Saturday, July 2, 2022

It Has Taken Me A Long Time To Admit This


It has taken me over 6 months to publish this photo. Why? Because I knew what I needed to bring forth and publish to accompany this photo. 

I took this photo on December 8th of 2021. 

My birthday. 

It was a Wednesday.

I turned 48.

Lisa had the week off. She always takes my birthday week off. 

I love the fact that Lisa takes my birthday week off. In the past, especially when Bodacious Biscuit Love was in full swing, it was always our busiest week during the holiday season. Even after we discontinued Bodacious Biscuit Love, we were busy with making Bodacious Holiday items and spreading lots of Holiday Love and Cheer.

In 2020, the first Christmas in the house we bought in February of that year, we were amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state was shut down. We didn't make or sell anything that year. Instead, during the Holiday season, we made lots of gorgeous homemade pieces to gift. That year was tough on everyone. We wanted to spread as much Holiday Love and Cheer as we could. All the way around.

The following year, due to obnoxious increases in prices for supplies, from lumber and paint and everything between, we didn't offer our seasonal pieces.

Our state eventually reopened. But. There was so much chaos and beyond with the COVID-19 aftermath. And. The world got crazy.

It's still crazy.

Lisa and I continued to do what we do. Extend kindness and love whether it was in the form of meals, baked goods, gifts, random acts of kindness, birthday love, etc.


So. A little off track. 

Back to December 8, 2021.

It was mid-afternoon. 

I. Had. A. Moment.

I realized that no one, aside from a couple of family members and my wife and our furry kids, had acknowledged my birthday. 

All the people in our life who considered me a "friend" or a "friend who has become family" apparently fell off the face of the Earth. 

I sat on the reclining rocking chair in our main living room. Rocking. Big fat tears staining my cheeks and making watermarks on my shirt.

And please trust me when I say I am not writing this while playing the violin. Nor is it meant to fall into the category of "feel sorry for me."

Yeah, I was a tiny bit heartbroken because I remembered my birthday back in 2018 when several of our neighbor friends from our old 'hood, who called us family, wanted to celebrate my birthday. 

I was stunned. I didn't know what to do. Lisa managed to schedule several days of celebrating my birthday with our sweet neighbors. A pizza party. Another night of appetizers and wine and cake. A couple of nights later, another birthday celebration. 

When I extended gratitude, everyone said the same thing, "You do so much for all of us. We are celebrating you."

The following year, in 2019, the same thing happened. 

In 2020, nothing. 

In 2021, nothing. 

I completely understand that the COVID-19 Pandemic changed everything, especially in 2020, however...

And yes, I am going to leave that "however" as a fill-in-blank.

Meanwhile, as I sat on the comfy chair rocking, Willa was on my lap. Lobo was in my arms. Sophie was sound asleep on the sofa. Coco was on the other end of the sofa with his 2 favorite pillows. 

Lisa was in our home office. At her desk. A few rooms away. She knows me well. I needed to be in the moment for a few. To get it out. I didn't need advice or kind words or encouragement. 

She also knows I'm in full-swing menopause. So. Yeah. Hormones. 

Lisa also knows that when I am ready, I'll vent. Ugly. Sweet. Sentimental. Comical. I'll blast the F-Bomb left and right while conquering snot bubbles. 

I sat on the chair for almost an hour. Rubbing Willa's belly. Kissing the top of Lobo's head. Smiling at our senior kids napping soundly on the sofa. Knowing that Lisa was in the other room respecting the space she knew I needed. Waiting patiently for me to collect my thoughts. 

My moment of clarity slowly made its way out of the woodwork. 

I got there.

What mattered the most to me was the living and breathing souls within the confines of our home. And, I knew that my life mattered the most to them too. 

My existence is not validated, and will no longer be, by the enormity, or lack of, birthday cards, celebrations, flowers, or gifts from people outside of this house. 

I am not for everyone and it is okay to not be included on people's "special person" birthday lists. 

At some level, a lot of us are seduced by the approval and acceptance of others. At the end of the day, keep a close eye on the cost of that approval. 

It's also okay to expect better from people. 

And, it's okay for me to mention that givers need to have boundaries because takers rarely do. 

I also need to mention that my birthday week was quite fabulous. 

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