Happy Birthday To Me.

As has been my situation lately, I woke up around the 2 o’clock hour and haven’t been able to get back to sleep. After an hour of not falling back asleep, I decided to get up and get my day started. I read a little. I cleaned up a little kitty puke. I did a little work. It’s been a good morning but for the lack of sleep part.

I’m 44 today. Holy moly. Yesterday, my managing partner asked me if he’s known me half of my life yet. And now he has. I was 22 when he gave me my first job what seems like eons ago. I was finishing my first year of law school and wanted to spend my summer working in a firm. Looking at my “resume,” he noted that I had never had a real job. (That makes me wonder what I actually put on my resume back then. Kerry, do you still have it?) Despite my total lack of work experience, he hired me at $10 an hour to review documents and do random other things for a summer. I had no idea then just how big a part of my life that job would become.

I’ve been struggling at work lately. Things are changing, and change is always hard for me. One of my best friends is leaving the firm, and that makes me sad. She’s been there longer than I have, and I’m struggling with the idea of not being able to walk into her office and just sit for a minute. And we’re really busy. I feel on top of my work in a way that I didn’t just a month ago, so it’s better. But I don’t feel settled into it, and I don’t feel peaceful there. The lawyer I work most closely with has noticed this. Yesterday, he said something that made me feel tons better. He asked if I wanted to take the entire month of February off to recharge. As a practical matter, that makes about as much sense as him telling me to take Thanksgiving off did given all the work we’ve got going on. But I so appreciated the gesture and his concern that I just felt better after that conversation.

I am taking today off, despite the random bits of work I did in the early morning hours. I’m going to run this morning, weather permitting, with one of my best friends. I have a fun meeting unrelated to work at 10. I’m having lunch with my mom and sisters at noon. I’m getting my oil changed at 2:30. Then Dave and I are going to hang out at home making Christmas cookies and packing presents and getting ready for our trip to see his family. I have a lot to get done, but it’ll be a good day.

I normally try to do a bit of planning around my birthday. I try to set goals and cast a vision for the new year. This year, I haven’t had the time to do that, but I will before the year is up. I’m hopeful I can do some of that on the plane to and from Minneapolis and maybe do some more next week, as I expect the office will be fairly quiet.

It’s just a weird season. Looking back at some of my blogs and journals, I’m seeing that I was in a funk this time last year too. I know some of it is that I’m missing a dear friend who abruptly exited this world two years ago. I know some of it is that I’m grieving getting older. And some of it is that I feel like I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I love everything I get to do, but I still feel like there’s more out there for me that I’m not pursuing the way I should.

Is this a mid-life crisis? I’m not buying a new convertible or anything. In fact, I’m not buying much of anything, as I’ve gone further and further away from wanting stuff than I’ve probably ever been. I have too much stuff. I want experiences. I want friendships. I want to be and feel healthy.

Maybe the forty-fifth year of my life will be all of that.

Here’s some of what I’m really looking forward to:

  • For the first time in a  while, Dave and I have settled into a church, and I have enjoyed being consistently in that space again. That feels right.
  • My friend Emily turned me and Dave onto Plated, and we’ve been eating at home more. I get overwhelmed by the food and recipes, but Dave manages it so beautifully. I’ve loved eating his handiwork more regularly.
  • Since I’ve slowed down the triathlon training, I’ve become a bit of a gym rat. I’m running still, but aside from running, I’ve been doing spin and body pump classes at the Y. I’ve never been much of a class girl, but spin and body pump seem to work for me. I can see a bit of definition in my arms and that’s exciting.
  • Slowing down the triathlon training should also mean more time for tennis. I was in a bit of a rhythm playing once or twice a week earlier this fall, but I got out of it as work got busy. I’m excited to get back to that in the new year.
  • Since I’m pulling back from races, trips largely will be about people and places. I had to cancel a trip earlier this month. I want to reschedule with that dear friend before I do anything else. But I do want to figure out how to get face-to-face with my people more often.

I’m hopeful that being awake in the middle of the night isn’t just something that happens with old age. I miss the days of sleeping through the night regularly. But on the upside, I got my birthday off to a super early start. That’s perfect, as I expect my mom will call any minute now.

Have a great day, friends. I intend to.

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