Spring has finally sprung in Boston and you can't walk more than a block without running into a perfectly pink Cherry Blossom tree. As a Californian, I never really appreciated what events like blossoming trees and falling leaves can mean for your psyche. Despite a busy week and an unexpected head cold, I lately feel like I am skipping as I make my way through town...listen, the 80 degree temperatures don't hurt things either.
The cherry blossoms also symbolize that I am about to become another year older. My birthday is on Saturday and typically it means very little to me. Since it's always close to Mother's Day the boys do something nice (i.e. ask me what I want) and we will hit up our favorite Korean Barbecue spot. I don't mind a quiet day because in all honesty I am just not a big birthday person. Usually I find myself saying that little has changed in the past year, but I have to admit this year I definitely feel older. Actually not older, but more mature.
I used to remark that I think it's crazy that we have kids because most times I feel like my husband and I are still kids ourselves. I've been waiting for the feeling of being a grown up at each "big" moment in our lives, and yet it never seemed to come, even after we got our first career jobs, bought our first car, and then home, and after the births of the two boys. I was sure once we starting investing in our 401k, drafting wills, and paying school tuition bills that all of a sudden we would feel like we were adults but (while each event certainly was a milestone) we have pretty much stayed the same, mostly concerned about what's for dinner and what we are watching on TV that evening. The big events never really felt that big, and I kept waiting for a level of maturity to settle in.
I still feel like a child 70% of the time but over the past year I have noticed a gradual shift in my mental age. It has finally sunk in that I am responsible for being the anchor of this little family and it's only when something tragic happens to someone in my age group that I see just how many cards we are holding up and how lucky we are to have the gift of growing older. I've also noticed a subtle shift in my attitude and how I approach the world. I want to say it's like a little rebellion that going on inside of me but it's no where near that planned. I think that I have just come to the point in my life where in my almost 36 years I have finally figured out what I like and want and I only want to like and want those things.
I know it sounds selfish, and it might be, but I'm at a point where I have "my people" who I know and love deeply (who also love and know me deeply) and I know exactly how I want to spend my time. I think with age I'm starting to realize that there is only so much of it and recently I've stopped worrying about saying no to things, and if someone isn't treating me the way I feel they should instead of dwelling on it like I would in the past, I now find myself very easily moving on.
I realize this isn't an uncommon feeling, men and women for decades have been "finding themselves" mid-life, but I have to say this shift is definitely one that has taken stride in the last few years for me. Whether it's my home, my kids, my appearance, my life choices, I've finally realized that these are all MY choices and it's doesn't really matter what anyone thinks. I know that in every facet of my life that I am my harshest critic so I don't really focus on anyone else. Life is just so busy with the boys I just don't really have the time to do so, even if I wanted to.
I intended this to be a post about hair, and it is... I promise! I think I just had to talk that out a little because tomorrow I'm giving myself a little birthday gift which is something I have been wanting to do forever but thought I never would have the guts to do. Tomorrow I'm going to completely dye my hair pink! Not just the tips but the whole head. I realize that crazier things can happen (and honestly I've given less thought to each of my tattoos) but as someone who lives in a fairly conservative town, with kids in fairly conservative schools, this is a BIG deal. All three of my boys are on board (as is my little sister... wedding, you know) so I think I'm just going to go for it! Life is too short and really isn't this why baseball caps were invented? Unlike last time, I'm going with a pale pink which washes out a little easier and faster, but I have a feeling I'm going to love it and want to keep this going until the last of the leaves have fallen from the trees.
Here is a little of the inspiration that I'm heavily leaning on right now.
Pink hair... REALLY don't care!
Man, 36 sure is starting out with a bang!