Monday, July 7, 2008

Thirty-Nine

.
That's how many birthdays I have had.

Some were more memorable than others - the pool party at age 4, the year the dog ate the rollerskate birthday cake my mother spent hours making (and that was only the start of what went wrong that year), the surprise party at age thirty that found me gaping slack-jawed at a restaurant table full of friends in utter confusion (I always was a bit slow on the uptake). A lot of birthdays. Thirty-nine. Far fewer than some but more than many, with many more hopefully to come.

Thirty-nine.

I'm supposed to feel panicked at the impending demise of even the last few fleeting illusions of youth (most of which have already fled for parts unknown along with my girlish figure).

I don't feel panicked. Actually, I feel pretty good. Thirty-eight had its ups and downs, just as every other year has - some of the lows stomach-plungingly low but ultimately balanced out by highs which made my heart soar in joy.

I feel more balanced as I embark on this journey that will be thirty-nine. More aware that a number is just that - a number. It isn't a state of mind or a burden if I don't let it become one. I find that I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin with the passing years. Less enthralled with the outer packaging perhaps, but more able to recognize that for the wrapping paper that it is while the real me continues to grow and thrive. Confident in my likes and dislikes, in my abilities and strengths, and knowledgeable and accepting of my faults, for without them I would not be me. Proud of the woman I have become.

The kind of woman who is confident enough in her choices to stand up and say "yes, I went to see Air Supply in concert last Saturday night and I LOVED it." (And apparently so did thousands of other people too - the venue was PACKED with smiling people singing along to all their old favorites, the way you would slip on a favorite old sweater on a cold winter's night. I felt so vindicated.) The kind of woman who can admit that she used to own Air Supply's Lost in Love album, long before she discovered the Grateful Dead (and followed them up and down the East Coast) but long after discovering the Doors and Meat Loaf and Peter Paul and Mary. Yes, that's me. I paved my own path even back then. Hey, it could have been worse. It could have been the Bee Gees.

It's all good. And it will be even better tonight when I'm surrounded by gifts and cake the love of my family as we welcome thirty-nine together.

Bring it on thirty-nine. I'm ready.
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28 comments:

Robert said...

Well first off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Robin! This was such a great, reflective post. You're right, they are just numbers. You have such an incredible outlook on life, and yet, remain wonderfully realistic at the same time. As for me, 39 was good. 40 was significantly better. 41 got even better than that and continues to be so. I'll let you know when 42 strikes. :)

Brian said...

Indeed Happy Birthday from a 44 and a half year old. Life is good and age is just a number.

Now about that Air Supply... Lost in love and I... never mind. ;)

Hope to see you this Friday for the next prompt at the Rockin' Chair Writers.

SuperRaizy said...

Happy birthday! I just turned 40 a few days ago, and it didn't hurt a bit.
Your attitude is terrific. (Your love of Air Supply- well, maybe not so much (-;

Julia Smith said...

Happy Birthday, Robin! ((hug)) I myself just feel more and more authentic with each passing year. And that's coming from someone who's danced to her own drum from the word go...

Have a glorious day - I hope it's a beautiful one.

Domestic Spaz said...

Happy Birthday. :)

Genny said...

Happy Birthday! Loved reading your memories, especially the dog eating the roller skate! And I love your perspecive on getting older. I agree. And I think life keeps getting better with each year that passes. Have a fun day!

laughingatchaos said...

Happy Birthday, my friend. Wish I could have been with you to raise a glass in your honor. :)

Maddy said...

Great attitude. I remember thinking that hitting 40 would be significant but as it turned out I sort of missed it due to pregnancy or a birth or breast feedings or something or other. By the time I got my act together I'd hit 47.
Many happy returns.

Just Jen said...

Happy Birthday!!
36 here...but feels like 80...LOL
I LOVED air supply growing up, how cool is that? post pics if you got any!!
40 isn't so bad as far as I'm concerned, I figured my youth was lost at 29 and 40 is a permission slip to be miserable and just blame my age...LOL...the 30's are the 'oh i'm adult now' years...LOL

angie said...

I had a friend tell me once that it wasn't until her 30's that she was comfortable in her own skin, and that her 40's and 50's just got better........if my 40's and 50's are more amazing that my 30's have been, I'm so embracing getting older! HAPPY BIRTHDAY~ Hope your cake and gifts are just what you wanted.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Happy 39th! Hope it is a great one. And, don't worry, 40 isn't too bad either.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm not minding 39 nearly so much as what comes next (and lack of a book deal to go along with it). Yep, it's all about the book. I feel like an utter failure.

But otherwise, 39's okay.

RR Mama said...

Happy 39th! I found your blog through Genny. I'm 39 and it's great! I can't believe I said that but it is. At this age you are confident in who you are. And Air Supply, love it!

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Happy Birthday, lovely post, I was at a thirty ninth birthday party yesterday. You know what they say don't you? Fifty is the new forty, so you've got a long way to go yet!

Vader's Mom said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You've written a wonderful post and I'm very jealous of Air Supply. SO NOT FAIR!

Christine said...

Happy birthday, friend.

And as someone who is facing 43 at the end of the year, I can testify that YES! It is just a number.

Plus, 45 is the new 30, right?

Nancy said...

Happy Happy Birthday!

Eats lots of cake =)

And ... I still like the Bee Gee's ,lol

Phyllis Sommer said...

yom huledet sameach!

Donna said...

Hello from Texas! Happy belated birthday!!

Ilina said...

I love Air Supply! Nothing embarrassing about that.

Happy Birthday from a woman on the cusp of 40.

Trish (wheresthebox) said...

Happy Birthday from someone else approaching her 39th birthday.

I only had two parties growing up and they were both flops due to the time of year - my birthday is Christmas Day!

Stephanie in Idaho! said...

Love your blog!!! I am 43 going on 44 - and can second every one of the previous posts about getting better with age... I am much better at 43 than I was at 33 and *especially* than when I was 23. Let's not go any younger, okay?! hahaha

Happy Birthday to you!!!!! I have a (long lost) friend in Israel and I think of her when I read your blog...

Lirone said...

Happy Birthday Robin - and thanks for celebrating it with this lovely post that almost makes me wish I was at the other end of my thirties! Life is so much what you make of it...

This Eclectic Life said...

Thirty-nine, my dear! You are just a baby. I'm sorry I was off gallivanting and didn't get to wish you a happy day. I hope your new year is simply marvelous (and I'm so glad you didn't tell me it was the Bee Gees, lol)
Happy..happy...happy birthday.

Jo said...

Pooey, I'm late to wish you many, many happy returns dear friend!!!! Can't believe you're two whole years younger than me *grin*.

xxxxx

Robin said...

Thanks everyone, it was a lovely birthday.

Shannon said...

Happy birthday my friend. Sounds like 39 will look fabulous on you! Can't wait to see what this next year has in store for you.

Mojo said...

Aha! Found it finally. The Elves will be SO pleased.