the big 4-0: a birthday interview

It’s happened. I have crossed the line and am now… 40. When you’re in your twenties you’re so, so young. When you’re in your thirties you’re so, so busy. (I had a few years where I had to figure out my age when people asked. I was so busy I didn’t always know.) And now, I’m 40. I don’t know what my forties will be like and that’s kind of exciting. A whole new decade just filled with possibilities!

I don’t get hung up on age. In fact, I don’t really make a big deal for my birthday. Usually my husband takes me out to dinner sometime around the date. I try to get out of making dinner on the day itself – with mixed success. One year we put a candle in a pizza and called it a birthday because I refuse to make my own cake. I love celebrations and think birthdays are an excellent occasion to have one, I just don’t go to any trouble for my own. There was that one birthday where my husband and I planned a lovely trip to St. Croix and we spent the night of my birthday on a sunset cruise. That sounds really romantic until you find out that I was doped up on Dramamine so I couldn’t drink and we all had to listen to the sounds of my husband puking over the rail because of sea sickness. Good times.

This year is a little different though. I feel like the start of a new decade deserves a little something special. That’s why I’m flying to Disneyland in a couple weeks to run the first-ever Tinkerbell Half Marathon (a fun way to start my 40s yes?). And my friends are throwing me a birthday party. A real, live birthday party!! It’s been a long time since anyone threw me a party, I’m a little giddy with excitement.

Forty years ago today my parents became parents (Congrats Mom & Dad!) and I came into the world to do what I could to make a positive difference before I leave. Do I feel old today? Not really. I’ll take as many of these birthdays as God wants to throw my way. And I promise to do my best each year to learn a little something while I’m here. So what did I learn this year?

  • That I have amazing friends. Friends that will run countless training runs with me even when they aren’t training for a darn thing. Friends that are by my side literally (even in lousy conditions) and figuratively (when I need a boost or someone to high five). Friends that care about my children and participate in whatever dinner theme I come up with for get-togethers.
  • That there is no possible replacement for taking my children some place new and wonderful. This year, Niagara Falls filled their eyes with amazement and that filled my heart with joy.
  • That with a lot of determination I can do physical feats I never thought possible. See also, marathon and triathlon PR by 16+ minutes.
  • That deciding to work for myself was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Well done, Barb in your 20s. Because Barb in her 39th year has soaked up moments at home with the kids and pulled off her best year yet.
  • That starting a new chapter of parenting isn’t as bittersweet as I feared. All three kids are in school now and this phase has just as many fun moments and challenging experiences as the previous stages.

And since my kids love this part of their birthday interview, I’ll turn the tables and interview myself. A few of my favorite things:

color: orange (I think I will wear orange today)
food: pizza
vegetable: this is hard, maybe broccoli? Though I do love asparagus.
dessert: peanut buster parfait or anything that involves chocolate and nuts
part of the day: greeting my kids as they walk in the door after school
sport: to watch? College Basketball! To do? I suppose run.
thing to do: read
movie: On Golden Pond
song: Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes & Adam Levine
game: Ticket to Ride I totally stole this from K’s birthday list.
book: How about most recent favorite> That would be Stephen King’s 11/22/63
restaurant: any place with good Mexican & margaritas
holiday: Pajama Pant Friday
animal: the kind that doesn’t live in my house

What did you request for your birthday dinner?
When I was a kid I always begged my mom to make homemade ravioli soup. This year my middle child spent a day with her grandmother learning the recipe and came home with a tupperware full of raviolis. We’ll be having those for dinner.

Tell me about your friends:
I already told you about them up above but what I love most about my friends near and far is that they are “family friends.” They feel like my family. They love my family and I love their families. It’s pretty awesome.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A librarian.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
To see every National Park and collect all my passport stamps. Yes even the parks that are not the most impressive.

What do you love about each person in our family?
I love watching my oldest become a young adult. I love watching my middlest find her strengths and grow into them. I love that my youngest still wants to crawl into my lap for a long hug each morning. And I love that my husband is still my best friend.

What are some of your wishes for the coming year?
Well, let’s review last year’s goals first shall we?

  • feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing something I never thought possible Check!
  • more road trip adventures Check!
  • making the everyday fun Check! at least most days
  • get-togethers with my gang Check!
  • doing a better job finding time with each of my children to learn more about the people they are becoming I tried but it’s something that I should certainly do more of.

My wishes for this year? I’m not feeling in a specific, goal-setting mood so let’s keep it simple. To appreciate the people in my life who make it good. To be an active participant in all areas of my life. To challenge myself and to learn new things and to laugh often.

Oh – and to visit Lake Michigan as often as possible.

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4 thoughts on “the big 4-0: a birthday interview

  1. Happy birthday, Barb! I hope today is beautiful. As I’m facing down 30, I’m learning that a new decade in life can bring so many possibilities. I hope this is a year of magic for you.

  2. Hi;Barb,
    Ilove your atttuide about birthday
    I think you are as old as you think
    so think young.
    I still think i am 21 going 86 keep happy .
    Love gran P

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