Birthdays, especially ones that get you within arm’s length of a new decade, should provide obvious blog inspiration. When the decade knocking on your door is your 40’s, you seem poised for a humorous, reflective, thoughtful post about the passage of time, what you have learned, what you still don’t know and how this birthday is better/worse than all the other ones.
I could write about how birthdays are different once you have your own kids or 38 ways to make a 38-year-old feel special.
I could recount how after years of having childhood costume-themed parties due to my birthday’s proximity to H-day, I have grown averse to Halloween. It’s already impacting my sweet boys, who will be wearing Batman t-shirts off the clearance rack at Target as their “costume” this year.
But the inspiration hasn’t come. Tomorrow I turn 38 and it just feels like a Saturday that happens to be my birthday (which is, in fact, what it is). I have no profound sentiments surrounding this occasion to share. I do have a work obligation in the morning, family time in the afternoon, and date night with the husband to a delicious Japanese restaurant to look forward to.
One area (of many) where I want to improve my writing is paying attention to what I am genuinely thinking and feeling about a topic instead of what I believe might make a good post. As an avid reader of all things Internet, it’s easy to try to fit a post into a format you have seen go viral and be wildly successful. But I know what really makes those articles resonate is the author speaking his/her truth.
So the boring truth is I actually love my birthday. It’s great hearing from friends and family via phone, email, text or Facebook but with no obligation to respond to anything in a timely manner. It’s my favorite way of keeping in touch.
And of course I am thankful to be alive. I am grateful to be, at least as of this very moment, healthy. And getting a year older—even with Mrs. 40 starting to chisel my name into the class roster of middle age—is always better than the alternative.
I am not invincible to the pangs of time. I am not immune to the instances when it hits me like a punch in the stomach that my 30s are almost behind me and that I am celebrating birthdays I remember my parents celebrating (WHAT?!?). I have stretches where I reflect more about things I likely won’t do in my lifetime more than things I will.
And all of this is in direct contrast to working with college students every day who are on the brink of EVERYTHING (my favorite aspect of the job, by the way).
So maybe I am just in denial this go-round. Or maybe having 18-month-old twin boys doesn’t leave a lot of time to muse and reflect. Perhaps having another year in between now and 40 provides just the right buffer. Regardless, I am looking forward to spending this day and, if I should be so lucky, many more with loving family and friends.
As for the humorous, reflective and thoughtful post about the passage of time, please read this one. It’s one of the best essays I have ever read and the writer, Allison Slater Tate, explains all the feelings much better than I could (though a girl can dream). Enjoy!