Birthday Cake and Victory

It was my Birthday on Friday. And I got all uncharacteristically melancholy. Not because I’m getting older – I’ve never been one to despair over getting a year older. That, to me, seems akin to crying because I’ve spent the last year breathing. You mean it’s my birthday again? That means I’ve made it through another year – battling the crazies with the lovlies, winning and losing battles.

Admittedly, there are more crazies that there are lovlies, but that only means that when I find myself in the midst of something lovely, I know it. And have the presence of mind to appreciate it. I have been known to speak out loud, “Thank you for this.”

Our wedding is a prime example of this. The first wedding date was postponed due to the death of my husband’s father after 7 long years of fighting a brain tumor. We postponed for another year when his little sister died unexpectedly at 22. The third time our budget was cut by a dramatic pay cut at my job. We pushed forward after cancelling the photographer and DJ. We were going to be married in that pretty little ocean side stone chapel and celebrate on the open docks of the marina just down the road, no matter what.

“What” turned out to be a hurricane. Hurricane Ophelia.  Before I grasped my father’s arm to begin my walk down the aisle, my dress was soaked tatters, the gauzy material unable to stand up to the vicious rain and wind. Worse, the inside of the marina, with its orange booths and nautical themed decor took the place of our outside reception with the rough picnic tables and pretty white umbrellas. And several guests took turns watching the water levels in case we needed to evacuate.

And when it was over people talked about what a shame it was. But to us, we got what we went for. It was decidedly unbeautiful, but to my husband and I none of that mattered. We won.

That’s what the worst birthdays are. A sodden, dirty, laughable win. But if you are still here to celebrate, it’s a win. This birthday was a bad one and for a short while I sunk in and wallowed in the self-pity. Then I stood up, shook myself off and really took stock. Yes, this year has been one full of more kicks than anything else, but I’m still here.

And if I change my measuring stick, it’s not so bad. ROW is one of the new measuring tools I have. Instead of looking back and thinking, I haven’t written nearly as much as I should have, or not even knowing how much I did write, I can look back and know that while I may not have met every goal every time, some, I have met and exceeded.

One of the ones that really took off for me is the blog. So many things vied for my time in the last couple of years that I haven’t written much of anything, almost nothing on the blog front. But with the ROW check-ins asking me every week, “Dd you get it done?” it seems I do. So much so that I was exceeding my goals without even knowing it. My stated goal was 1 post per week in the 10 X 10, but I’d be happy with one post period.

Apparently twice weekly check ins has shorted out my math skills. Being able to post about a new post at each check in, means 2 posts per week. So most weeks, even when I thought I was losing, I was winning. Especially when you factor in the actual check in post. Which I don’t, because it feels like cheating.

This week alone, I have posted 4 out of the last five days. One of them, That Mom, got an unexpected amount of traffic and feedback. And not one jump from Facebook or the Linky.  Just. . . traffic. I’ve been consistent enough to that I’m popping up in WordPress searches, google is actually sending me visitors and I’m picking up subscribers who aren’t related to ROW. Not many, not many subscribers, period, but still. It doesn’t feel quite so much like I’m casting pages to the wind.

Most importantly, all this blog writing is making me remember that I love writing. I love making people laugh, I love pulling responses from people, and I like choosing words to place on a page.

This is my first time with ROW, so my goals have morphed a few times, and will again for this last leg. But it’s working for me, so I win.

So today, I’m not going to measure my goals. I’m not going to go through the list and point out where I’ve failed (I have) and where I won, item by item. I’m going to be happy knowing that I’ve been making progress, sometimes smoothly, sometimes in fits and starts, but it’s progress, and that is a win.

Here’s the Linky.



5 responses to “Birthday Cake and Victory

  1. I think we have both made great progress on our first ROW while facing so many other challenges! Congratulations and keep up the good work, I’m with you all the way – heck, we share the same birthday, if we can’t have each others backs who can! 😉 xx

  2. There’s no doubt that you have a lot going on in your life, but the fact that you are still writing and reaching your goals is such a great thing.

    Hope you have a good week!

  3. That’s quite an exciting and inspirational wedding story! And I thought my own seaside wedding was windy because I had to hold onto my veil while walking down the pier. lol

    I’m no good at math, so after reading your post, that’s my new reason for not writing a whole new post for each ROW80 check-in. 😉 I simply tack on my new word count / goal updates at the end of the ROW80 post I already have going for a particular round.

    Happy belated birthday. I’m with you- I feel the same way about continuing to breathe as I do about noticing another birthday. I take it for granted as just another day out of the year, but secretly I’m thinking “YESSS!” 🙂

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