When you turn 40….

…you mostly get to do what you want. Maybe it doesn’t all go seamlessly, or exactly how you picture it….but it’s still how you want to spend your day…and…because you’re now 40- you’re ok with that and choose to remember the special parts and let the rest go…unless of course you can joke about those other parts now. That’s ok too. You know, because you’re 40 and all now.

On my day I had a few things in mind. I wanted to eat cinnamon-roll pancakes. I wanted to drink a latte. I wanted to see what was in bloom on my birthday. I wanted some time to do my thing (photograph/edit/write/blog/reflect). I wanted to drink another latte. I wanted my family to bake me a cake together. And I wanted to go out for a tasty dinner. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check, and check. It’s good to be here. It’s good to be 40.

five minute friday: afraid

…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here. Go:

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Once upon a time fear was something I wore like a coat on a brisk fall day. As a young girl I was prone to anxiety to the point where it caused me to reexamine what was essential and what I could let go of each day. I stopped every extra-curricular activity my friends still enjoyed. I so wish it could have been the fear that was let go.

Over time, those feelings- the frequency, the intensity have lessened and lessoned. They are no longer a daily companion, someone who holds me back and makes me think twice. They do still rear their ugly heads.  Mostly in the night.  When I least expect it.

It started again in the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Zuzu. I was like a dog roaming our house looking for a spot to rest my weary head, heart and hips. I cried to my OB that I couldn’t breathe at night. That my allergies were preventing my sleep. I was so confounded as to why the medicine they gave me in response did nothing. After Zuzu’s birth it came on even stronger. I would try to hold her and lay down and find myself rushing out of the room in tears asking someone else to hold her while I tried to calm myself.

Then came the late months of my pregnancy with The Quail. This time I knew the feeling that woke me in the night with a start. That made my heart flutter and my breath catch. This wasn’t allergies. It was anxiety. After the Quail’s birth I let the fear have one night in my head and then I asked for help. I knew how awful post-partum anxiety could be and I didn’t want to give the Quail’s first weeks over to it as I had Zuzus’.

When the later weeks of Sugarplum’s pregnancy came I was prepared. I asked for help sleeping  in the last month and when she was here I asked for help on day one. Only one night still caught me, the night my milk came in I was certain the flu had gotten me for how horrid I felt. But it passed. As did my fear.

My fear- it isn’t conscious. It’s hormonal. It rears its head when my hormone levels surge. It always has and I would expect it always will.

The difference now- the difference is I’m no longer afraid of it.

Stop.