Happy Birthday to Me (Covid Edition)

I cannot believe I’ve taken another trip around the sun! But here I am, a year older and (whew) happier.

This last year was a major ass-kicker. I have searched fruitlessly for work, finalized my divorce, started a new relationship, moved in and out of my house dozens of times, am in the process of saying goodbye to my dearest friend, had Covid, rebuilt my relationship with my kids … and I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of other stuff.

I’ve despaired and pulled myself out of it. I’ve pivoted all kinds of situations to make them work for me. I’ve let go of relationships and built new ones. It has been my friendships that have kept me going, even though many of them look quite different.

Perhaps the hardest thing is that I can’t be with friends the way I used to. It was my go-to maneuver to call up friends and have an impromptu dinner party with whoever was around. That has been replaced with calls, texts, and rare outdoor meetings.

The only people I touch are my kids, my sweetheart, and my dogs (who are people, yes.) It’s so odd.

I read last year’s birthday post. Everything was unknown and I really didn’t know what the future had in store for me. I had been seeing my sweetheart for all of 20 days at that point and no one could have known what the future held, or that something as catastrophic as Covid was about to change everything for everyone.

After a short four months, we had our relationship tested over and over again. Sometimes because of our own doing, sometimes out of circumstance. We had to learn how to be together without distraction, how to make our own distraction, and how to keep from getting stale. It’s something all couples have to do but it seemed unfair that we had to do it so soon.

The way I see it, we will get to enjoy the extroverted element of our relationship a couple years into it, it and it will be wonderful. Until then, we are having a surprising amount of fun doing simple things.

The biggest gift of this year has been my relationship with my kids. It took a while for us to adjust to our new, ever changing, dynamics. But as they grow, I am getting to know them in a new way, and I feel like they are knowing me more deeply … and they still want to be with me.

Micah is deep in the transition from child to teenager so he is a little more opaque right now. But I know this process having been through it and having witnessed it many times with the young people in my life. I know to just be patient and our closeness will return when he is ready. He needs space, as we all do, to grow into the person he is becoming.

This is a funny picture but it is what our lives are like together. He’s on the couch either doing schoolwork or looking at something, and commenting on it to me. Our conversations are endless.

Casey has matured tremendously in the last year. He went from resenting me and refusing to even come to my house, to spending most of him time with me when I’m in Boulder. He and I have an easy rapport and I can imagine him as a grown man making his way through life. I feel confident in his ability to set good goals and achieve them.

I am so grateful for both of them.

And most of all, I am getting to know myself, in a very real way. I am learning to name my challenges, which is the first step in fixing them. There are so many things about myself I never knew.

For instance, I never knew I was an anxious person, but I really am. I don’t want to be, I don’t think I have to be, but I can’t address it unless I am aware. For that, the internet has been so useful.

Honestly, I have found such kindness from strangers on Instagram. There are counsellors out there who flood their feed with knowledge and good advice. I look to them every day for support by way of what they post. I don’t feel as at sea in this process.

And then there is the funny shit that elevates me when I need a boost.

So today instead of having a pity party, I can feel really good about being another year older. I appreciate what the last year has brought me and I look forward to what is to come. I feel secure in knowing that my future is probably going to be okay (I don’t want to jinx it).

I had breakfast with Micah, will have lunch with Casey, will go for a walk with Tabby, and then go to my sweetheart and see what he’s got planned for me. I know that I will love it, whatever it is.

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me (Covid Edition)

  1. So happy your trip around the sun was kind and understanding to you. Happy birthday beautiful! Here’s to another trip around the sun!

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