my birthday meltdown

On Monday I turned 36 years old, and instead of heeding all your lovely wishes for a fantastic and amazing day, I had a meltdown.  I'm not proud of this, but now, many hours later, I understand what happened...and I'm sharing the budget tour version of my experience here in case the lessons bring any value to you, Dear Reader.  Buckle up!

While February 23 was indeed the calendar date of my meltdown, the process actually began many days earlier.  You see, I have been stressed OUT.  I've been working 12-hour days, constantly feeling that I should be Doing Something, and juggling fifteen weighty balls in the air while fixating on the three I dropped.  (Speaking of, I literally FORGOT to write this missive last week. Ha!)  Hello, Irony!!!  I thought running my own business would naturally generate freedom, relaxation, and joy, but I've been tense, over-worked, and manacled to my computer.  

Add to this yucky context a difficult, heart-rending tragedy:  my young cousin died suddenly on February 12.  This shock threw me way off-center.  I did take some time to grieve in a cocoon of blankets and light television, but I missed Zachary's funeral and the ritual of saying good-bye with my family.  This decision was a conscious, intentional one:  I'd already committed to spending the entire weekend chaperoning three high school students at a mindfulness training in San Francisco.  I told myself that being with the students and training to teach mindfulness to young people was actually a beautiful way to commemorate Zachary's death, and I do believe this still.  At the same time, my birthday meltdown made it abundantly clear that I still had some serious grieving and resting to do.     

So, I'm making peace with all of this:  the loss of Zachary, my over-tired self, the balls I have dropped, taking the bumpy road to learning how to run a business, screwing up my birthday.  At this moment I'm writing to you from the California coast, where I've taken myself to settle.  I'm listening to the blue waves, breathing in the cypress trees, and sitting still (while the quails and sparrows do their darling hop-scratch-hop all around me).  As one of my meditation teachers says, I'm falling in love with my problems.  

This is all to say that evidently I am a life coach who has meltdowns.  On Monday I was ashamed, and today I am okay with it.  I'm making peace with all the things that disrupted the abiding peace I thought I'd built.  The silvery lining is that looking at the meltdown and learning to re-collect myself step-by-step inevitably helps me to help others do the same.  I'm resting in that truth.  And, I suspect that I'll actually celebrate turning 36 sometime soon. :)