June 11, 2024

A Bold and Bright Dinner Party

In August I turn 45, and while the number itself doesn’t freak me out, I’m not super psyched about it either. As of late I’ve been feeling kind of off – a little lower in mood than normal and certainly tired to the bone. While I can chalk it up to the effects of the stress of a busy life with young kids and running a small business affords me, I think it’s also aging as well. The hot button word of the year seems to be “perimenopause”, and even though I’m sure that has something to do with it biologically, it feels more like a more emotional process I am going through. One in which I try to accept that I am in fact, getting older, and, with that, my place in the world is changing and how others view me and how I view myself is shifting too. In some ways for better, in others not so much.

You could not PAY me to be in my 20’s again. Or my 30’s for that matter. Both decades were really brutal for me in which I did not have a lot of fun. To my shock, the beginning of my 40’s is when I felt most vital and alive, but that has been dwindling the past 2 years. Now I feel as though I am in a kind of no man’s land- not old, but not young. Some days full of energy and determination, others fighting off a desire to burn it all down and run away (or to be less dramatic, to just curl up and REST).

I have been in therapy a very long time and have done a LOT of hard work – especially the last 3-4 years. What has been obvious to some (my husband) literally just dawned on me as of recent – I’m not sure I know how to happy. I sure know how to be productive. I’m damn good at trying to be perfect. I know how to please others like the back of my hand. But do I know how to find joy within my own self? Ehhhhhhh, I’m not so sure.

Yes, I have moments of feeling happy- out laughing with friends, cuddling with my kids, a perfect beach day. But the “letting go” that is involved in truly being happy is really hard for me. Fighting the desire to be the best at something/everything and instead just ENJOY being is a real challenge for me. I’ve been living very much with a white knuckle grasp on the things I know make me “good” and am left feeling, well… exhausted. This can’t be all there is.

I am a very blessed, lucky lady- no doubt about that. I SHOULD be happy, of course. And I have to be okay saying this out loud and not worrying that people will paint me as ungrateful (although, admittedly, I certainly can be). So I am, because I think it’s a hard thing to admit. Many of us should, by all accounts, be very happy- but we aren’t. Maybe it IS the hormones. Maybe it’s the culture of the grind. Maybe it’s social media and its brain rotting comparison game. Or maybe we just aren’t being honest with ourselves.

So I’ve decided to celebrate 45 this summer. Not a banner year for a big party, but rather a bright, happy, FUN dinner with my best girls on my back porch. No pressure, just FUN. This is the year I want to really focus on that aspect of life instead of hitting some obtuse milestone of follower count, public accolades or rock hard abs. I want to feel better in my body, but also pay less attention to every inch of it. I want to lean into days off, free time and loose schedules instead of regimented days in which I can’t help but feel there is MORE I should be doing.

I have worked hard, and will continue to do so. I know no other way than to stay busy and hungry. And I will talk to the doctors I have more about some methods to fight off the inevitable drop in hormones that exacerbate how I’m feeling. But I also want to try harder to enjoy life as it is, not put off happiness until I reach XYZ goal or date or age. The time is now, because as I was reminded last month, the future is not guaranteed.

This is a very long winded way of saying I’m planning a dinner! :) A pretty one full of bold color and feminine details and I felt like mood-boarding it so I did! Some version of this will happen, probably not all of these things- it doesn’t have to be perfect (although I do truly delight in pretty things). We could order pizza for all I care, I just want to create a moment to sit and enjoy my friends, my gorgeous yard and a summer night – I prefer entertaining at home to going out lately, so this is what I’ll do.

So here’s the look that to me says “happy birthday you 45 year old nutjob”! Cheers!

All images linked except the flowers (here), cake (here) and rechargable lamps and shades (here).

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