Pushing Past

I just spent an hour crying while writing a very negative, sad, dark post about turning 37.

I’m so over my own bullshit that I can’t bring myself to post it.

If years of therapy have taught me anything, it is that I am in charge of ME. While I might want to control the whole universe so that I will always feel some semblance of safety, the only way to truly achieve that is to focus on me and what IS in my control (re: very little). And so I am not going to post that whiny, sad post about the woes of turning a year older and my laundry list of failures. Where will focusing on that stuff get me? Deeper in the hole. That’s where.

I’ve been focusing a great deal on the negative, on what my life is lacking, on my faults. So much so that I probably couldn’t see good if it slapped me in the face. When I get in that spun out very bad place I stop feeling anything because the fear and panic override every other emotion. Fear and panic do not leave room for other emotions. They are bullies like that.

Let’s just put it out there: I am afraid I am not enough.

Turning a year older only heightens that fear. Because time is ticking on and ohmygodwhathaveIdone? I’m living my life like it is one big To Do List and that is not any fun. There is no being in the moment when I do that. There is no here and now because everything is done in an effort to control what comes next. And holy shit is it exhausting. I am very, very tired.

It’s my birthday on Sunday and this is the first year I can remember not feeling happy about that. I usually make a big production out of it in true Aries fashion but this year I feel like hiding in my bed and pretending it isn’t happening. I don’t feel like celebrating myself. How could I when I’ve got my faults and failures on a loop inside my head?

So I’m going to attempt to turn my thought process on its heel and find the positives. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if I struggle against it. Tomorrow I am going to post 37 things I feel good about in regards to myself and my life. Hold me to it.


34 thoughts on “Pushing Past

  1. I look forward to your list of 37 positive things and I would guess that list can be and should longer.

    Please trust me, this 37 yr old, when I say that 37 does not mean you are near death…that being alive at this age means you have plenty of time (for the most part) to keep moving forward. The important thing is to not to stop moving. It’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

    Happy Early Birthday!

  2. I didn’t coin this phrase, (wish I had):

    “You don’t have to be 21 to have your whole life in front of you.”

    Own it Sizzle. No guilt about the past, no worrying about the future. Keep your head in this moment. I know that is easier said than done. And, STRUGGLE? Oh hell yes. Yes I do. But everything is so much better when I keep my head and my butt in the same place.


  3. I, too, struggle with only focusing on the negative, and freaking out that my clock is ticking and that I do not have time left to make something out of my life. And I have to continuously pull myself back, and refocus on the positives. Otherwise, as you said, I’ll never pull myself out of that dark hole long enough to see the good around me, or to do anything to further that good and lessen that despair. I just have to remind myself that while I may never have EVERYTHING I WANT in life.. neither does everyone else. I have to strive for what I want, and make the most of what I have, and find the beauty in the little things.

    I think your idea of making a list of 37 positive features of yourself and your life is fantastic. I also know that while we all think that should be fabulously easy to do (for you), you probably do not view it the same way. But I’m willing to bet that once you sit down and start, you will find many, many more.

    Celebrate yourself, and have a wonderful birthday. =)

  4. Well I am going to celebrate you because you are a rad person and one of the kindest people I know and I am happy to know you and count you as one of my friends. So take THAT!

  5. I have found that the things I thought I would have by the time I was my age are not things I want so much anymore. Life changes our plans sometimes. Embrace the things you do have. For example, I don’t have children of my own but I do have amazing children in my life.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday my friend!

  6. Oh boy do I relate to this post. We are so much the same it is scary! But what is funny is that it is SO EASY for me to see all the good in you and know you are an amazing person. I think a lot of times we need to remember to treat ourselves as well as we treat other people. Would you ever think the horrible things you think about yourself about someone else? I sure wouldn’t.

    I can’t wait to read your list. There are definitely way more than 37 things about you that are awesome. And I can’t wait until I can read that you believe it too!

  7. I have been feeling the same way about 37 for some reason. I don’t know why it just seems like the edge of being “too old” or something for me.

    Good for you on not publishing that post and working on a list of 37 good things. I am looking forward to reading it.

