My 45th Birthday

Happy birthday to me!

The kids were very happy to see the birthday breakfast this morning!

The kids were very happy to see the birthday breakfast this morning!

As the famous French writer, Victor Hugo, once wrote, “Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.”

I’m still getting presents from my parents, but during the part of the day that the kids were home, life is centered completely on their needs.

All four kids signed their names themselves for the first time ever.

All four kids signed their names themselves for the first time ever.

For the part of the day that is kid free, I spent the time doing some of the things I love.

I tried a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for a long time, The Chicago Diner.

It’s a meat free restaurant. Yes, I’m back on the vegan kick again. I stupidly started listening to the Rich Roll podcast while out running. He is a recovering lawyer, super athlete and vegan advocate. Now that I’ve heard it, I can’t unhear it. I’m slowly trying to cut out meat, dairy and refined sugars. Right now, I’m about halfway there.

Vegan Reuben with Yucca Chips

Vegan Reuben with Yucca Chips

This afternoon I ran a quick errand at REI for some winter gloves for the kids. I made the mistake of trying on some sales items. Shopping after childbirth is a depressing event. I’ve come to the realization that they only make two kinds of clothing for women: Skinny Hussy or Rolly Polly. Once again, at 45, I’m slam bang in the middle of that. Tight clothes show my imperfect lumps and billowy clothes make me look heavier than I am.

After dinner, as we were cutting up the birthday cake and I was agonizing over breaking my sugar fast for this special event, Adam asked me if I was having a good birthday.DSC_0870

I looked around at my oldest son, halfway through his childhood years. I thought about how many new projects I was trying to start now that the kids were back in school. Halfway through reading 3 books and 2 New Yorker magazines, a dozen or more writing projects half finished, halfway through a long list of de-cluttering projects, halfway through fixing the shower faucet, halfway through my perpetual to-do list, halfway through the life of this messy, complicated nuclear family and with any luck, halfway through my existence here on earth.DSC_0876

I looked on the table, next to the slices of cake to see my children’s glasses of milk, all half full.

I turned and answered Adam with an enthusiastic,  “Yes!”

I wouldn’t trade the childbirth lumps, the never ending to-do slumps, or messy family bumps for anything. There are very few times in your life when you are lucky enough to have both older and younger generations, as well as around 100 or so of your closest Facebook friends thinking of you on your special day.

If I’m halfway there, I can only look back with an immense appreciation of a life lived to it’s fullest, and look forward in optimistic anticipation of what is to come. But mostly importantly, with great joy, I can savor today, enjoying all the love and accomplishments that have lead me to this very moment.

After all, as another famous author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once wrote, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

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