Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Which I Have a Birthday!

I can tell that I'm starting to feel better, folks! The urge to declutter is taking a stronger hold, and I've actually set a fifteen minute timer for myself to blog. Things are looking up!

So. Let's talk about birthdays!

I used to have one, you know. A birthday. Every year. And then something happened.

Our first child was born - right after my birthday. Then the family decided to make our annual family reunion coincide with that child's birthday. Suddenly, within the space of one month, we had four family birthdays, Father's Day, our anniversary, a family reunion (that we host), and a couple other things that I'm forgetting. Not being especially good at dealing with a busy schedule, June quickly turned into the month that was going to make me lose my mind.

And in the process, my birthday was completely lost. Every time it came around, I would wave it off with an exhausted hand. "We'll deal with it later. Right now I'm too tired!"

And predictably, it was always postponed indefinitely.

Not that birthdays are the be-all-end-all of existence. But it was always disappointing.

This year, I rebelled. Despite all of the usual June insanity, I stopped and said, "Wait! I want to DO SOMETHING for my birthday!"

Being a reasonable man, my husband said, "Okay, so what do you want to do?"

That was an easy answer. Steak, of course! 

We haven't seen any beef outside of hamburger for nearly two years, and my find-an-animal-and-eat-it instinct always goes through the roof during pregnancy.

And so steak it was! With potatoes, strawberries, and corn for the carb-eaters (I may or may not have had some, *ahem*), and sauteed mushrooms for me - YUM.

We added our favorite horseradish sauce, and it was superb. I could eat that stuff straight. Yum, yum, yum.

And more importantly, I felt... better. It's the first birthday I've celebrated in eight years, and it just felt much, much, better. A (very minor) glitch in the universe was righted.

Unfortunately, I also awakened a ravenous appetite for steak. Pretty soon you'll see me on the side of the freeway off-ramp with a sign: "Will work for steak, preferably porterhouse."

I ended the day with low-carb ice cream, of my own concocting. It was terrible. But any ice cream is better than none!

Having (almost) reached my mid-thirties, I must say that I have found my thirties much preferable to my twenties. Not that my twenties weren't fun. They really were, and I enjoyed them tremendously. But they were... tempestuous, to say the least. Graduating from college, first job, first moving away from home, first married life, first apartment, first house, first pregnancy, first miscarriage, hyperemesis, first childbirth, first parenting of todders - it was all very life-shattering stuff.

Of course, every life-decade has the possibility of being tempestuous and life-shattering. I know that there are many challenging life experiences ahead of me. But it does seem that the twenties might be unique in their level of craziness. We shall see! (Thoughts, anyone?)

Another thing that I am enjoying about my thirties is my growing ability to cast aside cultural and peer-pressure-caused expectations. It's taken many years even to recognize those expectations for what they were, let alone grasp the courage to jettison them. Have any of you experienced that? It's just lovely. My thirties have been a wonderful time of coming into myself - shedding unnecessary self-imposed expectations and the things I have tried to do and be that have been simply the result of cultural pressure. It's such a beautifully freeing feeling!

I am not, of course, speaking of discarding morals. Far from it. But cultural expectations, on the other hand, are a real pain, and it's lovely to shed them one by one.

Life is an interesting journey - and there's so far to go. My character has so many flaws, and I'm thankful that God is working on me - day by day, year by year. I don't see the changes from day to day, but when I look back a decade, I realize how far we've come. God is good.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off! It's time to go celebrate our eleventh anniversary.

With steak. And horseradish sauce. Preferably lots of it.


  1. Happy Birthday to you!!!!

    I am of the opinion (now being into my 40s) that my 30s were better than my 20s and my 40s are better than my 30s. Though the world moans the loss of youth, I'm finding that my greater experience and greater sense of God and self are making being older better. :)

    Best day of my 40s so far--yesterday, hearing a strong heartbeat and seeing the dancing body of the little one I'm carrying. It lifted a massive weight off our entire household--even the smallest kids are brighter and lighter than they were before I came home with pictures and good news. (Fun bonus--I'm 1 week further along than we thought!)

  2. It is so nice to hear from someone that they like being older. I am a couple years from my thirties still, but I had fallen victim to the belief that turning thirty was the END!!! of . . . something. I am only just starting to feel okay about it, and it is lovely to hear that it can be a wonderful and blessed time.

  3. Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall - Oh, what wonderful news! I'm so glad to hear about the wee one doing so well! Awesome!!

    And yes, I have suspected that each decade will be better than the last - finding out that my thirties aren't less than my twenties has been a big relief, and seeing how far I've progressed spiritually has made me realize that maturity and depth far outweigh the loss of youth - which is, I think, highly overrated! :)

    llamaofdoom - Yes, I always love hearing from women older than I that everything is still going to be okay through the aging process! :)



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