Dad and Karen ~ Inspiring Success

Happy Birthday to Me!

This Saturday on my birthday I will turn 52! What? Wait! Hold the phone. I certainly do not feel 52 and continuously being asked for my ID at the grocery store for not looking older than 40, I guess I do not look 52 either. Great genes, healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook on what life throws at me; all blends together for feeling like I am still in my 20s instead of my 50s.

Previously, the quote below was in my news feed on Facebook and it really resonates with me. I have been taking the last few weeks to break it down. Reflecting on portions which were acting as triggers I began to realize a few things about myself. First though, here’s the quote:

“I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging.

Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

Brené Brown

“All this pretending and performing”

Ohhh, this portion really can hit home for me and I am sure for a lot of individuals. Pretending to be more than we are? Yep! And thank you to social media and its influence. We feel like we need to show only the best of the best of our lives to try and compete against those we are showing up in our newsfeed. I believe more and more of us pretend we are happy when maybe we are feeling a little blue. We perform for our friends and network circles by saying yes when we really would like to say no.

This coming year let us may a pact. No more pretending or performing. Embrace your emotions when you feel them. Say no when your calendar is already full. Give yourself permission to show your authentic self to the world.

“Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts”

Yes, it is my birthday week but the gifts this portion of the quote is speaking to are those which you were born with. Those gifts that maybe you are even unaware you have. Some of us, our armor is so thick after different traumas triggering the same emotional response that it will take longer for you to let it go. Fear, remember we talked about fear being an acronym: False Expectations Appearing Real.

Give yourself permission to sit and begin to dismantle the armor in which is protecting you. One piece at a time. If you try to take all of your armor off at once, your rawness can leave you so vulnerable that you may just retreat back behind a new set of protective wear.

“Time is getting short”

My oh my. Does this one hit my heart hard. This is my first birthday without my father. He was my hero, my idol, my superstar. Gunter Kleinwort was my dad and he was one of the great ones! Time got short real quick in 2021. My birthday however, is bringing it home; hard and fast.

The timeline that replays in my head is he first fell sick on Jan 24, 2021. I then had a very assertive conversation with him on Jan 30 about going to the hospital. Feb 4, 2021 he finally went to the hospital by ambulance. On Feb 8, 2021 the kids and I spent 15 minutes on Facebook video messenger saying hi and telling him how much we love him. This would be the last time I saw him alive and speaking. Feb 13, 2021 he was intubated. Finally, Mar 2, 2021 he passed away with my mother, my sister and myself by his side. Time got seriously too short, too fast for real.

My dad had no regrets. he lived life the way he wanted. The picture for this article was taken back in the spring of 2018. My dad was going to be turning 79 and surprisingly he made maple syrup for the first time. Even growing up in a small town where everyone would boil down sap each spring. He personally had not made maple syrup himself. This picture is of us, doing something for the first time, together experiencing a sense of wonderment, joy and experimenting. So at what point do we all take this sage advice and begin living. Truly living where we stop performing, pretending that time is endless?

Birthday Conclusions

This year, have a come to self discussion with yourself. Take your armor off piece by piece. Say no when you want to say no. And by all means tell those in your life how you feel. Be the messenger. Even if the message doesn’t get heard right away, tell them anyways. Whether they believe it or not.

Lastly, I encourage you to begin to make decisions as to what is best for you. Take the risk. Delve into your heart and find out what it needs to thrive. Take the risk. Embrace the new and the raw to find where joy resides. Take the risk.

Happy birthday to me! Happy Day to you my friends. Thank you for joining me on this crazy ride of life.

All my love and gratitude,

Karen Kleinwort ~ Inspiring Success

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