Finally…My Birthday and What I’ve Learned This Year part 4 of 4

September 11, 2013


balloonsFor the past 31 days, I’ve been counting down the days to my birthday by reflecting on what I’ve learned this year and throughout my 43 years of life. This is the last installment, thankfully!

August 31: I didn’t know getting away from the fam for just 1.5 days would bring on so many mixed emotions. Emotions are something else. While we need to honor them, sit with them and learn from them, they can’t always drive the ship, as my husband says. So today, I excitedly got ready to leave D and Kayla for probably my first personal getaway (business doesn’t count…it’s work even if I have fun!) Kayla, of course, got suspicious when she saw my suitcase. She asked for hersJ Then when I got out of the car at the airport, her little face looked so hurt. I quickly kissed her and her dad and pushed that awful look out of my mind. I needed to get away, I needed to see my college roomie (who knows me as well as anyone…after all, we shared a very tiny space and still love each other!), and I just needed a break. But every kid in the airport, reminded me of my sweet treasure. I realize that getting away should be a treat, not a regular exercise. At this phase in my life, I am called to be a wife and mommy…and I’m glad about it (most minutes…other time, those emotions…)

September 1: A nice gift…to spend my college roomie’s birthday with her while watching Serena Williams play another African American tennis star (Sloane Stephens). It was absolutely amazing to see these young women go at it on the court…and to think about Althea Gibson breaking the race barrier in tennis in the ’50s. We’ve come a long way, baby…and we need to keep telling our story to inspire others to keep moving on despite the hurdles. Grateful

September 2: I missed my family…the kiss in the store from my hubby who doesn’t do PDA often and the multiple kisses on my cheek (in a game like fashion) from Kayla reminds me that I was missed as much as I missed…mutual love, wonderful. Show love today…it’s a wonderful feeling.

September 3: This won’t go down as my favorite day, but I probably learned more today than I have in a while. “I’m sorry” is a simple phrase but has a lot of power. I will have to repeat this a few times tomorrow to make a situation right. In the end, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, but my role will be to make it right. To ensure that all broken pieces are working and to humbly say: “I’m sorry.” Thank you for this reminder, Lord…and the lesson in humility (awwww, you answer prayers!)

September 4: I’m learning that sometimes you just have to do some things. Suck it up, get a better attitude, and do it. That’s what I did today.

September 5: Short work weeks are never really short. The anticipation of starting the week with a day off soon turns to disappointment as you realize you have to get the same amount of work done (and for me this week, more!). But, I wouldn’t trade the holiday for anything. And I’m grateful to have a job.

September 6: Friday nights at home with Kayla and Derrick has become a treat, something I regularly look forward to. I’m thankful to want to come home to each other.

September 7: I got just a tad bit choked up as I got little K dressed for dance lessons today. My mom gave me dance lessons for my 9th birthday. She surprised me and I cried. My brother and sister complained that they had never received such a great gift that made them cry for joy; they forgot I cried about everything! But, it was a sacrifice for my mom to put me in dance…those recitals are costly…but, somehow, someway, she did it. I’m thankful and determined to raise my daughter to appreciate all she is given and to continuously be grateful to God for provisions!

September 8: Flexibility is a beautiful thing; I need to exercise it more. Today wasn’t the day I had planned, but it was wonderful. Restful. Filled with moments of family time—watching Kayla swing and negotiate on the playground; watching football with Derrick (learning to love what he loves, too!); talking about the Saints with my dad (if you know my dad, you know he loves the Saints almost as much as he loves his children!); a walk with a friend on the lake….awwww! Flexibility.

September 9: Rest is crucial. Last month in Weight Watchers we talked about how 7-8 hours of sleep is helpful for weight loss. I didn’t get those hours today and it showed. I dipped into the chocolate drawer in the office…and once that drawer is open, watch out! I’m not discouraged. I’m determined to keep going, to ignore the drawer…and to know when I don’t ignore it, there is trouble. It’s not worth it. So many things in life are just not worth it…despite how tantalizing the temptation seems!

September 10: Whew…it’s been a challenge to think about what I’ve been learning this year (and these 31 days leading up to my birthday!) But, overall, I can sum it up with one word: grateful! I am truly grateful for God’s hand in my life—from how God knit me together in mom’s womb, gave me the best parents I could have (even when I thought they were too strict, they were exactly what I needed!), gave me not one, but two outstanding siblings (who remind me how needed it is to have role models right near you; Kim and Kenneth aren’t perfect, but they sure looked like it to me: smart, talented, hard-working, goal-setting achievers who went off to college and never turned back…that’s who I had to look up to!), and those two siblings married great people and have great kids, and then I got to marry a great guy with an exceptionally wonderful kid (today!). As I altered my morning routine and just sat with Kayla in my arms…I thanked God! This has been a journey and I am thankful. And thank you for journeying with my, friends! I hope you are grateful too for the ups and downs (or lessons!) in life.

 katara_and_mother-image2family_april These fine folk make me smile…and grateful! And I could post a few pics of very, very special friends who have journeyed with me…but I’d get in trouble then (for leaving folks out!) Grateful…Grateful…Grateful!

By katara

I’m trying to use my love of writing and passion for keeping this journey real and relevant to help others navigate successfully and happily through life. It is a journey filled with ups and downs, potholls and mountaintops…but it does not have to be walked alone.

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  • Stephanie

    September 11, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Happy Birthday! I’ve enjoyed reading your month of reflections!

  • Kathy Cassel

    September 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Happy birthday two days late!! Hope it just the start of a great year.

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