Over a week ago, I celebrated my birthday (and several other fall family birthdays) early with my parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephew.
Today, I won't get a chance to celebrate with my husband and the kids much since when Mike comes home from work, I have to go to work. I am okay with that, though, because, truth be told, I don't feel much like celebrating.
For yes, I have much to be grateful for. I can say I am 42 years young. I am healthy, usually happy and still quite able to do things, including things I love, such as hiking with my family and holding two special treasures and one surprise gift that I received slightly before hitting this "advanced" decade of life.
However, I also feel weighed down. For despite being 42 years young, I am also 42 years "old". My "advanced age", in combination with a BRCA2 gene mutation, places upon me a burden of some decisions that I do not want to make.
The burden is one that I cannot shake and one that distracts me.
- It elicits negativity in me, causing me to neglect the lessons that my two year old teaches me. It made it take longer for the joy of his "play with me" to sink in this morning. My baby, who for so long did not speak, is now speaking and asking to be with me. What more could a mom want? (Not to make a hard choice, that's what!)
- It makes me an inconsistent model of joy and peace for the girl who is long overdue for another spotlight here; the one who lights up my world and tests my patience all within minutes. Like her, I vacillate lately between being upbeat and being ugly. (Thankfully, this morning, Nina has been all brightness so far. Her attitude has been helping to lift some of the darkness that I awoke feeling.)
- It shades my vision, so I cannot consistently recognize and celebrate the boy who has made such strides lately, coming more and more into his own. I almost did not notice how fantastic his wake up time was today or how creatively and cooperatively he is playing with his siblings now.
- It makes me a wife I that is less than pleasant for my husband to come home from work to. By early evening, lately, I feel "done". Tired. Sad. Frustrated. Grumpy. My husband does his best to be understanding and not to fuel fires or add to the burden. He deserves better though.
- It keeps me from progressing on the albatross that is our home de-clutter project. I begin tasks, but get distracted and do not follow through.
The burden presses down on me with an unexpected force that is infiltrating almost every role that I play in life. The decisions I need to make, oddly, center on how best to prolong my healthy life, yet, at the same time, they hamper the quality of life I am experiencing right now.
I know I need not feel this burden. God offers to take it for me. I am just not that great at handing it over right now.
I also know that I could count the burden as a blessing instead. Today's technology gives me information and choices that many decades of moms never had the opportunity to know and that a part of me wishes I did not know either.
Most importantly, I know that living with a long face and a weight on my shoulders is not the way to live. I am enormously blessed and I should be living like I am. I should be counting what is, not dreading what may be... But, for some reason, "should" and "am" don't quite equate yet.
So, for my birthday, might I ask that you lift me in prayer today? I seek clarity, peace and a smile this morning that truly emanates from my insides. A happy face and a happy heart. I wouldn't mind a huge blinking directional from God either, but that may be too much to ask for...
An SPD Connection
Today is the last day I will be posting in October. Therefore, it is also the last day that I will add a special SPD connection my post.
This month, I have been sharing thoughts about our family's experience with SPD in every post in honor of Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month. Through my sharing, I hope it is clear that SPD is as much a challenge as it is a gift. We continue to face challenges with our oldest son, yet we have made great strides, too. As he has grown in his ability to stay regulated, we have grown in our sense of acceptance and appreciation of who he is and how to strategize to best help him meet success in whatever his call may be.
Hopefully, the same will be said, in the end, about my struggle with BRCA2-related decisions. That I come to a place of acceptance and appreciation of a choice that will help me best live what God truly calls me to.
I thank all readers for bearing with this "unloading" today and am grateful for a moment prayer and positive energy sent my way.