Throughout my life, there have been three days a year that torment me on an emotional level.
The first is New Year's Eve. While I enjoyed staying up late as a child, eating fancy foods by the television as we waited for the Times Square ball to drop, and ultimately celebrating with noise makers, part of me always felt sad. To me, even more so than my birthday, New Year's Eve symbolizes saying goodbye to time. In recent years, I have attempted to flip that feeling around by looking forward to all the new adventures time will give me, but that only works on the surface. Deep down inside, I am still that child saying goodbye to time. Reflecting on this now, perhaps the reason letting go was difficult was because I actually enjoy my time, and who wants to lose something they enjoy? I imagine if I was a prisoner, counting down the years to my release would actually be a joyous event. But, since that is not my reality, all I think about is the loss of precious moments. Amplifying this feeling is the fact the entire world is "suffering" this loss at the same moment.
For the last 16 years, Mother's Day has been the second thorn in my side. I know you're probably wondering what could possibly be upsetting to me about Mother's Day - my mother is a healthy and vibrant woman who is a big part of my life. And, I am the mother of two wonderful teenage boys. But, for me, the day represents my own journey with motherhood, and, in typical Nikki fashion, I am very hard on myself. Instead of celebrating being a mother, this day reminds me of all the failures I've had as a mother. I should have spent more time with my sons, I should have made them eat better, I should have sacrificed more......and, so, Mother's Day is never a good day for me emotionally. What could possibly be good about a day that reminds you of all your failures?
Then, as if having to get through Mother's Day isn't enough, my birthday is shortly thereafter. I honestly can't remember when this day started to be difficult for me, but it was quite long ago, when I was still young. The difficultly lies in the culmination of both the loss of years (there's time slipping away from me again), and the brutal reminder of all I have not accomplished in my life (Hello again, failures!). As the years pass, the realization that certain things may never happen begins to overtake all my thoughts.
This is not to say I haven't had fabulous birthday celebrations, Mother's Days with loved ones where I feel spoiled and loved, or fun New Year's celebrations with family, but, what those around me do not understand, is that regardless of what is happening around me, on these three days, my inner self is tormented. Each of these days represents the loss of time and the opportunity to make my life worth something. Perhaps the problem with being a dreamer is you get disappointed more easily, so the bigger my life's goals have been (or are), the harder it has been to accept a mundane existence.
I am, however, working on diminishing these negative feelings toward these three days. I have never lost sight of my dreams (although they have changed over the years), and truly do look forward to new adventures and what lies ahead. If the time I've spent living and the failures I've endured have taught me anything, it is to never give up hope. And, with hope, I am confident I can live the rest of my life happily, which is all anyone should ask for.
Time: Glancing Back and Looking Ahead
Finding My Trail
My Year as a Stay at Home Midlife Mom
My Greatest Gift