February 21, 2014

Please Don't Begrudge Me

be·grudge

biˈgrəj/ - verb
1. envy (someone) the possession or enjoyment of (something).
"she begrudged Martin his affluence"
synonyms: envy, resent, grudge

2. give reluctantly or resentfully.
"nobody begrudges a single penny spent on health"
synonyms: resent, feel aggrieved about, feel bitter about, be annoyed about, be resentful of, grudge, mind, object to, take exception to, regret

The little cruise my BFF and I are taking in celebration of our 40th birthdays is rapidly approaching.

I find myself using words like "little", just like I did above, to try to diminish it a bit for others.

To place less importance, to insist that it's not too much or too extravagant.

If I say it's "little" or "short" then maybe I'll deserve it more.

I further feel the need to share how circumstances and stars have aligned in a way that my BFF and her husband wouldn't have me paying for any of it if I didn't insist that I must pay for something.

As if I don't deserve to spend any money on myself.

My husband is jealous that I get to do this. He loves me and wants me to be able to do it, but he is indeed sad that he cannot. Probably also sad that I'm experiencing it with somebody other than him.

I have a friend who also turns 40 this year, but due to her personal financial situation, she and her husband just do not have the funds to do something special for it.

She is jealous of my trip too.


I love birthdays and think that everyone should get to celebrate theirs in some special way, so it does make me sad that Mark's health problems hinder him. I also feel sad that my friend might not have a "fabulous 40".

But here's the thing: I should not be made to feel bad for getting this opportunity. I should not have to apologize for it, nor try to diminish how special it is to me in any way.

It's not fair.

I do deserve it.


I have NEVER done anything like this.

I met Mark just after turning 20. We married when I was 24 and I had babies at 26 and 31. I fell in love and wanted to be married. I've always wanted to be a mom. I made those decisions and I don't for one single second regret them.

But my entire adult life has been about everyone else. I've never "sown my wild oats", had a Katy Perry "Last Friday Night" or "I Kissed a Girl" experience or spontaneously jumped on a plane to Vegas. It took until I was 36 to get my first tattoo!

I have said no to going on girls weekends away, including a very special trip in honor of my friend Emily who died of breast cancer, because I was too afraid that something would happen to Mark and I wouldn't be there.

But something has shifted in me in the last year. I have learned that I cannot control whether or not Mark will have any problems and my presence doesn't automatically make them better. I have also learned that there are others who love him too, and are willing to step up if he needs. My children aren't babies anymore and can absolutely handle my absence. I am not the be-all, end-all.

And maybe I could use a break from feeling like I am.

This is HUGE for me.

I wrote last summer about how we don't take real, just for the fun of it, vacations. That all our trips are to visit family only.

So yeah, if I want to take a few days out of my life the year I turn 40 to celebrate that milestone and where I am in my life, and spend quality time with my oldest friend while sipping drinks with umbrellas in them, I'm damn sure going to.

I'm going to be Brave, and I'm not going to feel bad about it.



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