Birthday Reflections

by Heligirl on September 16, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

Today marks the first day of the last year of my 30s.

Sometimes on my birthday I look back at all the years stacking up behind me, reflecting on the good and bad. For kicks, sometimes I’ll remember birthdays past, where I was, what I was doing.

Once, when I turned 32, I thought about all I wanted to accomplish – like have a family. By that day, I’d not yet met a man I wanted to have a family with. I don’t recommend spending your birthday that way, by the way. Far too depressing.

Today, however, I’ve been looking back through the last 10 years.

I was in a different place mentally, physically and spiritually 10 years ago. It was the beginning of what I like to refer to as the dark period. I was in the middle of a divorce, practically homeless, hanging between jobs and not a little out of control. When you’re 29, you’ve got some time under your belt. By all rights and purposes, I was supposed to have a career, home, family, happiness, etc. Instead, I had a flailing helicopter flying career due to a slump in the industry, and not much else.

By 32, when I chose to send myself into a state of depression over my perceived lack of progress on my life goals, I at least had a steady, respectable job and a house I’d bought all my myself. Maybe it was only 528 square feet and English was the fourth language in the neighborhood, but it was mine. My heart was still broken, but I was pulling out of the dark period and at least I had a job (even though I despised it) and a home. I was getting there. But I so wanted to be home in Seattle, married and having a family.

I celebrated my 33rd birthday back home in my beloved Seattle. I’d returned home only three days earlier for a great new job I still have and love. That was a great day.

By 34 I had been in my Seattle home 11 months (thanks to the sale of the little place in Socal) and had been seeing a great guy for about six months.

I was a Mrs. by my 35th birthday and we decided we’d best not wait much longer to try for that family.

I was two days past my due date on my 36th birthday. I was huge, uncomfortable and so excited to meet my little girl I didn’t care if she came on my special day. She, in fact, waited three more days.

I spent my 37th birthday pregnant again and in the throws of morning sickness. I was about 5 weeks pregnant and planning my baby girl’s first birthday party.

I don’t remember 38, last year. That’s pretty sad, really.

Today, 39, I’m feeling happy and fortunate. I have that home, job, husband and family I wanted so desperately eight years ago. I’ve been feeling rather low lately, worrying about work, daily chores, and other stupid things all the time until I’m feeling beaten down. When I sit back and see how far I’ve come and how all my biggest dreams have come true, I’m suddenly elated. Everything else seems petty. Today my perspective has changed.

Happy birthday indeed.


Matt September 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

Happy Birthday! Mine is in a couple of days. For the last 10 years of so I have taken a picture on my birthday of my face in the same position/same focal length. Not my idea – I stole it from a photographer who did the same for his wife for 40-something years. I will scroll through the images just to remember what was going on at the time. Usually they are happy memories.

I hope you get lots of good stuff from your husband and that the kids are adorably sweet to you and not at all fussy on this one day.


Twitter: Heligirl
September 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

Thanks so much Matt. I love that photo idea. It must be so cool to go through and look at those shots. Happy birthday to you too? What day is it? And that is an amazingly sweet wish for my birthday. Love it. Hubby is sick, so I haven’t even seen him awake yet today. But Sweetness wished me a happy birthday when she woke up, which made my day. 🙂

Kate Walton September 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

Happy birthday, dear Jen! What a wonderful, moving post. And what a brave journey…you have accomplished so much and deserve every iota of happiness. I hope you enjoy your special day.

Twitter: Heligirl
September 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

Thanks so much Kate! You’re very sweet. It was really enlightening to put this post together.

Kris September 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Happy Birthday!! Mine (#36) was a few weeks back…happily married with kids (if that was your wish) is a great place to be. I try hard NOT to take it for granted either. Life be good!
Kris recently posted: weekend fun sept 17-19

Twitter: Heligirl
September 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks Kris, and happy belated to you too!! The periodic reality check keeps things in perspective. It’s hard not to take thing for granted when your plotting along all the time. I hear ya!
Heligirl recently posted: 3 Alternatives to Offering Rewards

Melissa {adventuroo} September 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

Happy birthday! I love that you can look back and remember each year like that (well, except 38 but I’ll cut you some slack- ha). Enjoy your day!

Twitter: Heligirl
September 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Thanks my dear! I still can’t remember 38. I’m sure we did something nice. Sheesh. This getting old thing sucks.

Alana Morales September 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Happy belated!! Glad that this year finds you in such a wonderful place! 🙂
Alana Morales recently posted: Week in Review 9-18

Twitter: Heligirl
September 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Thanks Alana. It has been a wild ride, but I love where I am right now. Everyday isn’t puppies and rainbows, but having been in the bad place, the worst day now is still a blessing. 🙂

Carol September 21, 2010 at 9:25 am

I’m late! But Happy Birthday! I hope your day was special. I had fun taking the journey with through your birthdays passed. How wonderful that life brings us exactly where we are meant to be.

Twitter: thelifeofrylie
September 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

Happy (belated) Birthday! I’m so glad this one was a good one for you. I know exactly how if feels to want your life a certain way and not have it, so I’m so happy for you that you are finally in the place you longed to be in for so long. 😀

Twitter: rachael1013
September 22, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I hope you had a wonderful birthday. It’s so interesting to see how things progress when you look back at a specific day like that.
Rachael recently posted: Pulling on the Past – Pieces I Left Behind- Part 3

Susan September 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Happy Belated! Mine was the 9th. How interesting to look back through the years. I can’t really remember my 38th or 39th very much as anything other than the first 2 yrs. of my son’s life, when I had no sleep and nearly lost my mind. Sounds like your life goals to date are well met. Congrats.

Sam @ Stomach Exercises December 2, 2010 at 8:26 am

Sometimes it feels good to think back the happy
and sad days of our lives. So much to thankful
everyday…Very inspiring !!

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