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