Some days you don't get to pick your attitude. I know there is many a pithy quote to be found on Facebook about choosing a positive thought and about how all you can control is yourself so you have only yourself to blame if you are not happy.
Well, when things are on an even keel, sure. Some days, though, we need to cut ourselves some slack if we don't have the energy to force some more noble perspective.
My birthday is this week and I'm not feeling good about it. It's my first birthday without my dad. His birthday would have been on Easter this year and it's the first one of his since he died. I don't like these kinds of firsts. I keep tearing up unexpectedly. I can go weeks at a time at this point where I don't think of dad in terms of loss, just in terms of pleasant memory, but not this weekend.
He still shows up in my dreams, and I get reminded in them every time that he's really dead. I'll be laughing with him, cuddled up the way we used to do, and then my brothers or my mom will be there and make sure I remember he's supposed to be gone. I wake up crying.
I don't want him to be gone. I miss my dad.
I miss everybody. My brothers and mom are too far away and hard to stay in touch with. There still isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about calling my grandma. I feel like my kids are growing up way too fast and as much as I love seeing who they have become I miss my babies. Ian and I have to resort too much on tag-teaming all the work and parenting responsibilities so we don't have the time with each other that we should.
I'm feeling lonely this coming birthday in way I haven't in the past. Lonely and overwhelmed. And even when I do try to put a positive spin on the day, that doesn't change the fact that I will never see my dad again. That's having trouble sinking in since his absence doesn't impact the function of my daily life. Only these odd milestones bring home what's really happened, what I've really lost. I can't just "choose" happy.
This weepy stretch will fade, I know. They always do. But I'm amazed every day how even a good life, the best life, can be hard.