Happy 50th [again] - On Disappointment as a Path to Joy

Back in August, I sent this message out to my list, but didn't post it on my blog.  I'm posting it now, because I refer to it in a new post I'm writing.  And maybe, with the holidays happening for many of you it might just be well-timed.  

Celebrating with you! 

Today is my 50th birthday.  I had big plans for how I wanted to celebrate this milestone, but they aren't happening.  

I'm just going to work.  In fact, it's likely to be a pretty hard day at work at this amazing big, hard, crazy, excellent job I started back in May - right about the time you stopped hearing from me every week - even though that was not my plan.  

Writing to you was one of the things I didn't want to lose when I started my new work.  

But just like my birthday plans.  I couldn't quite manage to do what I had envisioned.  I have to figure out new ways to thrive - and to write - in this new phase of my life.  

It's disappointing to me that I haven't kept my commitment to write to you.  So today, though I can't do a whole blog post I'm celebrating by making sure that I at least say hello.  

You do matter to me.  I'm thankful for you.  

As for my birthday celebration, another life-coachy friend of mine helped me to realize a few days ago that I needed to face the disappointment I was feeling about this big birthday non-celebration.  (My plan was to pretend it wasn't happening.  She said that never works - and though I wanted to yell many curse words at her, I knew she was right.)

So over the weekend I let myself feel disappointed. I admitted to myself that though I am thankful for my job and the ways I've grown that make it possible for me to do it; though there are ways in which going to work is the perfect way to celebrate all the growth that has led me to this day; though other people are suffering and one could argue that I "shouldn't" be sad about something as small as a missed birthday celebration...the truth was that I was sad about it.  And I cried.  

 I was trying to jump over grief right to "happy, happy, grateful, joy, joy."  But it doesn't work like that.  (And you probably already know this because you are much wiser than me!)  You have to go THROUGH grief to get to the other side. 

So thanks to my friend, that's what I did.   

Isn't it amazing how grieving a loss can open up space that allows you to enjoy what IS, in the midst of feeling what ISN"T? 

I've started collecting mini-celebrations along the way.  I think I'll go for 50.  I'm counting this as mini-celebration #1.  

I asked my husband to make me some eggs before I go to work.  Celebration #2.

And that friend, she's meeting me at work with these amazing croissants we got one time many months ago. Celebration #3.

So on this my 50th birthday I hope that if you are working hard to talk yourself out of feeling whatever it is that you feel - anger, disappointment, any of those "negative" emotions... That you will celebrate with me by just feeling the feeling.

And that you will relish the space that opens up when you do. 

Life isn't perfect, but Love has a way of rushing into the empty spaces.  

Here's to thriving!