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    SDLEE514   18,387
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints

Birthday reflections

Monday, June 03, 2013

"What matters most in life is often viewed as peripheral to the things that we usually focus on. Passion takes a backseat to production, wellness to working, and balance to busyness. The old adage that 'life is not a dress rehearsal' is so true, yet we act to the contrary by putting off what is truly important or indulging in things that are not. On your birthday, stop focusing on your age and start meditating on your life at this exact moment. How can you make it better? During the next year, reshuffle your priorities. Spend more time with family and friends, take care of your body and health by eating well and exercising regularly, and offer to help others in need. Discover what matters most to you, and make your daily life into a true reflection of those ideas, beliefs, and attitudes."

This was the lovely sentiment emailed to me today for my birthday from Spark. Today I turned 27. I am neither happy nor upset about it, if that makes sense. I am not happy because it feels like another year where I should be "here" by now. But that "here" is an arbitrary notion of where I "should" be in life, made up completely in my head. And it's silly. I am not upset though because I'm still young and hopefully have many healthy years ahead of me, but with my health issues, I worry about it. I don't have the normal life expectancy.

From the sentiment, I wonder, do I put off things that are important and indulge in things that are not? What is important to me? My health, which I do exercise and try to eat healthy most of the time. I would say I am not putting that off. Do I indulge in things that are not? Yeah, probably. Like shopping, drinking, laying out in the sun...I don't know. Am I focused on my age? Like I said, I can get caught up in this silly notion, and I've blogged about this before, that I "should" be or have all these things by now...engaged, a bigger, chic apartment, Sex & the City type friends, etc. etc. Sometimes it really gets me down, especially as I get older and nothing has changed. Also, the fact that my worth is not measured in Facebook posts, or lacktherof, for my birthday. Why do I let these things get to me?

How can I make my life better? I struggle with this. I feel like I'm in a constant pursuit for self-improvement. I already try to exercise and eat well, I can continue that. I'm trying to train myself to be happier and not focus on the little things (mainly what I just mentioned above). I don't understand how to "live each day to the fullest" when you are so consumed with the daily grind of work, exercise, eat, sleep. How is that living life to the fullest?

As far as discovering what matters to me and "make your daily life into a true reflection of those ideas, beliefs, and attitudes." Easier said than done. What matters to me is my health, my cat, my bf/family/friends, and my passions, mainly travel and making jewelry. I cannot spend my life just making jewelry and traveling but at least I have the means to pursue them, as allowed given other life constraints.

Well this has been a bit of a downer blog. It's dreary and it's a Monday, doesn't the weatherman know its my birthday? lol. But, I should be happy because it IS my birthday! Time to celebrate me and being alive. I am grateful for all that I do have and accomplished in my 27 years, including beating the odds (speaking from health perspective), going after my dreams (getting a master's degree and moving down to the DC area, getting my own kitty), I have a wonderful bf who I know cares about me and doesn't deserve all this complaining (not to his face) about where is my ring, and I have a roof over my head and am able to afford the healthier foods I want to eat. I have a great job with a career-track. I have *some* friends. I've been able to travel to some pretty amazing places and I know I will do more.

I want to give myself the gift today of being on track, but I probably wouldn't say no to some bday indulgence. I have no idea if the bf has anything planned, say for dinner. This past weekend was bad, I went out with friends for some pre-birthday celebrating and didn't care what I ate. Nor did I exercise. But I did walk a lot. Just gotta stay on track as much as I can.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LEB0401 6/4/2013 9:48AM

    Are you me?? Seriously.

Birthdays always put me in kind of a funk. You can't help but step back and critique your life, where it's been, where it's going. I need to re-read this next year!

Happy Burfday :)

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STODD251 6/4/2013 9:20AM

    Happy Birthday!

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CLRWILLIAMS25 6/4/2013 9:19AM

    Happy birthday!

