When I say that this year felt like a non-birthday, I am not talking about a lack of celebration. I did go to the art studio for the day, but felt very tired and as if I didn't really accomplish my goals--except that deep breathing one. I walked the labyrinth in the snow. The circuitous path tired me out, but I returned to the cozy studio shed for some light yoga and a little nap. I had intended to do more artwork there, but ended up doing a lot of resting, tea drinking, listening to my new album, and flipping through some of the books at the studio--some art coaching books by Eric Maisel. As tired as I was, I couldn't really benefit from the lessons of the book, but I perused it long enough to know that it would be a helpful text for me once I felt better. Because of that, I stopped at the bookstore on the way home and bought myself a birthday gift for future use.
Here's the reason it didn't feel like a birthday. I am a very reflective person, and I take every opportunity to probe my psyche--probably to the edge of neurosis. I mean, I'd like to think my practice keeps me sane, makes me a better writer, and all of that. So when I had a birthday and the brain felt too foggy to inventory my life, my art, my exercise routine, my relationships, it felt like a wasted opportunity. But maybe that was the lesson for the day. What did I get for gifts? My husband got me a great new chair. (While furniture is usually a shared venture, this piece, with its dramatic arms and purple spiraling fabric is definitely ME.) My friend Regina got me cashmere socks. My friend Marsha gave me great smelling lavender/vanilla bath treatments. I got beautiful picture/poetry books from Jodi. They gave the day a comfort and relaxation tone to it. So, I am going to go with that.
This week is still about recovery. I get winded going up stairs. I am still tired and congested. While I bought my new running shoes two weeks ago, I have yet to use them. But I will be patient and give myself the time to let go of the goals. I will have some catching up to do. My schedule doesn't really allow for downtime, but I am not worried. Even without analysis, I can see that sometimes it is advantageous to take some time and just BE.