…and then I turned 40.

It’s evening here in Missouri. I’m sitting here in my house, trying to knit pieces to an afghan, listening to the cats fight, and thinking about my last year. For grins I went and re-read the post I wrote for my 39th birthday. It makes me laugh and laugh. Oh Sarah, you had no idea what was coming. I wrote with such positivity and hope. Sitting in the same seat a year later, the picture is very different.

This has easily been one of the worst years of my life. This year took half of my eyesight away with a terrible infection. This year took my favorite person away from me; my grandmother. This year brought me more debt, regained weight, crippling anxiety, and very, very toxic thoughts. This year has taken away far more than it has given. And it’s easy for me to want to dwell here. On really bad days, when I’m being very cruel in my self-talk and wallowing in self-pity because things are just HARD…I’m like my cats. I burrow into the thoughts like a warm blanket and I stay there. It’s easier to stay in the loss than it is to fight to hope.

I have started and failed more challenges than I can count this year; every single one with the intended purpose to make me better. My normal self-talk would keep this playing on a loop, “See Sarah, you just keep failing.” This is what 2020 and my 39th year brought me. I could sit here and dwell on all the bad. That this isn’t where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. This isn’t what it’s supposed to look like. But guess what? It is. Now I have to reframe the question and ask myself, “Sarah, what are you willing to struggle for?” The reward of being healthy and whole isn’t going to come without struggle to get there.

So yes, here is where I begin. I’m not stepping into this year with big goals or big dreams. I’m going into 40 with perspective. My phrase for this year, as is what I have taped to my bathroom mirror, “Feel it all. Burn it down.” (If you can’t tell, Glennon Doyle’s book “Untamed” has had an impact on me.) I need to feel what I’m feeling and not hide it. I need to be real with myself. And then I need to burn it down and start fresh. Every day. Feel it, not live in it, burn it down. Repeat.

I don’t know if this year will be some monumental year for me, but I’m hoping it will be a year of healing. Inside and out. I’m praying some of the *tiny tiny* habits I’m starting take root and make me stronger. I’m praying I can live more in the present and not resent the past. I’m praying I can learn to accept Sarah as she is, in this moment, and not what I feel she *SHOULD* be.

On my birthday this year, I’m not going to celebrate being 40. I’m going to celebrate that my 39th year is OVER. And with it the goal to leave all the baggage that 39 brought… behind me. I’m burning it down and starting over.

I love the movie “What about Bob?” Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss…I mean what’s not to love? I won’t give you a full synopsis of the movie (you should definitely watch it), but Richard Dreyfuss’ character is a psychotherapist and one of his patients is Bill Murray. Dr Marvin (Dreyfuss) entire practice is based on a book he wrote about taking baby steps to healing. So, said in the voice of Bill Murray, “I’m baby stepping, Dr. Marvin!”

I’m baby-stepping guys. It’s all going to be ok. Hello 40!

TODAY I LOVE: my local library branch

SONG OF THE DAY: “Texas Man” by The Chicks

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