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Birthday Reflections

Each year on other people’s birthdays—to their annoyance—(well mostly my husband’s annoyance) I ask them “Superlative” questions about their year. Topics like: “Best memory”, “Hardest Lesson”, “Worst luck” or “Most emotional time”---just to stir up reflections and allow them to really think about how far they have come during the year.

No one usually does this for me! (Which is how I know most people don’t necessarily love me asking them!) But I like reflecting, and since it can feel like quite the luxury nowadays (when I have the little one wanting attention 24/7), I thought I would indulge in a pot of tea and a reflection as the baby naps for the next hour…

So here is my 36th year in a superlative nutshell:

Best Memory

On a warm January day in New Zealand (because it’s warm in January down under!), my husband, baby daughter and I went for a long hike in Taupo near the famous Huka Falls. At the end of this hike, we slipped into our swimsuits and sat down in the river along the hot springs.

The water was a mixture of freezing cold and boiling hot, so if you sat in the right spot you could get a lovely bathwater-warm temperature. As we sat in the water, my daughter had a huge grin on her face, laughed with excitement, and was amazed at all the river rocks beneath her. My husband was the most relaxed I have seen him in months, and I had an infinite, unshakable peace that I normally yearn for.

Looking back now, I can see that it had all the ingredients I need to make me happy: family, nature, laughter, sunshine, and stillness. I wasn’t in a rush, my mind was present, I didn’t feel that I needed to capture it on film (although it was!), and I knew it was fleeting, so I lapped it up. That was my best day of my 36th year.

Proudest Moment

“That was really brave of you” said one of my girlfriends after my first Mum-Quest session. I beamed…

My parents raised me to create solutions—“light a candle instead of cursing the darkness” they’d say—so I always think there is a way to help if you are creative enough.

After giving birth and going into a transformative tailspin toward motherhood, I recognized that I needed a space to reflect on what that meant to me. Luck would have it that the majority of the women I spoke to needed it as well. Mum-Quest was born partly out of necessity and partly out of passion.

I felt proud because I trusted my heart and offered what I thought others might want and need, and in doing so, I fed my own soul. I know that Mum-Quest will evolve and change the next few years, but I am proud for having the courage to start it and now we will see where it goes from here.

Funniest Moment

There are so many of these that I had a hard time picking! I try to laugh every day and luckily with a one-year old there are plenty of opportunities. I think the funniest moment recently was when my daughter learned she can fart on her mommy and I will laugh!

Every night after her bath she and I wrestle and pillow fight before her bedtime (to get her energy out so she can sleep!) and the other night she stood up, leaned over and farted right in my face ON PURPOSE!! I couldn’t believe it I laughed so hard, but the laughing made her think she should keep doing it! So, she kept trying to put her butt in my face and squeeze a fart out!

This is something my sister would have done to me (against my will!) while growing up, so I am pretty convinced she takes after her aunt!

Hardest Lesson

“Go with the flow”… I laugh out loud every time I realize that my suffering is due to me not being able to “go with the flow”, because literally almost every single personality/soul assessment I have ever taken has said this is my life lesson! And I forget.Every.Time.

I even used to think I was so good at going with the flow because I would make my life change so often and had to deal with the changes I would create, but at some point I realized that I was OK with it because I was the one making the changes! When change is out of my control—I am AWFUL at just relaxing, trusting, and surrendering.

So this lesson comes up over and over and over in my life. One day I will learn it, I promise! 😊

Worst Luck

I had a string of bad luck this year around February that really brought me down. A few things happened in several areas of my life that I just couldn’t get around and it caused me to have to slow down, reassess everything, and ask for help—something I don’t do often.

At the same time, I realized that Post-Natal Depletion had snuck up on me in the form of utter exhaustion. My hormones and vitamins had shifted dramatically after weaning my baby and nothing was helping me feel rested. Not only were there lots of things in my life that I had to deal with, but I had zero energy to do it.

While at the time I definitely did not appreciate the string of bad luck that came up, I can see now I needed it to teach me a few lessons. Obviously I need the lesson of “going with the flow!”, and also I need to learn to ask for help when I need it. Things are slowly turning around, but these “bad” parts of my year really do put into perspective what is most important to me, how vital it is to maintain that, and again—to relax when things are out of my control.

Happiest Moment

Ok, who can really recall this one in a split second when they are asked? I can see why it’s the hardest one to answer for most people now! But I gave myself a few days to think this one through.

A few weeks ago, I was putting the baby to bed and she was in a cheeky mood, so I kept stealing her bottle and pretending to be the “big bad wolf” when I did it. She laughed and laughed and laughed each time I would take it, but it wasn’t until I made the wolf face at the same time that she would giggle uncontrollably.

I finally got her calmed down enough to rock in my arms in the rocking chair, but just before she closed her eyes, I stole the bottle one more time—to her surprise—but instead of screaming, she laughed and laughed! Then, she took the bottle back, gave me the kind of “mo---ommmm” groan, and put her head on my chest and fell asleep.

Normally I am in a rush to get out of the room when she falls asleep because I want a life too, but this night, I rocked and rocked and soaked up her little, sweet body resting on mine. It was one of the happiest moments this year.

What’s in store for next year?

Who knows!? I think that instead of pushing for an outcome, I need to take my own lesson and “go with the flow” with where life leads me.

I am planning a few trips, which always excites me. I am hoping to pivot my work to include more coaching and workshops this year, growing my reach within the community. I am looking for that sweet balance between parenthood and living my calling. We’ll see where that lies. 😊 Here's to another year of GROWing and FLOWing!

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