Do You Remember When….

You loved your birthday?  It seems these days the only two people who love my birthday are my daughters.  I turned 38 a few days ago, and as I approach 40, I am struggling so much.  I don’t know what has happened to me.  There was a time when I could not wait for my birthday; in fact, I think that may have been every year up to my 29th.  When I hit 30, birthdays became scary to me.

Now I know every magazine will tell you that 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40.  Sure, if you live in Hollywood; have money for a personal trainer; have your food delivered every meal; and can afford facials, Botox, face lifts, $400 bottles of cream and any other sort of expensive treatment or product.  However, I am not an A-Lister–I think I was born into the wrong category–HAHA!– and I no longer enjoy my birthday.  I put on a fake smile for my kids, but from everyone else, I hide my birthday.  This year, I think only two people at work actually knew somehow.  And, most of friends forgot.  Actually, this is one thing I really don’t care that they forget!  Sure, Mom and Dad texted me–that was nice.  This year my brother and I were actually talking to each other, so he too sent me a text.  Other than that I had a pretty quiet birthday celebration.  To tell you the truth, I rather enjoyed it.

I guess it’s a good thing I have children, because I do enjoy the excitement of their birthdays and sharing that with them.  Sometimes I guess I just feel that I am approaching 40 and have not really done anything exciting with my life.  Again, I have a great life.  I married a wonderful man, and we have two perfect children.  They are perfect in my opinion.  But, I sometimes look at myself and wonder why I couldn’t do something spectacular with my life career wise.  I am a very smart person; I hold a Master’s Degree in English.  That was no small feat.  But, although I have tried many times to do something worthwhile with myself professionally, I always feel as though I am stuck in a rut.  I hate to sound ungrateful, because as I mentioned before, I know that I am LUCKY to have a job in this economy.  I guess it’s just the age factor and the desire to achieve more than I have.  I am a perfectionist too, and so I think no matter what I do or did, I would probably never be satisfied with myself.  I do put a great deal of pressure on myself, and that probably does lead to my anxiety condition.

This may sound selfish, yet I do not mean it to.  Anyway, I have a friend from college who, for Christmas one year, bought her husband a motorcycle.  I couldn’t buy my husband a gift like that if I saved for 20 years!  So, sometimes I think my pressure comes from comparing myself to other people my age.  I know that I should not do that, and I truly am happy for her.  It just makes me wonder about my own accomplishments.  

So, growing older, I think, just forces me to look at all the things I feel I have not done or achieved.  Yes, I have a wonderful family and would not trade them for anything in the world.  When I write these things, they are aimed STRICTLY at myself and no one else.  My doctor told me on my last visit that he thinks I have low self-esteem, an issue that no one around me ever buys.  It’s like I said in my very first blog:  everyone thinks I am perfect and expects greatness from me.  I am very chameleon-like; I have a great ability to hide my inner feelings from others.  I can appear bubbly and very personable when I am out and about.  It’s just when I come home and have time to think that I start to look down upon myself.

I want my girls to be proud of me, and I think each birthday causes me to ponder: “What have you done for them to be proud of you?”  The other day my daughter had a friend sleep over.  When we dropped the friend off at her home, we were invited in for a few minutes.  Once we got back into our van, my eight-year-old said to me, “Their house is lovely; it’s much better than ours.”  Should that bug me?  Probably not, but it did.  So, with age comes frustration for me because of me.

Does anyone else ever feel this way?  I know that I work hard, and I know that I take good care of my family.  But sometimes I just wonder if I could or should be doing more.  I would love to hear what others think.

Thanks for sharing with me.  Since joining and posting, I really have been feeling better.  Being able to write freely has been very therapeutic for me.

Thanks fellow bloggers!  DEIDEI



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