Birthday Blog

I’ve made it a tradition to blog on my birthday.

Birthdays make me even more introspective than usual, and I often feel compelled to write around this time of year.  This year is no exception, except…I don’t know what to write about exactly.

(and now I sit here watching the cursor blink for about 5 minutes, give or take)

I just got a massage (another birthday tradition of mine) and now I am sitting in a Starbucks (Tradition #3) feeling my caffeinated blood ooze past my loopy muscles and greased-up skin.  I suspect my brain has been turned to mush as a result.

During my massage, I desperately tried to stay in the moment and focus on how my body felt.  Part of this is because I want to get my money’s worth.  To me, massages are expensive and I usually only get them once a year.  But I also just want to be able to quiet my mind and get my body to freaking relax, or more accurately,  to allow my body to surrender to the relaxation that is happening to it.

Because I spend most of my time with a screaming, whining, giggling toddler, my adult mind is often off in left field having some imaginary conversation with an adult – any adult – I wish were there with me.  It’s hard to stay in the present, and I feel disappointed in myself that I often seem to be wishing away the present and fantasizing about being somewhere else, some time else.  Because I feel bad about this, I try very hard to highlight the times when I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else – when I want to be right here, right now.

One example of me wanting to be here now pops up from my past life as a therapist.  I was with a client I had seen longer than any other and to whom I felt particularly dedicated.  She was chronically depressed and wouldn’t admit to having many strengths.  In my office, this client picked up a broken kids’ toy – I think it was trying to be a toy ukulele or something, but it was missing strings – and she made music with it.  It was incredible.  I remember thinking to myself, This is why I do therapy.  This, right here.

Another example from the recent past: my kid is just starting to say Mama and Dada in context and with meaning.  Oh man, how amazingly wonderful it is to hear my boy call out my name.  Recently, we’ve been playing this game where I ask Dylan what my name is.  It goes like this:

Me:  Hey Dylan, can you say Mama?

D:  …Ma-ma!

Me:  Yay!  Now what’s my name?

D:  DADA!! (we both laugh)

Me:  Noooo, Daddy’s at work!….Can you say Mama?

D:  Mama!

Me:  What’s my name?

D:  DADA!!

We collapse in giggles, and I savor the moment.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

So, mindfulness.  I had to reel my mind back in several times during today’s massage, and I did my very best to enjoy the time, to enjoy the feeling, and to enjoy my body.

That’s the other thing, is that during the massage I found myself thinking about how in awe of my body I am.  The last time I got a massage, I was about 8 months pregnant with Dylan.  I was hot and sweaty and swollen and in pain and huge.  A lot has changed since then.  My body has morphed.  Transformed.  Been made new.  And so I found myself saying thank you to my body through the massage, as the therapist moved her hands over my body that felt like waves gently lapping on my fleshy shores.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My mind wandered again—>  The first time I ever got a massage was after my cancer surgery.  My roommate heard me complain (a lot) about how sore and broken I felt, and she got my friends together and they all gave me a gift certificate for one.  I want to make a joke and say that she got it for me just so she wouldn’t have to hear me bitch about it anymore, but she just wanted me to feel better and I think she knew I’d never go and get one for myself.  Another thank you is in order.

So, on the anniversary of my body becoming my own, here’s to loving my body and thanking it for the places it’s taken me and all it’s given to me.

And here’s to celebrating the here-and-nows that make the time in between well worth it.

 

I’m tying the knot- pour me a shot!

Hello Psychos!

I am so blessed.

I haven’t updated about the wedding planning process in a bit, and today I plan to remedy that.

Since I last updated, I have been thrown two beautiful, delicious bridal showers and last weekend I was thrown one saucy bachelorette party!  I am incredibly thankful and lucky to be surrounded by such swell people.

When I sat and thought about it, the tradition of bachelor/ette parties is quite amusing, especially in Brian’s and my case since we’ve been in a monogamous relationship for almost 10 years now.  It’s a tradition like this that reminds me how much we’ve already been living the married life, and now we just get to throw a massive party to officially celebrate.

All the same, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to experience the traditional debauchery with our gender segregated peer groups!

How does one create the perfect bachelorette party, you ask?  Based on my recent hands-on research, I have arrived at the optimal recipe.

1. Bling

Ladies need the accessories on any normal day.  Brides need flashing signs saying I’M THE BRIDE!  THIS IS MY DAY!  NO ONE NEEDS ATTENTION MORE THAN I DO RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT!

My bling came in the form of a stately white hat, complete with a veil, a sparkly sash like I just won beat up Miss America, and a classy plastic shot glass necklace.  No one was going to ignore me if they could help it.

We also made use of props to enhance the experience.

2. Pleasures of the flesh

Some brides-to-be need to get some nasty out of their systems by admiring glistening pee-pees flying about under pulsating lights.  That’s cool, I get it.  I watched Magic Mike with Depends on to get my fix.

As for me, I am saving myself for Shirtless Ryan Gosling, so instead, my ladies spoiled me with a full body massage (given to me by the masseuse.  phrasing.), and I nearly cried on the table I was so overcome with stress leaving my body.  Seriously, I wanted to cut off this lady’s hands and take them home with me, they were so magical.  They totally would have fit in my purse.

After I spent about 10 minutes drying my tears and wiping the goo off my body (phrasing?), we progressed to the third stage of bachelorette-ing.

3. Gastrointestinal delights

My ladies and I then went to a leisurely late lunch where I stuffed my face with carbs and then had some gelato so delicious I cried some more for good measure.

The melted gelato is mixed with my tears.

We were generally obnoxious in this slightly fancy pants restaurant, being loud and getting up to take pictures.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the poor, shy bus boy who had the misfortune of having to deliver appetizers to our table.  I know some good therapists, kid.  Call me.

4. Booze

No bachelorette party is complete without making a complete fool of yourself under the influence.  Not one.  You wanna fight about it?!

My ladies knew of this hecka rad speakeasy, that actually used to be a real speakeasy, and you needed a password and everything.  We felt special and smug.

We were led inside to this smallish room lined with books on one side and very furry red velvet wallpaper on the other.  Wobbly 20s clarinet music wafted through the stale air.  At first, it was so dark before my eyes had time to adjust that I probably looked drunk just stumbling around for a place to stash my jacket.  The irony of having tons of real books (we checked) but not enough light with which to read them was not lost on us, in case you were wondering.

My people kept me well watered that night.  At least, I assume the drinks that magically kept appearing before me had more to do with my friends and less to do with magic…even though it felt like I was in the restricted section at Hogwarts.

Now, careful when mixing ingredients 3 and 4, because you don’t want to be reacquainted with all the carbs, gelato, and lobster rolls; those trysts were meant to be one night stands, not rageful ex-lovers returning to throw rocks at your window.

A random brass band played the Wedding March in my honor. Bonus!

Needless to say, I had a blast and now (after some recovery time including moaning the obligatory I’m never drinking again…) it’s full steam ahead to the Big Day!