Change Is Good—by Jamie Levine
Because my birthday occurs exactly one month into the new year—on February 1st—I always consider that to be the start of my new year. Especially since I’m birthday obsessed—and celebrate my birthday like crazy—and up until this year, I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve or any of the fuss related to the changing of the calendar. That said, as my 41st birthday approaches (8 more days!), I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting, and I feel as though a lot of change is brewing.
For one thing, my daughter’s been growing and thriving so much lately—and becoming so independent. She’s zipping her own zippers, pouring her own milk, and insisting on doing everything “by myself.” Best of all, she just started sleeping in a “big girl” bed—in her brand-new bedroom—by herself. Sure, she’s been getting up a few times every night to get me to come back to her room with her to cuddle for a few minutes before she falls back asleep (and she still whines before bedtime, “I don’t want to sleep by myself, Mommy! I want to sleep with you!”), but for the most part, she’s doing great, and I’m so proud of her. But my feelings are also bittersweet: Jayda’s growing up—and so quickly!—and I know that someday in the not-so-distant-future I’ll bemoan the fact that “my baby doesn’t need me anymore!”
Along with my birthday, my final semester of speech-language pathology classes (before grad school) starts next week, too. And while I know I’ll likely be a stressed-out-lunatic once I face my first exams, right now, I’m feeling pretty Zen about it all. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been observing a Speech Pathologist-friend of mine at work at an elementary school, and things are coming together for me. I understand much of what my friend does with her students, enjoy talking to her about her lesson plans, and can actually picture myself doing what she’s doing a few years down the road; everything suddenly feels “right.” I think this is going to be a good semester for me; I’m excited about most of my classes and think I finally know how to manage the work (or should I say stress?) required for them, and that will be a big change for me—a positive one.
Then, there’s Library Guy. Last year, I threw myself a 40th birthday party—and it was wonderful—because I celebrated with my family and my fabulous female friends. It was an incredibly happy night—and birthday—for me. But now that I have Library Guy by my side, things can only get better. I’ve lived the last few years feeling very full and complete—without ever realizing what I was missing by not having a loving man in my life to share everything with. I’m not expecting this to be the best birthday I’ve ever had because of Library Guy, but I am expecting it to be a telling year. From the beginning, I’ve had so much fun with Library Guy, but I’m finally being honest with myself (and with him) and admitting that I’m no longer in this just for the fun; I take “us” pretty seriously now, and time will tell if we’re truly right for each other.
But for better or for worse, on my own or in a serious relationship, I’m looking forward to this upcoming year. Change is good—and my life sure is changing. Last week, the company that laid me off two years ago (after my 10 years of service) announced another round of layoffs—shocking dozens of unsuspecting people—and reminding me of how blessed I am to be living far away from my past corporate life—and on my way to a better career. I’m focused and committed to a new future. I’m also learning to love again, and to appreciate both motherhood and womanhood, and not just one in lieu of the other. I know it’s going to be an eventful year.