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Posts Tagged ‘35’

make a wish

Today is my birthday.

The big 3-5 to be exact. Not really a milestone birthday but one whose imminent arrival has given me more than a few moments pause over the last year.

I wondered how I would feel when it finally was “the day.” I find my birthday moods vary widely from year to year and are often impossible to predict.

Depressed and angry?

Thoughtful and retrospective?

Ambivalent and uncaring?

It’s really a wonderful birthday surprise to crack open my eyes each year on September 10 and see what wonders await.

So far this one has been a bit of a jumble. In the days leading up to it I thought I had things well in hand. I was feeling optimistic, appreciative and blessed.

That was until yesterday afternoon when the downward spiral commenced.

The voices in my head which, 24 hours earlier, had been kind, supportive and comforting had somehow disappeared. They were instead replaced by ones who mocked my accomplishments (or lack thereof) and shot down all of the hopes and plans I had made for the coming year.

Believe me, the inside of my head has not been a great place to be.

It carried over into this morning. I spent my commute to work berating myself for allowing another year to pass where nothing has changed. I am in the exact same place, doing the exact same things as I was this time last year; only now I’m a year older. Another year gone, never to return. Time wasted, again.

It was not shaping up to be a good day. I feared I would end up spending it bitter and depressed and when my head hit the pillow tonight I would regret another birthday spent wallowing, rather than celebrating.

But thankfully, slowly things began to shift.

I happily accepted my free birthday drink at Starbucks (sometimes it really is the little things) and smiled back at the stranger behind the counter who wished me a happy birthday and genuinely seemed to mean it.

I got hugs and celebratory hugs from friends who were honestly happy for me. I had a quiet lunch with a friend who presented me with a little bag holding a tiny, perfect present, just for me.

And now I’m heading home where I will be met by two little people who will be beyond excited to finally show me their homemade presents and smother me with birthday kisses. They will excitedly offer to help me blow out the 35 candles on my cake and I will laugh and dot each of their noses with a tiny bit of icing.

And I will close my eyes and make a wish, even though I know for a fact that I already have everything I could ever want.

Happy Birthday to me.

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I’ve managed to cross another one of the list of “35 things to do before I turn 35.”  Good old number 19 has now been taken care of:

19) write a letter to the editor when I read something I like (or hate) and actually send it

I read Macleans magazine every week.  Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it but it’s basically my only source of information that doesn’t deal with celebrities and/or entertainment.  I go through periods in my life where I convince myself that I should read a newspaper every day but really, who can actually read one of those broadsheet papers in public without making so much noise folding the pages that everyone turns to look at you?  I end up covered in newsprint with the world section crumpled in a ball and stuffed under my seat on the train while I curse under my breath and pull my latest copy of Entertainment Weekly out of my purse.

But I digress.

I read Macleans every week and I feel like it enables me to have a reasonable understanding on what’s going on in our country and the major world issues so that if I happen to be at a dinner party where people are discussing things slightly higher-brow than the latest episode of Jersey Shore or Jennifer Aniston’s new shaggy bob, that I can voice a reasonably educated opinion.  Issues in the Middle East?  Sure, I can at least pronounce most of the countries over there and know who is fighting against who.  Mitt Romney?   Sure, at least I know he’s not the new middle reliever for the Blue Jays.  You get the idea.

So the other week on the train I was reading through the latest issue of Macleans and I came across an article entitled: Advantage, Working Mothers.  I read it, thought it made a few interesting points and decided this was going to fuel some vicious letters to the editor in the coming weeks.  I wasn’t wrong.  An issue a couple of weeks later included some rather venomous comments, not directed specifically at how the article was written (of course) but rather focusing on justification for the choice certain mothers have made re: working outside the home or working inside the home.  You know what I’m talking about.

I sat on the train and read the comments and I could feel my blood beginning to boil.  Let me be clear here though, my disgust is not related to whether a mother decides to work 60 hours a week away from her kids; stays home and home schools her 8 kids under the age of 10 or is somewhere in between.  What got to me about the comments was the tone of them – people justifying their own life choices by putting down the decisions others have made.  It makes me so angry.

