My 41st Birthday: Happy New Age
Having my 41st birthday a week after New Year’s Day has always allowed me to calibrate my new age with the New Year. At the start of 2021, here in New York City (where I am just about as stalwart a denizen as there is,) we are beginning a year full of hope. I have turned 41, and my consciousness is still redressing the balance on this personal transition. And, this is my very first blog post, ever!
Self-Reflection on My 41st Birthday
I have a friend who writes blogs for a living. Her name is Danielle. I met her at a mutual friend’s wedding years ago. She is a young, beautiful, and kind woman who has an enormous, adorable doodle (the dog not the drawing), a lovely husband, and now, a newborn. I always wondered, ‘How does Danielle get to write journal entries for a living? That’s amazing! How in the world did she manage that?’
I self-reflect as I see myself here now… thanks to the great people at Gooroo, I am here writing my first blog post. I am full of gratitude for this opportunity. Writing this blog gives me the sense that there are people out there listening. This is a really important feeling to have. It is especially important during this pandemic, where live interaction is at such a premium. For so many years, I have kept journals, now stacked in my closets and by my bed…it is a real adventure for me to open this up to the public…In fact, I already feel a little bit “happier…!”
Leaving 2020 behind was cause for celebration for most people. Living in NYC, I see almost everyone I know around me looking forward with great anticipation to what will happen on January 20th, the inauguration of the new President, Joe Biden. I don’t want to alienate any readers of this blog over political issues. However, this new transition is a big one and it will be very interesting to see how the climate of this country changes as we swing from one polar opposite to the other. There are rapid global changes happening right now on this planet. I don’t think we understand these changes fully yet…perhaps we never will…
We are called upon to look inward for stability and a strong core. Things are becoming fractured and unreliable. Schools, offices, zoom meetings, the holidays, the workday, the economy, real estate, all have a new, changeable and unpredictable structure. It is more important than ever to have a personal routine and moral compass; vital to have social support; necessary to have things you enjoy doing that are healthy, accessible, non-addictive, and economically viable. It is also important to support and spend time with family as much as possible.
Even before the pandemic, it was difficult to remember those things which are so important to our personal mental energy. We saw through the very utilitarian nature of the world around us, and put up with overscheduling. We stood up to pressures that pushed us towards being more “efficient” and “practical.” If we think work and efficiency is all that matters in our lives, we will not live very healthy or satisfying lives! If we feel pressure to be someone who we are not, it will add a measure of stress to our day that will be more exhausting to our spirits than the work itself! We all know that stress builds in our minds and bodies. It is a real problem.
What will 2021 bring? Will it bring us peace? Or will it continue the surprising cycle of disaster and emergency that characterized 2020? Will things get better? Or will things get worse? What will you do if things get better? What will you do if things get worse?
For me, turning 41 was welcomed. I had mixed feelings about turning 40, however. Putting a close to my 30’s threw me into a little bit of a panic. I felt something was ending and I wasn’t so sure I was so happy about it. A friend of mine called me the evening of my 40th birthday, one year ago. I told him I didn’t want to talk about my birthday and I had spent the whole day successfully relaxing and having a normal day, not thinking about it. He continued to talk about my birthday and several times I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. I was getting quite exasperated that he didn’t get the point. He proceeded to tell me…
“Eve, you can still do all the things you could in your 30’s, you can still get married, you can still have children, you can still enjoy your hobbies…”
He said other things of this type but I don’t remember what they were because I hung up on him and threw the phone, smashing it on the hard wood floor. I had never told this bozo that I wanted to get married and have children. His words were not only of no consolation, but they were presumptive and insulting. It took me a month to get a new cell phone.
Now, I am 41. Friends and family from near and far wished me a happy birthday and even threw a small celebration for me. I welcomed the well wishes from everyone. Despite the crazy year we have had, I am actually more at peace with myself this year. Sometimes violent change happening around us can really bring out those things that we value and force us to have our priorities straight. Good friends and family who understand who you are and sincerely wish you well are no threat – even on your birthday…rather…especially on your birthday!
I am thankful for the quality of my friends, family, and colleagues, at the beginning of this New Year. Many of my colleagues at Gooroo this year are people who I’ve never met in person. However I feel supported and welcomed by them in every way, every time we email, or speak over zoom. That has meant so much to me.
Gooroo for the New Year
I hope in this year and in this age to keep the quality of those around me high and maintain a true support system for my life. I hope to maintain good habits of my own. At the top of many people’s New Year’s Resolution list is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. I hope to continue making “Healthy Cooking” videos for Gooroo, and of course to continue healthy cooking on my own.
On a personal level, I am hoping to expand my hobbies and continue learning to play the piano, which is a project I began early in 2020, but would like to renew my dedication to it. I plan to continue teaching my private art lessons and recording creative art lessons for Gooroo, which are an important part of keeping me active creatively. One of my vices (drinking coffee) was a difficult one to break. However, my last cup of coffee was 9 days ago, and after about a week-long headache and bout of sleepiness, I can finally say that I’m off the incredibly powerful addiction and I’m feeling better every day!
I hope to become more adaptable to change; to become less stressed about cancellations, revisions, surprises, transitions, political unrest, or the country’s controversies; to nurture and maintain a strong core and self-image. I hope that I can have perspectives and opinions on these issues but at the same time, not let them shake me from living my life in a way that I can nurture all the things that I want to do, every day, every week, and every month.
Join Me in Making Goals!
Perhaps you want to join me in renewing your faith in yourself and in your personal goals. These could be physical or mental health goals or creative goals. Or maybe, they are something that your gut tells you to pursue, because you enjoy it or are good at it. A peaceful outlook and healthy dose of self-love is necessary for all these goals. Let’s not just reflect on this at the New Year, but let’s make 2021 the year that we remember it every day!
Love yourself! And for the benefit of all those things you love to do and all the people you love to see, create a strong self that can nurture your life and all the things you value. Pour plenty of water on your garden of life every day. Patience with ourselves is all we need to create new growth and make leaves and flowers grow on branches that we might think are all but dried out by now. No one tries to drive a car from outside the car. Only the person inside the car, in the driver’s seat, can drive the car. No matter the noise from the peanut gallery, the backseat driver, the cars honking at you from the street, or the clamor of voices on the news that comes through the car radio or cell phone, the only person in your driver’s seat, is you!
Written by Eve Pomerantz