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Practicing For The Big One

burbfam-240x238-brandThis party was a long time coming. I had looked forward to Christmas, but was sick over the holidays.  I looked forward to New Years Eve, but was just getting over a terrible cold. My husband was sick the entire month of February. Like I said, this party was long overdue. Even my friends were in need of some fun, and urged me to have a birthday bash.

 No, it wasn’t a BIG birthday milestone, which was the question of the day. I am two years shy of ‘the big one’, but thought it would be good practice.  There were thirty some people in our small house. The music was blaring, there was good food, great conversation and lots of dancing and drinking going on.

 It was an interesting mix of people. We socialize with several different groups, and decided to throw them together for this occasion. What was odd for me was that each group knew me in a different way. To some I was Brianna: mother, friend, and neighbour. To others I was ‘devil woman’, the first to arrive at a party and the last one to leave. Others knew me as June Cleaver, another as K.V. (I’m not telling why).

 Who am I really? Well, I haven’t quite figured that out yet, all of them I suppose. But over the years, there are a few things I’ve figured out.

 The single most important thing I’ve learned, I learned in the last couple of years.

 That is; I have no control over anything. My daughter’s medical issues and the death of some friends, far too young, were real indicators of that for me. Once I accepted that fact and put everything in God’s hands, the weight lifted off me.  This realization has affected every area of my life. 

 I’ve learned not everyone is going to like me, or ‘let me in’, no matter how hard I try. I’ve learned to stop trying. I no longer waste valuable time on people who are not sincere. I only want to surround myself with real, genuine people.

 I’ve learned that as much as I want to make everything right for my children and the people I love, I can’t. I’ve learned what I can do is provide support when needed.  A shoulder, a hug, and a sense of humour go a long way.

 I’ve learned that the little things I do, things some people may think are a waste of time, are important.  Taking time to talk to an elderly neighbour and listening to them tell the same story again and again, writing letters and thank you notes, complimenting the cashier when she’s having a good hair day. Small gestures can make a huge impact on people’s day-to-day lives… and we are all capable of doing that.

  I’ve learned my happiness can’t depend on the happiness of others.  I have to find my own inner peace each day.

 I’ve learned that eating less will cause me to lose weight. Yes, it took me all these years to come to that realization.

 I’ve learned life is short and unpredictable, and no matter how mushy it may sound, I let people know how I feel about them.

 I guess this is where I should conclude with the ever popular ‘I’ve learned to love myself.’ I’ll admit that one needs work. I’m still my worst critic, and I when I look in the mirror I don’t see what others see. But I do know who I am inside and I’m happy with that.

 Birthdays have a way of making you stop and reflect on the years gone by and daydream about the future. Birthday parties, however, are a harsh reminder you and your friends are another year older. I couldn’t help but notice the dancing wound down a little earlier, my friends tired easier and the party ended long before I was ready to call it a night.

 Regardless, it was great practice for the ‘big one’ in a couple of years. I hope I’m lucky enough to have the same people (and more) celebrating with me again, and if I can manage to keep them moving a little longer, I’ll be a happy woman.




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