And, just like that, I’m 54!

This past Wednesday was my birthday. It feels so wonderful to say that I’m actually looking forward to this year! I can’t wait to see what it will bring. These last few weeks have been busy (for me), yet exhilarating. I’ve done more in the first 2 months of 2020 than I did in the 3 or so years before that combined. Does that mean I no longer struggle with physical pain, depression or anxiety? Ha! I wish. But, it does mean that I’m finally figuring out a way to coexist with them.

I have learned that if I don’t participate in life, well the world isn’t going to stop for me. I’ve learned that I can acknowledge and accept my pain and deal with it in a way that I’m not stuck in bed taking meds left and right. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought. I’ve learned that I’ve missed hearing my own laughter. So, I finally got up, put my big girl panties on and stepped back into my life. If it gets to be too much or too painful, I can rest for awhile. But, I’ll never give up again.

We’ve had a birthday dinner for Johnnie. I made a money cake for him. But, in typical Susie fashion, I didn’t follow the directions correctly and it didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. But, was it fun? Hell yes. And, because it didn’t turn out quite right, we all had a good belly laugh. We made a great memory. And Johnnie still got the money. After that was Jacob’s (my grandson) 12th birthday. Instead of one big gift, we decided on 3 days of birthdays for the grands. The first day is a yummy treat, the second day is clothing and the third (the actual birthday) is the main gift. Jacob wanted money. Boring. So, I rolled up a bunch of dollar bills in cling wrap. Took him awhile to get all the money out. Another memory made.

I’ve had several days that I spent with my momma and several with mom and DeeDee, my sister. We’ve gone to the grandkids basketball games, band concerts and plays. We’ve gone shopping and out to lunch. And, of course, there was the day that mom and I made the costume for Chloe. All of the above came with so much laughter. I’m so very thankful that I have laughter in my life again. I had let the pain from the last few years fester inside of me and it made me bitter. I lost my laughter. I became much too critical of everything. I’m still working on that, but I feel like I’m getting there.

Adrian and I went to Grapevine to see a bluegrass gospel band with DeeDee and Bob last Friday night. We had a great dinner first and then went to the concert. My heart was so full. This past Tuesday was the day before my birthday. We met Mom, DeeDee, Johnnie and Family at Spring Creek BBQ for dinner. More laughter. They spoiled me rotten. Johnnie, Courtney and the kiddos gave me an amazing metal cow on a tricycle that holds a huge fern. She goes so well with the other metal animals on my porch. DeeDee and Mom went all out. They brought balloons, a cake and a pair of Birkenstock sandals. I’m just so grateful that I can spend time with my family and enjoy it. I don’t think I’ll ever take it for granted again. Jen, Tony and the kids couldn’t come on Tuesday because Jennie has been sick. But, we’re going to have a dinner together when she’s feeling better.

Adrian had dental surgery on the day of my birthday. He did amazingly well. I drove him home after the surgery. That makes 4 times in the last couple of weeks that I’ve driven!! Huge step for me. I still can’t sit for long, but I’m no longer hiding in bed. I’m LIVING. Thank you Lord! And thank you Momma. And DeeDee. And always Adrian. I don’t know that I deserve someone as patient and kind as he is, but I’m thankful for him. Even when I was at my worst, (and I’m ashamed to say that I was for quite a long time), they never gave up on me. They just kept loving me (I wasn’t always very lovable). Encouraging me. the biggest thing? They were there. They never gave up. And because of them, I didn’t either. It’s hard to write this because I can’t see through my tears. Because of these 3 people, as well as the rest of my family, I found my way back. It’s so good to be here.

DeeDee and I goofing off. Picture taken by Mom
DeeDee and Mom. My mom is amazing. She’s 75 and started volunteering with Wheels on Meals. These 2 make me want to be better and do better.
Bob, DeeDee, me and Adrian. What a wonderful night this was.
Hello 54. I’m so excited to see you. My smile is finally real again.

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