So, I did this thing last week where I turned 47.
It seems pretty benign, right? I mean, 47. It's not even a milestone birthday like 50, or 65 - or 93. In the grand scheme of things, 47 is not that old. Which is the problem. I'm at the age where people start saying things like, "You're not that old." Like, you're old, for sure, but not THAT old. Kind of like sliced cheese the day after its expiration date. "Sniff it, honey. It's okay, right? It's old, but it's not that old."
If I had to unpack the whys, I'd say this birthday was hard for all kinds of reasons that actually don't exist. I mean, they are concerns, for sure. But in my head, I decided that these concerns were insurmountable, immovable obstacles keeping me stuck and mired in mediocrity, which is never where I saw myself at 47. My weight. My job. My dream of writing a book. All things within my control yet I convinced myself they weren't, and gave myself permission to indulge in self-pity, which is a dangerous, slippery slope.
Self-compassion is one thing. Self-pity is its sneaky, slimy cousin. Self-compassion means you acknowledge that whatever you're going through is hard, and it sucks, and it's okay to feel sad or frustrated or overwhelmed - in the moment. Self-pity says, "OH, this is so unfair! This is too hard for you! You should just crawl back under the covers and stay there, you poor, poor baby."
And that is exactly what I did. The day before my birthday, I spent the whole day in bed. I let the weight of my insecurities, my frustrations, my disappointment and my self-doubt hold me down and hold me back for an entire day!
Well, my birthday is over, and I'm back. I'm not going to give in to self-pity. I'm not done working. I'm not done writing. I'm not done striving and I'm never, ever, ever going to be done pushing myself to be the best. realest, most authentic me I can possibly be. I will write that book. I will get my ass in shape. I will find and pursue my passion and I will do it all with my 47 year old head held high.
So take that, birthday!
Back to the Enneagram tomorrow!