I did not think on the occasion of my 49th birthday that I would have spent the previous 38 days wearing one of the two hoodie sweatshirts I own (alternating between DU and Denison) – hood on. Nor did I think I wouldn’t wear jeans, jewelry, have my nails done, hair colored, lashes perfect, or don SHOES – except for a workout in my living room or a walk around the neighborhood.
Just like everyone else, I was going about my business ~ and in February, had publicly declared to my friends that this was The Year of Rachael. A bold statement to make. But, that’s how I felt. This was my year.
Fast forward to hoodie.
I haven’t written a blog post in almost a year because quite frankly – I have been so busy since May of 2019… I simply haven’t been able to sit down and take the time or be patient enough to get my thoughts out. We celebrated some awesome milestones: My best year in Real Estate yet, my son graduating from high school, my daughter taking an amazing adventure to New York to participate in a really special program at The New York Times, my other son committing to go to Denison University to play lacrosse before his Senior year in high school had even started. By the time August rolled around, we had moved my son to Denver, settled in with another Senior and started down a road with my daughter battling migraines. I became too distracted to stop and write.
Back to the hoodie.
For the last 38 days – I have had (er, made…) close to 3 meals a day with (for) my children – all safely tucked in with me in our new house. We have danced, cleaned, fought, shared stories, hidden from each other. We have laughed, cried and sat in silence. We have learned card tricks, watched Tiger King, worked out, walked, played catch in the yard and had daily basketball games. We have made cookies, brownies, cakes, banana breads and chocolate covered anything and everything.
We have also been breaking in our new couch – each one of the 4 of us taking turns being sad, lonely, scared, thoughtful and resentful in different corners of our gray sectional I was so pleased to have purchased back in February. I did not know then – that it would become the centerpiece of our daily life for the next several months.
We have celebrated: First Lily’s 16th birthday in March, Jack’s choice to transfer to Colorado State, my ex-husband’s birthday and now today – mine. We have mourned: The loss of my Senior Nate’s final semester. That we would miss the excitement of watching him in his final season of lacrosse, chasing the State Championship, prom, Senior festivities culminating in his graduation, and all of the friends’ parties and celebrations for them. It’s been a sad time and there are quiet resentments hanging over us at some of those meals, And even though there are some really heavy, important things happening in the world, we have taken time to be sad and reflect about our own little losses and how they affect us.
We have all read a million posts, stories and opinions on what is happening in the world today and the lack of control we all have. Our hearts are breaking for people losing their battles with a scary and unknown disease. I have spent most nights sitting in my living room from 3-6am thinking, worrying, planning and hoping. It’s hard to sleep for many of us right now – which brings me to my couch to post this. It’s been rolling around in my head for about a week now: what am I doing – on the occasion of my 49th birthday?
I love celebrating my birthday with friends and family and had been planning to go into the last year of my 40’s with a party this Saturday. I hate turning older, but love the chance to celebrate it. I know my kids and friends have made plans to make it a special day and it will be. My favorite part of getting a day for myself is being with my family – I just didn’t know it was going to be 38 days and counting!!
I know I am still lucky. We are safe and healthy and have a home to shelter us during this scary time. I am thankful for the moments I get with my children – especially since I was planning to be one step closer to having only one at home starting this fall. I am thankful to all the healthcare workers putting their lives on the line for strangers every day all around the world. I am thankful to my grocery store for being open and for everyone that works there always greeting me with a “hello” and a smile I know is there under their masks. I love that my neighbors are saying hello on walks – looking up more, slowing down. I love how our community has come together to support our local businesses and restaurants and how innovative business owners have become in order to not only stay afloat, but to bring services to us.
I have an amazing group of friends and we stay connected with a constant thread of memes, posts, thoughts, stories and virtual hugs. I love waking up to a text that says: “Good morning ladies!”. It’s the little things that we can all stop and take joy in each day since we have been forced to slow to a halt. My daily Beach Body workout with my daughter has become the highlight: We grunt and groan as we lift our weights (including the hand weights made from 4 lb. sugar bags!), we laugh, dress in the same outfits and french braid our hair to try and look like our instructor in the video. These are special moments I would not have had under any other circumstances – on the occasion of my 49th birthday.
If you’re still reading – thanks! Come back soon as I am hoping to post more here this year. With the launch of my new website and time to focus on my business and family, I think I’ll make a note or two. Please share this if you enjoyed it or have a friend having a quarantine birthday!
I bought myself a birthday gift from jeweler Eduardo Sanchez in Mexico raising money for the staff at one of my favorite vacation spots: Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo. It is an Independence Angel coin necklace. When Eduardo asked me what I wanted to have engraved on the back I knew immediately:
And Still, I Rise ~ 4/23/2020
This Maya Angelou quote is so completely apropos for where I am in my life and where we are as a humankind. I am grateful to have had a reason to mark where I am today ~ on the occasion of my 49th birthday.