Tomorrow is my birthday or as I like to call it… The Day of Reckoning. I’ve been asked more than once this year if I’m having a midlife crisis and let them know quickly that “no, I do this every year”. Which is true so technically, I think that makes it an annual crisis. Some years are just worse than others. Plus, we can’t really afford that corvette I’ve been promised (from myself) I’ll get when my midlife crisis actually hits. So annual crisis it is!
Yes, it’s that wonderful time of year when I reflect heavily upon who I am and what I’ve done with the last year of my life. Have I pissed it away or have I lived it with purpose? Am I closer now to who I want to be or have I forgotten my direction? Inevitably, my soul becomes downtrodden from the intense introspection. Failures are always the easiest to be found. They flash and bang so loud that I can’t help but see glaring faults first. Where I’ve failed as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as a person, etc. Let me tell you, it’s a slippery slope from soul-searching to self-loathing once you get started and I’ve found myself clawing hard to keep from falling into the muck.
Today, I decided to change my question because let’s face it, it’s not fun feeling like a piece of scat. This morning, instead of asking ‘what do I need to change about me?’, I asked myself ‘what do I want to leave behind?’. What do I want people to remember me as? Thankfully, those answers came a little clearer.
I hope my kids remember me as loving. I might not have baked or crafted but I taught them to enjoy life. I hope they think of the times we laughed, or danced together. How I’d sing terribly for them or how we’d make up ridiculous stories together on boring car rides. That I was their biggest champion even while I was pushing them to be better. That my hugs were tight. And yes, my hair was big but so was my smile.
I hope my husband remembers me as adoring. I wasn’t a perfect wife but he knows I always tried. I hope he thinks of how much I loved and admired him. That I valued his opinion over all others and that even when life wasn’t shiny and new, he was still my favorite person to be with. I hope he thinks of the time we spent not just planning and dreaming but a lifetime of growing together. I know he’ll remember how I hated chewing pickles even though I liked their taste but I really hope he’ll remember he was my very best friend. I’d also like for him to remember me as hot. Not just pretty, but hot.
I hope my family and friends remember me as devoted. Even though I have a hard time being super serious for very long, I hope they always felt like I was there for them when they needed me. That even when I didn’t know what to say, my heart wanted to help. I hope they think of the times we spent together doing fun things and mundane things. That it didn’t really matter what we did as much as we spent time together sharing, crying, eating, laughing, drinking. Probably the last two the most but certainly all of them at some point.
I hope the world at large is left a better place for me having been in it. I hope my words stay tucked safely in the bosom of the internet and the Facebook statuses or blog posts I’ve written give people who have never met me a small reprieve from the dull drums of life. I’d like to think that somewhere, a stranger is reading something I’ve written and they are laughing out loud. Literally. And that their day was a little better for that chuckle and in turn, their coworkers or family had a better day. My version of paying it forward.
And finally, I hope you find the end of this not depressed. I know I’m not now. Which is fortunate because I have to go have my driver’s license renewed and they prefer if you aren’t crying in the picture. That’s for later when you get it in the mail.