Celebrated my 48th birthday on November 1st and this one was, by far, one of the best birthdays I have ever had! I did all of my favorite activities (yoga, hiking, got a massage, stayed at a fancy hotel, took a cooking class, ate a ton of beautiful and delish food), felt all the love from my family and friends, and didn’t even set that cheap Halloween wig on fire when blowing out my birthday candles! Best part of it all: no days lost to hangovers, no money nor time wasted on drunken ragers for other people, and no memories lost to black outs! (I did, unfortunately, get into an argument with a former drinking buddy but other people’s reaction to my sobriety is a subject for another post.)
In one year, so much has changed. I started off my 47th year of life with a weekend trip to wine country wherein my husband and I drank for 12 hours straight, joined 3 new wine clubs, purchased 16 bottles of wine, and were too hungover the next day to truly enjoy that fancy hotel or that beautiful food or do anything active whatsoever so started drinking/”celebrating” all over again! That was how I valued my time a year ago and that’s quite alright, acceptable to most even; but now, above all, I value presence, joy, learning and movement- all of which alcohol robbed me of for way too long.
All I wanted to do this year was to simply be one with myself, one with nature, one with my family, and bask in the glow of this newfound peace of mind. The best gift I have given myself is my true self, took 48 years but I finally found her. I am clear headed, joyful, inspired, and beyond ecstatic with this new path I am forging. Yoga Teacher Training has brought me purpose and a goal to reach that, while challenging, is so freaking exciting, it is all I want to do! Sobriety and teacher training, hand in hand, have changed my life and I aim to share this passion and all I am learning with everyone I meet. Not the specifics of what I am learning about yoga, per se, that’s all gravy too but it’s off the mat I see the way this new knowledge is shaping how I look at life- in fact, the wisdom to brave this path was within me, as it is within you, this entire time.
I have always had a choice. A choice to react, a choice to take things personally, a choice to feel sad/ mad/ hurt/ disappointed/ defensive/ dejected/ complacent, a choice to please others over myself. I am not my reactions. I am not my job. I am not whatever label of wife/mom/friend anyone applies to me. All of that is temporary. But Laura? She’s permanent. Now, I choose compassion and from compassion stems kindness, patience, and love. That’s who I am and that’s also what I want to give. (Except to the former drinking buddy during our argument last weekend, I only wanted to give her my middle finger- 48 years of practice or not, I’m still a work in progress, okay?!)
Choosing what we love. What a concept! It was that easy the entire time?! Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner?!?! I had other lessons to learn, that’s why. The entirety of the things I have gone through- from a physically and emotionally abusive childhood to sundry health issues to a career in one of the most demanding and stressful industries known to mankind- has led me here. Learning to leap over every single hurdle with success has given me the tools to become a person who is resilient, fearless, determined, strong as nails, and an all around Bad Ass.
Honestly, I’ve always been a jerk about my birthday and this year was no different. Anything I read or anyone who said, “November 1st!” I would emphasize, “MY BIRTHDAY!!!!” It is the one day of the year I feel recognized and special, this year even more so because I celebrated the way I wanted, with the people I wanted, with the feelings I wanted because I have finally figured out what that is! Nature, health, and family is all I want, I am so lucky that’s exactly what I got, and my 48 year old butt knows that’s also all I will ever need.
4 thoughts on “Today’s Reason: 48!”
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