Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Me and Max, the Turtleneck

I recently needed a profile picture for the Ask a Bipolar website, so I recruited Jamie, who does a pretty darned good job of taking pictures when I can force the camera into his hands.  I love this picture of me with Max, because it looks like he's actually my turtleneck.  We didn't use this one for the website.  That honor went to the dog.  That will teach the cat to think he's part of my wardrobe.

Anyway...

This weekend I turn 47.  I am three years away from needing a "routine" colonoscopy as of tomorrow.  I have heard that while the procedure isn't so bad because they knock you out now (which they should because how else would you cope with 20 feet of tube up your ass?), but the preparation the day before is a total bitch.  I don't like people messing around with my digestive tract.  I've heard they are actually going to replace this procedure in the future with "virtual" colonoscopies.  I can only hope that's in the works right now because cancer seems to run in my family and I do not want to avoid a procedure that can save my life.  But I don't want to spend two or three days throwing up and sitting on the toilet while cleaning myself out.  (Sorry for the visual there, guys!)

The unfair thing about being 47, to me, is the fact that not only is my hair turning white, but I still have zits that crop up from time to time.  Don't you get the benefits of aging by this time?  I thought suffering through horrific acne as a teenager would mean that by this time in my life, I would at least have beautifully smooth, young looking skin.  But no....

Speaking of hair, there are hairs growing in places hair has no business growing.  After my surgery last year, my body's metabolism totally quit on me and I now need to lose at least 15 pounds (20 would be better), even though I never get dessert anymore.  Being almost 50 apparently means eating a lot of fiber and saying things to your kids like, "You'll thank me for this when you are a parent."  When I did I become my mother???

It horrifies me, in a way, that I can see that half century mark on the horizon.  I still feel as if I'm about 16 and I know my emotional development arrested when I was a teenager.  It's just that my body didn't get the memo.

I am still that inner child, even though I am plucking things and sagging.  Oh, yeah, gravity is a bitch.  By the time I'm 70, I suspect that my breasts and my stomach will be on more than speaking terms.  And speaking of my stomach, when did it decide that it should be larger than my boobs?  I thought the top half was supposed to be bigger.  What the hell?

Tomorrow, on the anniversary of my birth, I am forcing dragging taking my family to see the last Harry Potter movie.  This is a sad thing in some ways.  It's the end of an era.  I have read the books (and am currently re-reading them) and I have all of the movies that have come out on DVD.  We will be having a marathon of two movies this afternoon and evening so that I can remember where we are in the story.  I suspect Justin and I will be the only ones to watch these movies today, but tomorrow, everyone is going.  I'm bribing them with dinner afterwards.  When the first Harry Potter book came out, it was 1997, before my third child was born.  The movie followed in 2002, a time when I was raising toddlers and trying to figure out how to handle my bipolar disorder.  I was still an immature, manic bitch trying to figure out how I had almost blown up my entire life and what to do with an autistic child.

Now, in 2011, I am much older.  And much wiser.  More emotionally stable and much more mature.  I can forgive, with time, when I am hurt.  I understand myself so much better.  And I am proud to say that I am raising three incredible sons.  I am at a point in my life that I am completely happy with what I am doing.  I am excited about my middle son being in the high school marching band this year, because marching band for the kids brings back my own high school days and how much fun I had.  I can't wait for football season to start this year (Justin will drop the computer when he reads this) because I am so looking forward to going to the high school stadium, getting Joey popcorn and hot chocolate, and sitting on the hard bleachers (which gets harder and harder as my ass gets older and older) to watch my son march across that field at half time.

I think 47 is actually a really good time in my life.  I am happy, almost always.  I have figured out how to keep the drama in my life to a minimum, which helps so much with my bipolar disorder.  I have rediscovered just how much I love my husband, my children, my life.  Yes, there are very upsetting, horrible things happening, but I can deal with them.  And hopefully, I am at a stage in my emotional development that I can be a support to the people in my life who are going through hell at the moment and give back some of the support that they have always given to me.

I am lucky and I know it.  I am grateful for my life.  I am grateful for my family.  And I am grateful that I lost my job last year, because it opened up a whole new world of doing something that I love.  Hopefully with the idea of earning a living at it soon.  It amazes me that you can actually have multiple careers in your lifetime and the new one that I have discovered is something I absolutely love doing. 

And most of all, I am grateful for my husband who makes my life possible.  He makes my life worth living.  He makes me happy.  After 23 years, I am still so in love with my husband.  What a wonderful gift I have received.

Okay, I'm going to end this here before I start making people nauseous.  Happy birthday to me!

Chelle

 

6 comments:

  1. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Sweet Pea! Hope you have a super fantastic day, and a super year at 47!!! :) :) :)

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  2. Aw, thanks Debbie. I love that I have so many friends now because of Facebook bringing me back to people I used to know. And meeting new ones who I never would have met otherwise. Life is so good. Sometimes you have to really look for the up side, but it really is.

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  3. If only we know now what we knew then right? I was teaching my 15 year old cousin how to drive and we were talking about babies. I said "I wanted 4, but the pain made me only allowed 2. I am too old now to have any more (I am 41)" She said "Yeah! You are!!??!!". I was laughing so hard, because I know how old 41 is to a 15 year old - but I too still feel like I am 15. What is up with that. Happy Birthday!!!

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  4. Thanks, Kathleen. I do still feel like a teenager, but I look at my boys and know that's totally impossible. I know my kids think I'm ancient and their grandparents are one foot in the grave old. LOL I really wish I could go back and shake my teenage self and tell me a few things that would have been better choices for me!

    Hugs,
    Chelle

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  5. Chelle, I love this post, particularly the bit about being grateful you lost your job which led to discovering your gift. I hope you had a great birthday! :)

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  6. Thank you so much. It makes me so happy that people are inspired by anything I write! I love that I can reach out to people just by clicking on "publish!"

    Getting over my job loss was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I have finally let go of the anger and resentment and seen it for the blessing it actually is. I was never meant to be at that place and karma or God or somebody was taking care of me when they took the decision out of my hands. It really is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I am sure the people at my job would be surprised at how grateful I am for what they did. It makes me smile and I wish them nothing but happiness now.

    Hugs,
    Chelle

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