So I pulled out my BlackBerry and started typing.  I’ve done this a few times before but I usually get halfway through my rant and then delete it before actually hitting send.  Not this time.  This time I wrote it all the way through to the end and sent it off into the great unknown.  And then I smiled.

I know it’s not going to get published in the magazine and I’m okay with that.  I’m just proud of myself for sending it.  A little step but a step nonetheless.  Number 19 on the list?  Done.

Oh, and if you’re curious what I wrote, I’ve included it below.

The debate between stay-at-home and working mothers has been going on for decades and will probably continue long after my own daughter has become a mother. It’s a valid debate because the stakes are high and those on either side of the issue feel compelled to argue the validity of the choice they have made. Debate of the issue is good; sniping and name-calling directed at those who don’t subscribe to your particular stance on the issue however, is wrong. 

In a day in age when putting down someone’s religion, heritage or sexual orientation is rightly frowned upon, why have mothers continued to remain fair game?  I will choose to raise my kids as I see fit, as a working mother, a stay-at-home mother, a Tiger mother or any other way that I deem to be right for my kids, my family and yes, for me as a person. And I fully respect the right of the mother across the street or across the country to do so as well. 

Maybe one of these days we mothers will stop pointing fingers at each other long enough to pat each other on the back for the job we’re all trying to do as best we can, however we choose to do it. 

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35 things to do before i turn 35

When I wrote my previous post, it got me thinking about the number 35.  Specifically the fact that this year I’m going to be turning 35 (cue depressing music) and then when I sat down and thought about it some more, and pulled out a calendar, I realized it’s exactly 35 weeks until I turn 35.  Well, that was just too many 35s to ignore so I decided to add one more to the mix.  And so, in today’s post I decided to come up with a list of 35 things that I want to do before I turn 35.

Considering the time line isn’t huge, most of them are fairly simple things that should berelatively easy to accomplish (I hope).  Mostly these are things that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, or did once a long time ago and want to do again.  I decided this was a good excuse to stop avoiding or putting them off and writing thme on a list is a lot more effective for a Type-A Virgo such as myself.

So here we go, in no particular order – 35 Things to Do Before I Turn 35:

1) send cheesy Valentine cards to the people I love

2) get back in touch with 5 old friends (NOT using Facebook)

3) post (at least) 35 more posts on this blog

4) buy a funky hat – and actually wear it in public

5) bake a pie from scratch (including the crust)

6) spend an afternoon drinking tea with my Nannie

7) go for a walk on the path that I pass every day on my way to work

8) go to a movie, by myself, in the middle of the day

9) try sushi (again)

10) enter the Toronto Star short story contest

11) read 20 new books

12) ride a red double-decker bus

13) watch the Lord of the Rings movie (if only so my friend will leave me alone already)

14) plan a great surprise

15) buy a Cinnabon, eat the whole thing myself and not feel the least bit guilty about it

16) go to the ROM

17) watch a sunrise

18) ride It’s A Small World with my kids at Disneyland

19) write a letter to the editor when I read something I like (or hate) and actually send it

20) update my resume (even if I don’t do anything with it)

21) rock a newborn baby to sleep my arms

22) watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians seasons 1 and 2 (I’m not proud of it but on the list it goes)

23) have a tequila shot

24) have someone pay money for something I’ve written

25) dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean

26) throw out the dress at the back of my closet that I love but doesn’t fit anymore (and never will)

27) get tickets to a movie at TIFF

28) take a family photo with my parents, their two kids and four grand kids (living 3,000 miles apart makes this kind of thing difficult)

29) Read the Ramona books with my daughter (just like my mom did with me)

30) eat a salad made completely from vegetables I grew in my garden

31) buy RED lipstick (not brown, not peach – RED)

32) wear a two-piece bathing suit in public (and rock it)!

33) order a new pair of glasses online

34) see the look on my kids faces from the top of the CN Tower

35) blow out 35 candles on my birthday cake – not one or two token candles but the whole shebang, even if it sets off the smoke alarm

Wish me luck!

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