I like to write a poem each year on my birthday.
Birthdays for me used to be about the party. I always loved a good party – when I was little, my mom made piñatas and tea parties and pancakes for sleepovers, and when I got older I rented buses, kegs and karaoke machines. I celebrated myself with flamboyancy, like an exploding firework.
And now, at the ripe young age of 46, after four and a half years of sobriety, birthdays are becoming more introspective. I see this number in front of me that seems incongruous with my experience. I’m too young to be in my mid-forties already, but I’ve surely lived a dozen lives since I was born.
My concept of time has trouble reconciling these years with time itself.
Trying to find meaning in numbers
I look at my eyes in the mirror and today’s date
wants to give me a sign that I have crossed
a threshold into wisdom—
Do you feel older today?
No, I feel one day more grateful
I feel one year more dirt in my soles
I feel one minute more alive
I feel one month towards making something beautiful
and a week and a half from making no more sense
I feel one day stronger and three hours weaker
I feel significant and overlooked
I feel cyclical and alien and mortal
and after lunch these days
I mostly just feel tired
© Skye Nicholson 2022
Writing is medicine: it heals.
Wherever it began, and wherever it may take you, your story is both your legacy and your future. Writing down the words that weave these threads of your own personal journey is, like the ancient process of alchemy, a special kind of magic.
How do you honor yourself as each year passes?
Click the image to read last year’s birthday poem, entitled Halfway to Ninety, a tongue-in-cheek reference to no longer being in my ‘early-forties.’
As a mother of two young children, Skye Nicholson found freedom from alcohol addiction in 2018. She is the founder of Soul’s Truth Coaching, empowerment coaching for women, helping professional women to find freedom from what may be holding them back. Her first book of collected works, Unexpected Alchemy is available on Amazon.