Monday, October 3, 2011

Birthday Reflections {2}

Today’s my birthday.

I have so much stuff to catch you up on, so many half written posts, but today, this post, is all about me. I’m thirty-six today. What an awkward age, don’t you think? No longer in my early thirties, but not yet almost forty. Neither fish nor fowl.

So what have I learned this year? Well, mostly that there are no guarantees in life. You can be healthy one day and ill the next, or vice versa, you can be happy and then something happens and you’re depressed, you can be alive one second and then you’re not. And really all it takes is one second. But all this is getting morbid. You get my point though, right? No guarantees. Life is what it is, and that’s how we must take it, with the good, the bad and the ugly.

Most of the things I do are useless and superficial. And I’m not purposely putting myself down, I’m a control freak of apocalyptic proportions, so I always feel like there are a million things I need to do and that I’m the only one in the whole entire world’s population of just under 7 billion that can get it done right. Just writing this makes me feel arrogant and self-important. So, yeah, I can probably put off 99% of the stuff I think is vital and the earth would, in fact, still turn on its axis – mind-boggling, I know.

I’ve also learned that nothing is so important that it can’t be put off to spend time with someone you love. Because someone you love may not be around later. And honestly having regrets is worse than dirty dishes or the multitude of menial tasks that fill up our days. So now, when the kids want me to play with them I think about this and refrain from sighing as I put down my iPad.

This has been a strange year for me, if I think back to myself last year I was a much more positive, more optimistic person. I hope this is a passing phase. I’m also a much calmer, more fatalistic person. There’s only so much we can control, if anything at all, so there’s literally no point in worrying about things. I’m not that zen yet, but it’s my goal, because a lifetime of worrying has gotten me nothing but a nice frown line between my eyes.

I’m usually extremely excited about my birthday; see last year’s post here for proof! This year it just sort of sneaked up on me, though maybe that’s a good thing – no hype, no disappointment. Though when the husband asked me what I wanted, I neither hesitated nor had to think about it… I’d like one, or ideally two nights in a five star hotel with a spa within a two-hour drive of home. I know, pretty specific (and expensive) but I’m tired from lack of sleep and mentally exhausted from the past two years and am in full “what the hell” mode.

Although, you know what? If I don’t get the present I want, cause, well, he’s a man so there’s no guarantee that he actually heard my answer, I’m just going to go ahead and get it for myself. Because another thing I learned this year is that money comes and money goes but there’s certainly no joy in it sitting in the bank.

This post is depressing, I know, but another thing I’ve learned this year is that one simply cannot be positive and upbeat all the time. Plus it’s 1am, I’ve just gotten home after the longest road trip ever (12 hours from Rome to home, which normally takes about 6 or 7), and a very emotional and tiring weekend dedicated to my Mom’s wedding, so there’s a very good chance that I’ll wake up to my old self later and will have to write a revised birthday post!


  1. Happy Birthday to you!  I just turned 32 last week.  And I totally agree with your post - money does you no good sitting in the bank, hanging out with your family is more important than cleaning or whatever.

  2. Happy Birthday! I don't think this is depressing at all. I think it's honest and realistic. My birthday is just around the corner and I think I'll print this and hang it up to remind myself of what is really important.

    I hope you have a great day & get your time away. You deserve it friend!!


  3. Happy Birthday!  I hope that you can get some rest...

  4. Those all sound like important lessons to learn. A contemplative birthday is sometimes what a person needs. I hope you do get that weekend getaway and have a lovely, lovely birthday!

  5. Forse il mio inglese fa davvero acqua da tutte le parti ma non mi pare che il tuo post sia deprimente. E' realistico, dici cose vere, il contrario va bene per i fanciulli e gli inguaribili ottimisti ( che a volte sembrano pure tonti) davvero sono 36?!?!? Merdazza, pensavo molti meno, perche' questo vuol dire che io ne ho molti di più! E' buffo, ma quando qualcuno e "bimbo" quando tu sei adulto, per il resto della vita rimane sempre piccolo ed e' difficile adattarsi agli anni che passano pure per i "bimbi"!
    Essere come sei oggi ti fa cogliere i reali momenti belli della vita, e a me pare bello!
    Ariauguri giovane cognata ( e finche' Alan non si accasera' con una giovinastra sempre tale resterai!).
    Ti mando mille baci

  6. Thanks, right back atcha! 

  7. Thanks! Day has indeed been good (lots of baking involved) and am still working on the time away part! 

  8. Spent good part of day lounging in front of tv so seem to be on right track!

  9. Thank you! contemplative, that's me lately...

  10. forse una volta ero un'inguaribile ottimista... mi manca un po... ma si invecchia e si cambia inevitabilmente.

  11. um Fancy here just turned 40 a couple weeks ago. And is still waiting for her present. So you're looking pretty good! 

  12. Ha! Happy belated birthday! Did I miss a post on that, or were you being shy? I actually went out and bought myself a present from the kids today cause, as usual, all hints as to what I wanted from them were ignored by the adult responsible for making it happen.