media ignored and as many “regrets” RSVP’d as possible.

The Christmas I never wanted to be a part of. The Christmas, it felt, no one noticed I wasn’t. The Christmas I wish no one did. 

Blank Spaces

My thoughts on everything are just that. Blank spaces.

We took a trip to Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  Aside from a couple good meals, all I looked forward to was getting home.  Saturday night was spent in the hotel room.  5:30 on a Saturday night.  On the Las Vegas strip.  And I’m watching movies on my iPad. Blank.

Our annual Thanksgiving camping trip? Blank. It was neither fun or boring.  Mostly the same faces. Same weather. Same food. For some in our group, it was a trip of “first times.”  Not even the addition of my sister, brother in law & nephew made a difference in my overall feelings. When it was over, it only felt routine. Drive. Set up. Eat, drink, clean up. Drive home. 

The upcoming Christmas holiday? Blank.  I don’t care to send out greeting cards.  What could I possibly say about our last year that hasn’t been said the last several years?  “Here’s another photo of our dogs, but we wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”  Or, “Happy Birthday to Christ, who has done many great things for lots of people but chooses to bury some dreams so deep in our hearts and never fulfill them?”  I’ve opened zero cards sent to us, where I used to display them in our entryway.  I’m not even curious about them because I already know they are photos of everyone else’s families over the course of another year. 

I don’t care to decorate the house – something I’ve done for years. As a college student with tinsel & beer tabs, a 20-something year old with Dollar Store finds and even after my first marriage ended in shreds, I would venture out on my own, put a tree in the trunk of my car, blast the Christmas music and decorate the whole house in my Pj’s. 

This year, I bought a smaller, “table top” tree at a nursery and a vintage tin pail I found at the antique shop in town….a look I found on Pinterest.  I forced myself to make the purchases in a conscious effort to  get in the spirit.  And yet a week later, the tree sits in the corner of the family room, no decor, barely watered.  Blank.

I do not look forward to gatherings, gift exchanges or sweet holiday movies.  Because MY life doesn’t end like those movies do. I am exhausted of faking a smile.  I have a sweet, strong, loving husband and a cozy home.  And yet, I cannot recall the last time I felt happiness.  The last time I laughed from my core in sheer joy.

I am full of sadness, broken pieces and of fear that what’s left for me in this life will not be quite enough.  I am full of blank space.