My birthday is tomorrow (which is technically an hour from now).
Edit: My birthday is today (Friday, December 21)
I've been dreading it because it's a reminder that I'm another year older and still don't have a little one in my arms. I've also been dreading it because both of my parents and my brother's birthdays are this week, plus Christmas (what can I say, generations of my family have apparently liked to get busy in March ;) ) anyway, as my and DH's parents get older, it gets harder for me because I just think of the lost years our kids are losing with their grandparents. Plus all the family celebrations are just a reminder of the "hole" in our family (thanks C for the great phraseology and articulation).
And on top of that my birthday is so royally inconvenient (in its proximity to Christmas) for everyone that I usually end up feeling like more of a nuisance than a celebrant.
So suffice it to say I haven't actually been looking forward to my birthday.
Tonight we went out to dinner with our best friends. They're leaving tomorrow for out of town so we couldn't celebrate then. I mentioned the other day that I felt a distance between us and them. Tonight was the first night in a long time that everything felt "normal" between us. And it was so much fun. It reminded me of what we've been missing. And we talked briefly about the distance and discovered what we think is the cause and fixed it. That was it. No fighting, no weirdness, no drama. I can't even tell you what a huge relief that is for this anti confrontational person. So already I feel refreshed in that relationship and I am grateful for that answer to prayer.
The lightheartedness of the evening really lifted my spirits and I'm not longer dreading tomorrow...almost because it feels like my birthday is over anyway and it went off without a hitch, without a breakdown, without any tears--huzzah! One day down, lots more to go.
But most of all it was a reminder that there is more to my life, more to my relationships, more to the source of my "mood" than this beast of IF. I felt normal. I felt human. I didn't feel like I was branded with this Scarlet "I" on my chest.
So I'm thankful for the encouragement of sweet friends and fellowship. I'm thankful for the conversations of prayer I've been able to have with God this week and the ways He has ministered to me.
I'm also thankful for all of your comments, emails and phone calls. Sometimes emails are hard for me to answer right now so if I don't write back, please know it's not because I'm ignoring you or distressed about what you wrote--everything I've received has been so sweet. I just don't have it in me to write back right now. Blogging in to cyberspace is different because I feel like I'm not burdening anyone. I can talk as freely and for as long as I want and people don't have to read if they don't want to. In direct interpersonal communication I'm still a little more intimidated. I hope you understand and forgive my silence. Please know it's not out of a lack of appreciation or gratitude.
One thing you should know about me--I process things deeply, but quickly. Sometimes that scares me because I hate that. The tears and grief of a couple days ago already feel but a shadow and I'm back to an "ok" point. I was feeling guilty about that but a dear friend (thanks again C) encouraged me that there is no "right" way to do this or "correct" time line of when to process or how long to take doing it so I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and appreciate the heights and depths for what they are. Patsy Claremont shared at the Women of Faith Conference this year that the Mountain tops are beautiful, but most of life is lived in the Valley. That just makes us appreciate the Mountains more. So I'm trying to appreciate this Valley. I'm not doing justice to her words because she didn't mean it in a depressing, condemning way and I feel like that's how I'm representing it. She just meant that life is tough but that doesn't make the path God has us on any less beautiful. So I've been meditating on that lately, trying to maintain a virtuous longing for the mountain tops, but also appreciating the beauty of the valley.