  8. This? “I’m living my life like it is one big To Do List and that is not any fun. There is no being in the moment when I do that. There is no here and now because everything is done in an effort to control what comes next. And holy shit is it exhausting. I am very, very tired.” Describes exactly how I’ve been living my own life for most of my whole entire life. Which is far too long. Not because 36 is so old, but because that is too many years of not having nearly as much fun as I should have. Too many years of not enjoying the day to day. Too many years of approaching my birthday each January, looking back and feeling like I still kind of suck at life because I haven’t achieved x, y and z yet. Too many years of not fully enjoying myself. That needs to stop. We are too young to be feeling this tired!

  9. You and I have never met in real life–I only know you through several months of reading this blog–and even I can tell that you are enough. You are a wonderful friend and aunt and sister and employee and pet mommy who is doing her damnedest to be the best she can be. That is quite enough, in my book.

    Having said all that, I can relate to your feelings. I turned 39 in March, and my biggest “failing” has been my inability to have a child. Time for that goal is quickly running out, making me sometimes question all the choices I made which led me to this point, to being a childless 39-year-old woman.

    Celebrate you! I’m looking forward to reading your 37 positive things. . .

  10. I found your blog just this year, and man, I see so many positive things in you. I love that you’re always willing to call yourself out & work through the negativity. Looking forward to tomorrow’s list πŸ™‚

  11. sizzle, i remember from last year that you and i have the same birthday! i turn 38 this year, and in support of your positive thinking, i’m going to post 38 positive things about my life too!

    sometimes i also totally get into that negative tailspin. i get panicked especially when it comes to kids, but like you said, we have to remind ourselves of what we *do* have and focus on the now. it does us absolutely no good to dwell on the negative, unless we’re learning something and moving on.

  12. Maybe you should make this week a week of lists.
    Tomorrow: 37 things you like about yourself.
    Wednesday: 37 things you’ve accomplished in your 30s.
    Thursday: 37 of your favorite restaurants or foods or blogs or whatever marks your fancy.

    The point is, 37 is an accomplishment and nothing to be shy of!!!

  13. “I am afraid I am not enough.”

    I say, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” You are awesome.

    Newsflash , Sizz – everyone feels like this when they get older, so it’s not just you, but I get it. I’m facing 40 this year and if you think 37 is weird – just wait 3 more years. πŸ˜‰

    You’re doing the right thing by trying to focus on the positive though. Happiness is not a destination.

    Happiness is a choice.

    Sometimes we choose to be happy in the face of insurmountable odds. And sometimes the tiniest things can send us into a downward spiral.

    I was gonna be slick and quote you from my favorite poem, but really the whole thing is appropriate:


  14. 37 is still a baby in some people’s eyes. I laugh when I tell someone I am 43 and they call me a baby, but the truth is 37 really isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s really just a beginning in a new segment of life. You will be great, I am sure of it. Some people will never even accomplish what you have thus far. Enjoy your birthday and every other day for that matter. Really! Happy Birthday!

  15. Please do post that list of things.

    I made a post when I turned 50. The title was 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 years.

    Remember Sizz, getting older beats the alternative.


  16. I turned 39 recently and I had a conversation with myself about ‘what I haven’t done’. I don’t have any regrets that I had a family early on, but I can tell you that I drool at the very thought of living in a cute apt. in a big city – ALL TO MYSELF (just somedays)and I will forever worry that I have not, am not, will not ever be ENOUGH as a parent. And I can totally relate to life being one big TO DO list – I try really hard not to wish for what’s next because it just ticks time away even faster. Always remember a birthday is a celebration of a BEGINNING, not an end!!

  17. Girlfriend, I don’t want to sound preachy, but Sunday–just like today, and just like tomorrow– is only a day. It is both only a day AND the first day of your forever. Breathe into the negative just like you will the positive (and I think you should write that post ASAP, by the way) and let yourself own it. Just because it’s not where you want to be doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
    And just so you know, I KNOW you have a good heart and soul and it’s something that inspires ME often. You, my dear, are more balanced than your head is letting you give yourself credit for. Hugs to you, and in the meantime? Kick ass as your 36-year-old self.

  18. Be a little more gentle with yourself right now. It’s okay to be sad; it definitely won’t make you less sad if you beat yourself up for how you’re feeling.

    I think you’re wonderful and I think you have the capacity for great love. Your age is a number; your heart is who you really are.

  19. Woman!

    You’ve come along away in your life. You just don’t know it. You moved from CA to Seattle (the place of your dreams right?). You’ve got a guy that loves (I bet) you. Family loves you. Killer smile. Kick ass attitude. You’ve got a hella lot of good friends (readers included). You make people laugh till they pee their pants (just me?).

