Birthdays have never been a huge deal to me, even as a kid. Everyone has one, each year passes whether you celebrate it or not. I prefer to take each birthday as a reminder to be kind and gentle with myself, which is why I take every birthday off from work, if possible ( ps- if I ever run a company, employees will get their birthdays off as if it were their own personal national holiday).
As I celebrate another year today, I’m spending it away from work. I’m sleeping late, getting a massage, and enjoying an afternoon reading, to be topped off by some time with Q tonight and yoga. Sunday I celebrated with my family with a truly delicious dinner. It’s lowkey and lovely, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A lot of people spend time on their birthdays, especially milestone years, thinking about where they are at in life and how it compares with what they thought they would be at that age. I learned long ago that this exercise, for me, is futile. Instead I like to look at how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, and where I’m going. I’m not just talking about career, money, or love life, but in general terms of being a good person, honoring who I am, and doing what brings me joy.
Where did I think I would be at this age? I actually have no idea. I’d have to go into my treasure trove of old journals and diaries to see if I had any future predictions in there for this age range– which as a side note, I don’t think I can do. Something about rereading through emotional distress and angst gives me a weird feeling. Maybe someday–over wine of course.
At 32, I like to think I’m doing pretty well. I’m blessed with good health, an amazing partner, a loving support network of family and friends. I am employed, own my own house and car, have food on the table, and even though I have some debt, it doesn’t cripple my life or limit too many of my choices in the everyday sense. I am a truly blessed and grateful human being.
I try to do the right thing for me, my family, and my situation as much as I can, whether it be in small acts like letting a driver cut in during traffic or speaking my mind for what I believe strongly in at a work meeting. I try to be kind, limit my complaining and snarkiness, and overall try to think of other people. I don’t always succeed and some days it’s quite hard, but that’s part of the business of being human.
So here’s to another year– this one seems filled more than ever with unknowns and “we’ll sees.” Maybe we’ll remodel the kitchen and redo the house a bit to stay there longer. Maybe I’ll amp up freelance work so much I can support myself in a career. Maybe we’ll expand our family. Maybe I’ll join the circus. Oh who am I kidding- this is the circus! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well said. I do believe you have the true meaning of happiness.
Happy belated birthday. I hope it was wonderful and I hope this year treats you well.
Another lovely and meaningful story…you are an inspiring young lady!!