This blog post has been in my draft folder for over two weeks now, and is still a work in progress. It hasn’t been for lack of trying because I have been working on it all this time. I guess it’s just that my thoughts (and my world) are in flux and I’m just riding it out.
I haven’t been here because I’ve been preoccupied by life in general. I’m not too happy that I’ve slacked off writing here yet again, but not even having access to posting on just about every handheld or hardware I have has helped. I had been planning on writing about half a dozen topics before, on and after hitting my 49th birthday, but sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Maybe it’s the age — but when that happens, I simply let go. (It’s just a blog — I’ll live if I don’t get to document what has happened in my otherwise staid existence. Ha!)
For one thing, I have been in Manila (and other parts of the Philippines) the last two weeks. I have been active on Instagram, and even Twitter, so I have not been completely absent. My art journal / altered book has likewise suffered from making do with weekly snippets (which doesn’t make for much journaling), but I’m trying to keep up. On the whole, life has just been fabulous the last couple of weeks, even if it has not been without its challenges. I think I’ve been luckier than most in many respects and I couldn’t be happier.
The trip home, as always, was too short. It was even shorter this time because I couldn’t do the usual three week vacation. I had come home for a wedding and planned family outings around it in the two weeks and two days I managed to carve out for this trip. I tried to focus on enjoying my immediate family instead of going out everyday. We did a lot of firsts which made it even more memorable.
But before that, I turned 49. (Cue balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling..). My little guy and I had a birthday dinner and I got the most precious gift ever with a series of posters, starting with something taped to our front door, all the way to the top of the stairs and finally, a poster which said:
Speechless. While most people dread the coming of birthdays after the big four-oh, I’ve never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am now. I like how I look and feel and I know that I am in transition to something better. I find myself looking forward to doing more and accomplishing even more in the immediate future. Instead of looking at advancing in age as an impediment or obstacle, I have come to see it as a means to spring forward with a renewed sense of purpose.
I think I have arrived at this point with a self-assurance that has helped me to handle life’s surprises a little better. The last year or two have been very challenging but even I have surprised myself at how I had managed to stay afloat in the fray. I have learned many lessons along the way, and have found myself being humbled over and over again. Yet looking back from where I am right now, I have to say I have been truly blessed.
Good things do come out of the bad that come into our lives. Perhaps it was just the old headstrong, outspoken me — but I may have offended someone I thanked for messing things up, for the good that experience later brought into my life. I guess there was no tactful way of saying it that wouldn’t have made that person take offense, but that was a heartfelt thanks despite the fact that it may have seemed sarcastic.
There are many good things in my life right now which I wouldn’t have even bothered to consider had things not gotten so terribly wrong in the recent past. I know it might seem like a hard sell of the cliches that allude to how there is always something good in everything, no matter how bad things may get. And yet at the end of the day, after the dust has settled, I choose to look on the positive despite the pain. It actually has helped me to deal with the loss and the hurt better. It helped me to let go of the bitterness. It helped me to move forward. And that wouldn’t have been possible without the preceding bad turns that came my way — and I have to recognize that for what it truly is.
Fabulous is a good word to describe the way I look at life these days. I am still on that journey to happy, but I know I’m getting there. I try to find the things that are worth remembering — zeroing in on the happy thoughts. I try to focus on the positive instead of the bad things, the reasons to smile instead of worry or feel hurt.
There are many people who have come into and gone out of my life and there seems to be a constant stream of that these days. I have gotten past hanging on and chasing people — so I have found a comfortable space where I am and I just sit and welcome those who decide to say hello, and say a non-bitter goodbye to those who have to go. Again, it must be age. I relish those who choose to share their lives with me in whatever shape or form. And with the same token, I let go of those who find themselves walking past, or leaving after sitting down for a chat.
Even those who I wish would stay, I no longer try to hold back. If they choose to stay a while, I will be grateful. But if they find that they need to move on or if they change their minds, then I thank them for what time and part of themselves they had shared with me and I let go.
I’ve come to believe that everyone we encounter has a reason for having walked into our lives. It’s up to us to recognize that for what it is. And as much as we would want things to turn out the way we want them to, there are things beyond our control.
So I stick with the “fab”.