    Just live and stop trying fix Sizzle. There’s only one Sizzle and we don’t want her to change. Just be.

    Got it?!


  20. Don’t dread your birthday too much, Sizz. You have so much to look forward to, esp. with Mr Darcy by your side now. I think you’ll slowly but surely let go of the negative and focus on the good in your life. You have so much to be happy about and proud of!

    I don’t remember where I found this quote, but I think it’s so true:

    “Because really that’s what birthdays are – a moment to enjoy the vista, a little hill in the year to stand on and take a moment to look behind, then look ahead before setting off again.”

  21. I struggle with birthdays. I just turned 30 a month ago. Because I am single and nowhere near where I thought I would be at the age of 30 I decided to make my birthday a month long celebration in order to distract myself from the horrible condition known as aging. It worked pretty well, I surrounded myself with lovely people and bought myself lovely gifts. I also made a list of 30 things, my 30 things were things I know now that I didn’t know before 30, it was very therapeutic. I guess I can’t say I have great advice for coping since I don’t cope well either with birthdays but don’t shut yourself in a room alone on a birthday that you are dreading, spend time with people who make your life better and be thankful for life. Oh, and try to smile πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday!

  22. Dude, you are having an awesome life and you have an awesome boyfriend.

    I’d celebrate this year. In fact I am going to do it for you!

    Happy early Birthday!

  23. There’s been times in my life where I felt very negative about growing older. It’s a hard place to be when you feel like you haven’t achieved what you thought you wanted to by a certain point. The best way to battle that (in my experience) is to set new goals and focus on what you have done. I like the 37 things list – do it. I think you are amazing. πŸ™‚

  24. I love this, girl. I was going to make a list of 10 as a little self-esteem booster. I never did, so now, you can hold me to making a list of 35. πŸ™‚
    I am feeling kind of “feh” about my birthday this year, which is odd. Almost enough to cancel my own party. What?! It’s true.
    But here’s to celebrating 1) You, being in this world and 2) You, being alive.

  25. Aw, girl, I was so sorry to see this just because I hate knowing that you’re hurting. I have no doubt that you’re working it out – I think this post is part of that – but I’m sorry it’s so damn hard. I know it is. So damn hard. Big hugs.

  26. Happy Birthday, dear Sizzle. Better late than never.

    What you said, and the sentence,”Fear and Panic don’t leave the room for other emotions”?? OMG. So true. Sometimes, we have to choose to feel and greet the Happiness and Gladness that is in the room, and let those two sit in silence. We have to seek them out in the party-grouping that is in our mind, and choose to smile at them. Be glad that they are there. yeah.

    Things could be worse. You really COULD have married and divorced already, having chosen someone “good-enough” to get hitched to. But you were too smart for that shiz. You avoided one of life’s worst potholes, and for that alone, you should commend yourself. You are a strong, vibrant person, and anyone who knows you would second that.
    Thank you, for being alive on this planet.

  27. I can’t wait to see your 37 list. I think that will help you get ready and get into a more happy mindset.

    And how do you worry you are not good enough? The only person you have to be “good enough” to is you πŸ™‚

  28. Happy Birthday!!! 37 reasons why you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Because you are AMAZING!

    When ever I get down on myself like that (which is often) I think of that Rolling Stones song… “You just might find… you’ve got what you need.”

  29. Maybe, instead of thinking about your big ‘to do’ stuff, you can try continuing to make the next decision which will make you happy — even if that happiness only involves a quick nap, or taking the time to read a chapter of your book. Spoil yourself a bit — you deserve it — and remember that you are a fantastic friend and family member, surrounded by people who love you. At the end of the day, does anything but the relationships you create with people who matter to you and the experiences you have with them matter?

    Also, you are fabulous.

  30. Since I read this post after reading your 37 list, I just want to remind you to keep reading that list when you feel this way. You ARE enough and you ARE all sorts of wonderful sunshine who I know brings warmth and goodness to those around you. Don’t ever forget that.

  31. You are 510% worth celebrating. (That’s a lot! of celebrating, fyi.) I’m so thankful for your friendship (and your hilarity) in my life, babe, and you know what? Not every day has to be a great day. And certainly not every birthday has to be. But I have a feeling this year is going to be one of you best (and most favorite!) yet. I can’t wait to watch it unfold, and be a part of it as it does. xoxo

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