Old Town Crier

Gift Me This

by Lori Welch Brown

Gift Me This

While many of you may be focused on back-to-school activities, I am focused on MY BIRTHDAY. Yes—that’s right. I’ve made it another turn around the sun so let the herald angels sing, “AMEN!” Woot. Woot! I’ve always loved birthdays! “Bring on the cake!” I say. Pink says, “Get the party started – Everybody’s dancin’ and they’re dancin’ for me!” Release the doves and strike up the band. I cannot even begin to get my brain behind these people who want birthdays to slip away silently into the night. Birthdays are a BIG DEAL. Your birthday is when you entered the world. Haven’t you ever been to a hospital right after someone you love has given birth to another being that you immediately fall in love with? It is heavenly and each and every one of God’s creatures deserves a celebration to commemorate that deliriously happy moment so let’s get this party started!

You know those love signs, i.e., how you like to receive love and how you show love to others? I rank highly in gifts—as in I like to receive them. Actually—I like to give them as well. It’s one of the ways I show love. So, this year I’ve decided to show myself some love and others by bestowing some gifts—namely:

No. I’m giving myself the gift of ‘no’. I am going to allow myself to use if freely and wildly throughout the year. No. No. No. I’m typically a ‘yes’ girl, but move aside because the tide is a changin’.

OPRs. For some reason I’ve been fixated on Other Peoples’ Relationships (OPRs) as in trying to fix broken ones. We have many in my family and I lose sleep over them, worry about them, and am constantly working out ways to fix them—many of which have been broken for years, decades even. I think about how sad it would make my Mom if she were alive to know that her family was so disjointed. It makes me sad and it makes my heart hurt on a cellular level. During my waking hours I think of letters I might write to say how these fractures are pushing our family apart, how much I love everyone involved and how I miss us ‘being one big, happy family.’ During my sleeping hours, my subconscious is constantly trying to work through these problems. I know how much better their lives would be if they would just…But, alas, they are grownups and they get to manage their own lives and relationships so “you’re welcome.” I’m giving you all the gift of MMODB aka minding my own damn business. Well, at least I’m gonna try. This is a hard one as I love everyone involved. Can’t we all just get along? Life is short, people. (P.S. I reserve the right to take this gift back at any time I feel like inserting my two cents again as I feel it is in your best interest).

Forgiveness. I’m forgiving all the slights I’ve been holding close to my chest. As enlightened and evolved as I like to think I am (namaste this), I’ve got quite a way to go before I achieve Buddha status. One step that might get me a little closer to the Bodhi tree, however, is to let go of these hurts, grudges and resentments. They are mainly around friendships that went up in smoke. These people were important in my life at some point, and for reasons both known and unknown to me, these friendships hit their expiration date. I recently saw one of these women, and it was like running into an ex. My heart took a little nose dive and my flee instinct kicked in.

In the name of giving, I’m waving my fairy godmother wand all over the countryside to sprinkle my magical fairy forgiveness dust far and wide. The best part of having a great gift is sharing it so when you awaken, you also will have the super power of forgiveness. Jump out of bed and just start forgiving the crap out of people. Everyone. Your control-freak, micro-managing boss. Your cantankerous neighbor. The match.com date who ghosted you (consider yourself blessed you dodged that bullet, btw). The prick in the Audi who stole your parking spot yesterday. The father who wasn’t emotionally there for you. The cousin who stole your crush. The ex who walked out the door and left you with a mortgage and a kid. Forgive all those A-holes. You’ll feel better and they won’t know what hit them. All this light and goodness stuff is like hitting the lottery without even having to buy a ticket. You’ve possessed this magic bullet all along, Dorothy. Click those heels together and own it, girl.

Self Worth. Hang on, we are going to get a little deep on this one—like therapy deep. I’m going to give myself the gift of value that is not related to money. For whatever reason, I have tied my personal worth to my 1040 form. The more I earn, the more valuable I am. I’m going to jump out and say that this is probably tied to being raised by Depression era parents because as we all know everything goes back to your parents. It is ALL their fault—everything from my crooked toes to my hairy arms to my inability to do algebra is a direct result of their parenting. Granted—in the Pandora’s box of ‘issues’, this one hasn’t served me all that badly. It is definitely better than a crack addiction and less costly. It has actually propelled me to work hard and strive to be a high-producing individual. It has also been exhausting and often has me putting other people’s priorities in front of my own. I’m getting better at this, and my awesome husband, XXL, has encouraged me to stop working so hard and pursue my passions which leads me to my next gift.

Pursuing Passions. I’m giving myself the gift of time to purse my passions. This is perhaps the best gift of all—especially if you’re anything like me—you bury your passions/pleasures at the bottom of your ‘to do’ list and never seem to find time for them/yourself. I’m definitely getting better at this, and let me tell you—it’s life changing. Two years ago, I started taking art classes. I signed up for tennis lessons. Yoga is at the top of my ‘to do’ list at least two days a week.

Meditation. Since we are on the whoo whoo bus, might as well give myself the gift of 15 minutes a day for meditation. I can’t explain it. It is pure voodoo wacky wizard magic. If I spend 15 minutes a morning in meditation, I’m a nicer, kinder, more patient person. This is a gift for everyone who crosses my path so again, you’re welcome.

In all seriousness, you, my friends & family, are truly my greatest gift. I am blessed beyond measure.

In celebration of me, please give yourself lots of lovely, luscious gifts this month as well as a wholelottalove. Or—if you’re feeling really generous, donate to your local animal shelter—or even better, adopt a fur baby!

Happy birthday to me and all the other September babies out there. #virgosrule