Permission

Squirt is still with us. He’s consistently below five pounds now and his legs collapse every couple of steps. But he’s still eating and getting where he needs to go with no signs of pain. He can’t get in and out of the litter box very well, but puppy piddle pads (brand is called lil squirts!!) are working just fine. 

I don’t want to tempt the universe too hard, what with a couple of hours left in the day, but it looks like he will make it to see another sunrise. 

Today is my birthday.

My 36th birthday, to be exact. I was thinking 36 is sort of a boring age, numbers-wise, but then I decided that I like the way 3 is half of 6.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws. 

I have now made it through two whole days without any not-quite-panic attacks or general feelings of wanting to disappear. Happy fucking birthday, me!

Granted, today my body is made up of mostly caffeine, beer, ice cream, and sunburn. I may not be so excited about life tomorrow when my 36-year-old self wakes up lacking adequate nutrition with a toddler digging his toenails into my leg. 

But today? Today I’m good. Or, peaceful, at least. And peaceful is not a word that has been in my vocabulary for a very long time. 

My parents gave me a hammock, which I have temporarily set up in our living room because it’s hot as shit outside right now. It’s my cocoon. I can wrap myself up in it and shut out the outside world. At least until the kids find me.

permission

For whatever reason, today the thoughts that had been sucking me under for the last few months stayed lurking just out of site. They were still there, but they weren’t tormenting me in quite the same way. I still had moments where I was scared they were going to take over again but then they just… didn’t. I was anxious about anxiety but that didn’t spin out into more and more anxiety until I can’t breathe and feel like I’ve walked through spiderwebs and want to escape my skin.

I’m hoping it is the tail end of a storm front and not the eye of the hurricane. Though the stressors that led me here haven’t gone anywhere and I doubt I’ve suddenly grasped acceptance, so I’m sure it’s not just smooth sailing ahead. Cymbalta-willing, I won’t get pulled as far out by this specific undertow again.

The thing about my birthday is that I’m able to give myself permission I can’t bestow any other time. I can leave bits of guilt, shoulds, and self-expectation like a breadcrumb trail on a path I would prefer not to take again but probably will because I’m hopeless with directions. 

I had ice cream for second breakfast. My pants barely fit as it is but that’s for tomorrow me to worry about. 

pool

I went swimming with a friend in the pool of her Airbnb. I got to the apartment and she’s like “you want a beer?”

Uhhh, it’s 11:30 in the morning. Can I drink a beer at 11:30? 

Her husband pointed out it was a fruity beer which is essentially the same as a mimosa. 

Hey 21 year old me — 36-year-old-me is drinking beer at 11:30 in the morning and it’s totally not sad or pathetic at all!

Then, because my friends know me so well, she made me a s’mores ice cream sundae. Ice cream count = two. 

I spent the early afternoon floating on a raft in a quiet pool with a beer. Then I went and took a quiet nap in a quiet little cabana. Did I mention it was quiet? With a lovely breeze?

Maybe 36 will be the year I finally learn to apply sunscreen correctly, without missing entire limbs. Or maybe not…

sunburned legs
Maybe sunscreen really does expire

Here is the funny thing about giving myself permission — I got home and cleaned the kitchen without any minor mental breakdown. I was actually annoyed when I had to stop to go pick up Rowan. Since I didn’t feel like I had to clean, I was finally able to.

Zach made me cloud eggs. It only took a small amount of cussing on his part. They were yummy. Lorelei not only tried a bite, she ate an entire egg. It’s a birthday miracle, y’all. 

cloud eggs

Then Zach scooped me a bowl of ice cream.

Tomorrow will be a yoga pants sort of day. 

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