It's hard to not get caught up in the shoulda couldas. We all have this idea of the person we should be at __ age, but that person ends up being a combination of all the positive qualities we see in others and is probably not attainable (Like my doppelganger who is a European traveling, super fit, person who volunteers, owns a house, has a dog, has a kid, has lots of awesome friends, loves her job and lives in a cool city). Your life may not be the perfect picture in your head, but you have a lot to celebrate!
I have this quote on a post-it in my desk so I see it often and say it to myself.
"I accept myself as I am, unconditionally, right now." It's a good mantra and helps eliminate some of the self doubt and shoulda couldas.

emoticon I hope you had a great day yesterday! emoticon

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STFRENCH 6/4/2013 6:03AM

    Happy birthday for yesterday! Hope you had a lovely time emoticon

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SHMARA 6/3/2013 10:19PM

    Happy Birthday, beautiful! Hope your day was good, hope it was happy!
I think we grow up with some type of notion of what adulthood should be, and try to fit whatever that notion is all through our 20s. I felt so depressed turning 25 (haha), and not feeling grown up, or having my act together, and not having my own house, or being married, or a reliable career, or a "perfect" weight...Now I am 29, and some of those things have become me, others not so much, some priorities have shifted.
I also try my hardest to live life to the fullest each day, and obviously the "try" part implies this is hard work! I don't wake up happy each day, I don't feel patient all the time, I turn to wine more than I should, I feel bad about all of the above, and then I just let go . It's ok. We love, we are loved, we love ( or try to ) love ourselves. It's a journey, right? We are traveling through life. And that is pretty great! emoticon

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IRP1114 6/3/2013 8:55PM

    I agree with the comments! You have a lot going for you. You should just BE HAPPY today. Enjoy the day the way you feel like celebrating yourself. I remember turning 27. I think it is a nice number for some reason lol! Hope you get to do something fun!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELISELOVE1 6/3/2013 7:37PM

    emoticon emoticon you''ve have so much going right in your life enjoy your day and set some goals by the time you're 28.

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KCLARK89 6/3/2013 2:39PM


I HEAR YA on the days where you feel like you "shoulda coulda woulda need-to-be" this that and the other. BUT you don't have to stay in that awful little bubble! I love that you are seeing the positives and beautiful blessings you have in your life. Your family, friends, and boyfriend are there for you. You have a kitty! Making a big life change to move and get on a career path is terrifying, but you did it.

Don't get so consumed with the "doing" and thinking that it means spending and exhausting yourself... example: there are nights where the bf and I just want to spend TIME together. In our society, that's a huge deal anymore... getting quality face-time with those you love. If you have that, then you're way better off than a lot of people!

So take this day, have fun with it, and know that you have a great group here behind you and with you, and you CAN do this!!!

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KELLYFIT123 6/3/2013 12:51PM

    Happy birthday!

Sounds like you are more on the right track than you're giving yourself credit for. You know what makes you happy (health, kitty, friends and fam) and have time to do things you enjoy.

I always say that my life is not complicated. I have enough time to do the things I enjoy, I have the money to do the things I enjoy (within reason), thanks to a job that isn't super-demanding and pays enough. Just keep perspective.

Enjoy your day, and enjoy your personal new year!!


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BONOLICIOUS2 6/3/2013 12:47PM

    You're alive - YAY!!!!!!

Sometimes when I get to feelin' blue about all of the things you mentioned (Shouldn't I be in a house that I own/have a better job/have more friends/take more vacations etc...) I try to think about all of the things that could have been. I could be dead now (I know that sounds morbid but c'mon) or really sick, or a living as a woman in a country like Syria. Comparison is the thief of joy but sometimes it works in reverse!

You have SO MUCH going for you! All of the things that you mentioned are things that other people dream of, and you've got 'em! So pat yourself on the back & live a little. Everyone has their own paths to take and you get to keep going on yours!

(Also - since alot of people use facebook on their phones now, I know I'm guilty of this, you don't see the birthday reminders! So... no worries there!)

And you have all of us on Spark wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

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MINEA999 6/3/2013 12:32PM

    Happy Birthday! This type of thinking is crossing my mind lately too as my 37th is coming up on the 16th. So there you go - you could say 'well, it could be worse, I could be 10 years older!!' like I am. HAHA.

Happy Birthday! Relax and accept yourself for who you are, right now, unconditionally.

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CHODGES83 6/3/2013 12:24PM

    Be Happy! It's your birthday!

Don't get yourself down in the "shoulds" - you've got a lot to celebrate!

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HFAYE81 6/3/2013 12:16PM

    Happy birthday!!! Not everything and everyday can be perfect, but when you can see something great in every day then you'll know happiness. I hope you have a great day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/3/2013 12:17:02 PM

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SQUIRRELLYONE 6/3/2013 12:12PM

    I hope your birthday gets better!

Stay on track, but don't forget to live!

Happy birthday!

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