Melanie Jeanne

T H I R T Y – F I V E

Better known as the year of “I’m just gonna do me, ok?”

Leading into this birthday there was a sense of “mid-life crisis” going on. I was too much of all the not-so-good and too little of the good. I was chasing too many things and I think I have been for the past few years. I was committing to too many things. I was (and probably still am) thinking too many things. Planning too many things. There were simply too many tabs open.

There was this fierce feeling that I needed to accomplish more, be more, and achieve more. I needed more in a manner that started putting too much pressure on myself and the ones I love around me. When more becomes necessary the world has a way of reminding one that less is always more.

I got real and honest about these feelings in the weeks leading into my birthday. They were no longer subconscious actions chasing that which could never be attained. They started becoming real and raw thoughts. They were thoughts of unhappiness and a realization that the pressure I was putting on myself to be someone I wasn’t was one part insane and two parts ridiculous.

Then it happened, just like that, my birthday arrived and guess what, I was still me. I woke with a sense of focus and purpose. A sense that in my most happy times, my most successful time, my most amazing times, I stopped over-thinking and I just lived.


Lived honest and real and adventurous and excited and happy. I lived for those things that made me happy. What I had was enough. What I wanted was a dream. And my reality was fantastic whether my dreams came true or not. My happiest has always been when I am NOT comparing myself to others, chasing unrealistic realities or living outside of who I really am.

I put pressure on myself. I put pressure on those I love. I set high expectations, sometimes known, often unknown. And then just like that… I woke to celebrate my thirty-fifth birthday and there were no expectations, there was no pressure. I woke knowing, I woke knowing I was simply meant to live in the moment and live simply.

My family always has a way of reading me. Of knowing me. Of knowing just what I need. And this year they reminded me of their special gift and hit the celebration out of the park. My birthday was kicked off with a beautiful bouquet from J and our girls. When I arrived home to start the weekend our house was filled with balloons, one for each year of my life and an extra one for good luck and good measure. On Friday night we settled into simple; ordering pizza and watching the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Rio. The Doodle desperately wanted to give me her gift, a gift she had consistently told J she wanted to get me for over a week – my mama heart exploded and the celebration was spontaneous. Saturday morning I woke for my workout. I sweat and I was happy. I drank my coffee and I ate my home cooked egg sandwich. We watched more Olympic events. Then just as they do, my family surprised me with an incredible gift, an 80 minute massage. Time on my birthday for just me, to take care of me, to relax and rejuvenate. In those two hours of me time I was reminded just how important it is to shut down our heads and our hearts and take time to heal. Allow others to take care of us and be one with ourselves and good in our soul. It was honestly transformative. Our family then headed to dinner at a spot I love. A dance party broke out in the car ride home and continued within our home for an additional two hours. A gift my husband gave me at a deep and loving level and one he will never realize meant as much as it did. He played MY favorite music, for hours, and our family danced and sang together. My personal heaven. Sure there was cake and we had to use all the random candles in our house. It was fabulous. And memories were definitely made.

A day filled with more memories than materialistic things. A day filled with love and laughter. A day filled with relaxation and rejuvenation. It was a simple day, filled with more magic than I could ever convey. In one day I was righted. Put back together. Reminded what is the very best within me and for me.

Take that mid-life crisis. Take that chasing. Take that my need for more. This year I think I am just gonna do me. Everyone else can just do them. I need what I need and what I need is simple. I need easy, I need simple, I need low key. I need laughter and love and adventure and moments and memories. I know me and it’s ok, I’m sticking with I’ll do me, you do you. No more comparison, chasing or trying to be someone other than the real me.

Simple. Honest. Real. Raw. Authentic. Grateful. Memories. Moments. Love. Laughter. Rejuvenation. Relaxation.


* Image curated from The Petit Cadeau

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