Today I bring to you one fantastically funny, cheerfully charming, ever encouraging and always heartily honest - the one and only Jacqueline Wolven. Of course our worlds collided at that ever infamous Arkansas Women Bloggers conference last year. I was charmed with her wit but more moved by her devious way of being so honest that you can't help but love her, and then I realized how much she cared about other people and KNOWING them and pouring into them and making the world a better place (see now you know why I love her). I relish at any chance to hang in her presence and learn so much by listening to what she writes. If you do not have jacquelinewolven.com on your favorites bar...do it now. I'm anticipating her having her own annotated bibliography soon!
There is never a question in my mind about whether I should celebrate my birthday. I’m not going to be perpetually 19, 29 or 39. I age just like a good cheese and I’m happy about it. Face it, the teens and twenties were for heartbreak and drama; this getting older thing rocks and I want to celebrate it every single year.
This year I turn 45 and I am looking at all of the possible ways that I will celebrate it, but before I do I thought I’d share some of the awful ways I have celebrated in the past and why that won’t ever happen again.
Sweet 16 wasn’t so sweet. My dad was hospitalized for a heart attack. It ended up being nothing, but it was a shock to see him lying in the emergency room. (Yes, I realize that he didn’t plan this little trip to the ER.) He assured me that he was fine so I went off to my evening. Yep, Rocky Horror Picture Show at the midnight showing. I was crowned virgin of the night. You know, just what every 16 year old wants on their birthday.
All grown up at 18. My parents, in true we're over it fashion, planned a vacation on my 18th birthday. I’m not sure where they went or what I did, but I am sure I pouted in true youngest child fashion!
21 was not fun. My parents, because a repeat performance was in order, left for a cruise. I had just had my daughter and thought they would have cake or something, but instead it was time to head to Canada. Oh, not me, them.
30 was just so awful I won’t repeat it here. Really.
44 no more. I stupidly thought it would be fun to have a big event on my birthday. Dumb. I was not happy about sharing my day with a big public project. I basically had a melt down with my husband where I screamed a banshee scream. Not pretty.
I have had lovely birthdays. Birthdays with unexpected visitors, sweet home made cakes, presents that were so special I cried and I cherish those minutes, but those horrible birthdays remind me why I have to craft the day that I want. No one is going to fulfill your secret dreams for your special day. In fact, it will never work out if you keep what you really want to yourself.
Granted, my 44th was a hiccup in learning this birthday lesson, but what I have found is that I need to do what I need to do on my day. It might be a quiet afternoon with my family, a party with everyone dancing, lunch with a few girlfriends or a quick trip. I never rely on someone else to figure out what I might want… I’ve done that too many times with not great results and I will never do it again. It’s my birthday and I’ll celebrate it how I want to! I hope you do too!
You can follow all of my celebrations at jacquelinewolven.com and that little girl in the sailor suit, yep, that’s me!