neonAs my dear readers know, I had a birthday this week.  Normally I love my birthday because it’s an excuse to eat cookie cake without people passing judgment on me (or at least if they do, they keep it to themselves).

When I was a kid I anxiously counted down the weeks until my dig day, knowing I would finally be a year older and closer to being an adult.

When the day finally arrived, my parents would wake me up singing “Happy Birthday.”  I always pretended to hate it, but secretly I loved the attention, even if my dad was off-key.

In the years leading up to my 20s, I continued to look forward to my birthday.

The 21 birthday is a coveted one because it means you can throw away the fake ID, or at least give it to another deserving soul.

The 25th birthday marked what I believe to be the age when people would start taking me seriously.

They didn’t.

Birthday in VegasOnce I got into my 30s, however, I stopped counting down to birthdays with excitement and started counting down with read.

I began thinking of those final days as the last moments I would be young and I cringed with each passing day as my birthday drew near.

This year I realized that’s not the way I want to live my life.  I turned 34 this year.  Yes, 34.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m in my mid-thirties and am no longer the young woman I used to be, and I’m okay with it.

Yes, I’m starting to see sun spots on my face and my chest is starting to show signs of years sunbathing with baby oil.  My feet are starting to ache when I stand too long and my stomach is far more sensitive than it used to be.

matt and lisa on mopedThe scars from my gallbladder surgery hurt when I eat too much and I know that sitting on bleachers will irritate my sciatica.

I know all of this, and yet I’m not sad.  I”m happy about it.

Why?  Because those sun spots on my face and chest are from vacations with my loved ones and afternoons at the pool with friends.

My aching feet are from years of exploring the world, hiking a mountain, walking across The Brooklyn Bridge and running a 5k.

My sensitive stomach is from years of drinking beer at the bar and eating at five-star restaurants in Beverly Hills (all the while wondering if we were going to be kicked out for being “commoners”).

Matt and Lisa Family Mexico 2011My gallbladder scars are from when I was hospitalized and became friends with my roommate.

My sciatica acts up when I sit on bleachers because of all the years of basketball games, World Series games, tailgating and college bowl games.

Yes, my body may be more achy than I’d like for it to be.  Yes, my skin may not be as resilient as it once was.

But my soul?  My soul is enriched more each year because of the life experiences I’ve had.

I’m not the person I was when I was 25 and for that I’m grateful.  I don’t want to be that person. It’s not that she was a bad woman; I liked her when I was 25.

But now, I’m the new and improved model.  I may have signs of wear and tear, but I think I’m better than ever.

Matt and Lisa on Beach-dark hairSo this year, I’m celebrating turning 34.  I don’t mean just that I’m having some cake and a day at the spa, although I certainly will do those things.

Rather, I’m talking about celebrating the 33 years I’ve been on this planet, creating memories and enjoying those people I love.

I’m going to look back over my years and take note of my accomplishments and my failures, because both have made me who I am.

I will also look forward to getting older instead of dreading it.  I will embrace each coming year, knowing I’m a better person each year because of the life I’m living.

Lisa with iceeSo when people wish me happy birthday, I won’t roll my eyes, mostly because the shingles on my eye won’t let me roll them.  But I also won’t roll my eyes and complain about getting older.

I will thank the well-wishers and remind myself that my birthday truly is a happy time.  It’s a time to celebrate life and making it through this crazy world one more year.

I will definitely drink to that (and then wash it down with cake).



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8 Thoughts on “Why I’m Keeping The “Happy” In Happy Birthday

  1. Smohawk on July 17, 2014 at 10:49 pm said:

    Probably your best stuff here in this post. Truer words have yet to be spoken. If we can’t enjoy our messed up lives then what’s the point? I’m just glad you’re seeing your mid 30’s before me! Although some may argue I act like a 50 year old already, I can always feel good knowing you’re older than me!!

  2. Yaaay! This make me happy 🙂

  3. Great post. And wonderful attitude! I will be inching into 50 and feel the same way.

    • It seems like just yesterday I was in high school. It’s going way too fast but I’m learning to adjust and just enjoy every minute. Life is for the living and we need to embrace where we are and who we’re with and just enjoy the day.

      Glad you’ve figured that out too. And 50 is the new 30. Didn’t you know?

  4. Happy birthday, Lisa! As they say, you only live once and making the best of it is what life is all about. Good for you for having such a great outlook on life. And by the way, just wait until you hit your 40s, like me. 🙂
    Suzanne Lucas just rambled about…The Great Duchess Hair Twirl and Four Other Life-Changing News Stories You May Have Missed This YearMy Profile

    • I feel like this is the best way to look at things. We can’t change it so why not embrace it and celebrate what we’ve accomplished and look forward to what we will!

      And 40 is the new 20, so you’re still young!

  5. Your attitude couldn’t be more precious. And fabulous.

    You’re a doll. And you are so right.

    WAIT UNTIL YOU TURN 40, SISTER! That’s when it reeeeally gets good!

    Every stretch mark I have and every laugh line around my eyes are there from good times and sweet memories. And you caught on to that much younger than I did. Congratulations.

    You’re preciously beautiful and see the world the way more women should!
    Carrie just rambled about…I always think it can’t get any worse and then I realize what an ass is in Spanish.My Profile

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