Tomorrow, May 12th, is my 52nd birthday and as you likely know, I’m not married and I don’t have any children. At this moment in time, I don’t have a boyfriend. (Yes, I would like to have a boyfriend!) I also don’t have a particularly good relationship with my biological family. I do have wonderful and amazing friends, many of whom don’t live in Minneapolis – St. Paul, so not all of them are near me.
I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. Last year I gathered with about 7 of my friends for dinner and we laughed, connected and celebrated that I am alive and healthy. Then a few days later I broke the first bone of my life, my ankle. That interrupted my plan to ride 100 miles at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities. In reality, it interrupted my entire summer.
This year, I am again training for the 100 mile Tour de Cure Twin Cities that will be on June 3rd. I am a bit superstitious and thus don’t want to call all that much attention to my birthday, for fear that calling attention could result in another broken bone. That said, due to the many years of therapy and inner healing work I’ve done, I do like my birthday! And NOT celebrating is a VERY BAD idea!!!
I now also work nearly full time, between my two part time jobs and the consulting gigs I do with people helping them refine their LinkedIn profiles. This results in being busier than I was last year and training for the Tour de Cure Twin Cities. I protect my birthday, and had taken the day off, and as I was looking at my training calendar for the Tour de Cure, I realized I am due for a long ride.
It hit me: go for a long ride on May 12th! I was planning to ride the Tour de Cure with a new friend Courtney. She said she was willing to take the day off work and do a long ride with me. That sounded so fabulous! Then, she hurt her knee. Not only can she no longer ride 100 miles on June 3rd, she for sure can’t ride long with me tomorrow.
So, here I am the night before the long ride. I confess, I feel like giving up. Can you relate? Do you ever want to give up? Especially when what you’d planned to do and who you planned to do it with, falls through?
Here’s the general plan: Get up at 6 AM, eat breakfast, take insulin. Take my dog Echo for a walk. Get dressed in my cycling clothes. Make sure I have all my cycling food packed up. Make sure I have my flat tire repair gear ready. Put on my helmet, gloves and cycling shoes and carry my bike outside. By 8 AM, get on my bike and cycle the 13 miles to the ride start.
Oh yes, I found a 63 mile ride that three men of the Twin Cities Bicycle Club organize nearly every Friday. I intend to arrive to the ride start by 9:45AM. In time to sign in to the ride and get the route map and meet the other riders. Most likely all the other riders will be retired men. Retired men who cycle a lot!! Meaning they will most likely cycle much faster than I do.
I emailed them a few days ago and indeed they will hand out a hard copy of the map of the route we will ride. Most likely I will only be able to hang with them for maybe 15 minutes. Thus, it is most likely I will ride the majority of the 63 miles by myself. And then I will ride home, 13 miles.
That’s why I feel like giving up before starting. Riding 89 miles mostly by myself on my birthday sounds lonely. I will only be able to take selfies. There won’t be lots of people around me celebrating. Writing this makes me feel sad. How is it that I’m 52 and still not married and not even in a long-term relationship? What’s wrong with me?
I just took a deep breath. I put my feet solidly on the ground. I reminded myself that my life has been and still is a big healing journey. I’ve learned so much about who I am and why I’m here and what I have to offer. Not every lifetime is about having a big family, biological or self-made. This lifetime for me is for my soul to grow. And growing I have done and will keep doing.
I slept 9 hours last night. Tonight I will get about 8 hours. That’s two solid nights of sleep before attempting to ride 89 miles. The longest distance I’ve done so far this year is 46.2 miles. Yup, going to just about double my mileage. Only slightly crazy! Luckily, I have now been riding for more than 17 years and cycling skill and fitness is cumulative.
Writing this blog post has helped. I am going to do it. I am going to get up tomorrow and ride. Writing this has helped me remember that what I do and who I am matters. Even if who it matters to is just to me.
When I’m done riding tomorrow, I shall take a shower and go to the Friend’s School Plant sale at the Minnesota State Fair grounds. I plan to purchase a bunch of tomato plants, lots of kale, a few pepper plants and zucchini seeds. Plus a bunch of colorful flowers. I’m going to spend Saturday gardening!
All in all, I believe my 52nd birthday will be a good one!
Thanks for reading!
And please let me know what you’ve done to make your birthdays happy! I love hearing from you.