Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birthday thoughts and details

I turned 38 years old yesterday. I can calmly and confidently admit to my age because although it puts me a lot closer to 40 than 30, somehow I'm okay with that. Admittedly, I do have minor freak-outs occasionally. Going to my 20 year high school reunion, finding more and more gray hair, having a daughter that is learning to drive...these are all things that make me understand my age, even if I don't necessarily feel it. Luckily, I look young for my age. All those people who tried to console me back when I was a 12 year old-looking high schooler by telling me that when I was in my 30's and looked like I was in my 20's I would be grateful...were right. And somehow I don't physically FEEL old either. Well, you know...other than the fact that my metabolism isn't what it used to be. Those cookies, cupcakes, chocolates and licorice that my neighbors so kindly gifted me yesterday will take some effort to work off. Because yes, I WILL be eating them!

But mostly I'm okay with turning 38 because I have a lot more confidence in myself now than I did even just a few years ago. Confidence in who I am, life experiences and wisdom. About 8 years ago or so I had a conversation with Sharlene Hawkes, a friend from my old neighborhood. She is a few years older (and wiser) than me...and told me, when I was complaining a bit about my upcoming 30th birthday, that she quite enjoyed turning 30. That she was enjoying her 30's for numerous reasons but mostly because people took her more seriously. I was rather surprised at this. She was Miss America for heavens sake, traveling all over the country doing speaking engagements and performances. And an ESPN reporter after that, interviewing big sports greats....all in her 20's. And people didn't take her seriously until after she turned 30?? I couldn't understand made no sense to me until after I reached that big (scary) milestone age and grew into it a bit. What I came to realize, for me anyhow, was that it wasn't necessarily that people started magically taking me more seriously. It was that I was taking myself more seriously. I had done some pretty heavy duty reflection leading up to that 30th birthday. Reflection about who I was, what I had done with my life, what I wanted to be and do with the next 30 years. I wrestled with it for quite a few months. I came out of it more grounded...which then led to me reflecting back that confidence in myself to others.

I don't want this to sound like I am the most confident, self-assured person on the planet. I have my moments of doubt. I am wracked with shyness and self esteem struggles periodically. But I am happy with my life and who I am. And that makes my age rather irrelevant.

A few details from the day in pictures:
1. An early morning bike ride with some neighbors. All of us training for LOTOJA, we did hills. My leg doesn't have hills like theirs do. But I huffed and puffed up Crestwood hill and was rewarded by seeing 4 deer on the side of the road! Beautiful!
2. Facebook Happy Birthday greetings. I was overwhelmed with how many messages I got! It was a definite highlight of my day.
3. Lilian had ballet class. Here she is waiting for the carpool to come pick her up.
4. The Relief Society birthday banner flying in my yard.
5. Ah, roses. They smell so good!
6. Went to voice lessons. That song is the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's "The Magic Flute." And if you look really close...see that ridiculously high note up there? Yeah, it's a high, high F. Highest I have ever sung.
7. Family tradition holds we make our own birthday banner for each family member's birthday throughout the year. The kids had a good time coloring this one for me yesterday after school.
8. Gymnastics workout for Brandon. I was on carpool duty.
9. Julianne and Lilian.
10. Star of India for dinner....yum!
11. After dinner. (We took two different pictures. Bryan has his eyes closed in both. Oh well.)
12. Came home to find numerous treats on the front porch. I have such kind neighbors....who know me extremely well! :)
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Heidi said...

My best friend and I were having this exact same conversation this morning! It's nice when you get to a place in your life where you feel good in your own skin and are grateful for all the things and experiences that make you who you are!! I'm so glad you had a good day. :)

DisabilityDiva said...

Amazing attitude! So happy to love life and where you are! Happy Birthday!!!