As I approach 30 at the end of June, I am thankful. So thankful. I should have died at the age of 23 following three massive seizures due to failing kidneys. As I approach the fourth decade of my life, I can't help reflecting on the things I've learned so far. Whenever we are about to celebrate a milestone birthday, many of us become reflective on the decade that we are about to close the chapter on.
I noticed a distressing new trend: whenever we visited friends and family, they didn't really see me anymore. It was all about the baby -- how she'd changed, which adorable outfit she was wearing, or who she happened to look like that week. It took a while to get used to this strange sense of invisibility.
"It is with sadness that we will have to decline the birthday party invitation for your son," one mother wrote me, "as such short notice was given." I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Again. You see, my son Casey has autism, and I had been busily planning all the arrangements for his seventh birthday party for weeks. I wanted to tell her, in earnest, that I had tried, I really tried, to get it right this time.
It seems like the New Year and its associated resolutions are ruled by my head -- all the things I know I should be doing, whether they're external or internal changes. But my birthday is ruled by my heart -- I feel my way through it -- a whole year's worth of gratitude, support, optimism, love and friendship.
My family is, indeed, taking me out to my favourite restaurant. I will enjoy myself and eat/drink moderately. But I am also working out at least five days a week. And tomorrow I'll carve out extra time, enough to run 10K, just for insurance. I am 53 years old and I weigh 231.6 pounds. I never want to weigh more than that ever again.