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Happy Birthday To Me

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I had been having a hard time facing this birthday.  I was dreading this decade change, but I wasn’t really sure why.  I think it is in part because I am not where I thought I would be.  But generally speaking my life is really good (other than the lack of funding part, that is!) and while I’m not where I thought I’d be, I’m exactly where I want to be.  I guess I wish I’d figured this out sooner, but hey, better late than never.

I am coming to terms with this new phase of life, and starting to look forward to it.  OK, so I am undeniably an adult now, but that’s not a bad thing.  Our society values youth, but I wouldn’t be 21 again for anything.  At least not unless I could still know what I know now.  With age comes experience, and with experience, understanding and wisdom.  I do think I have a little more of each now, and I wouldn’t give that up for any elixir of youth.  

A little incident happened on Thursday to put all of this in perspective and get me to lighten up.  I was shopping at the local farmer’s market with my new roommate, who is 23.  We stopped at a new stall that was selling locally grown organic tomatoes.  We each bought a basket full and then moved on to the next stand.  Apparently I left my tomatoes behind, because a few moments later, the woman from that stand ran up to my roommate and handed her my tomatoes, saying “here you go dear, your mother left these behind.”


Good lord, that woman thought I was my roommate’s mother.  

Is that possible?  Do I really look like I could be the mother of a 23 year old?

No, and no.  OK, so the universe is playing a joke on me.  It’s telling me to lighten up, I don’t look THAT old.  Time to let go of these silly concerns and embrace this new phase of life.  Onward and upward, because that’s the only way to go (well, the alternative is really not particularly appealing).  Ever since that brief moment of shock, I’ve been OK and feeling good.  If nothing else, I needed a really good laugh.

So it’s been a good day. My roommate made strawberry pancakes before heading out of town, so we had a nice birthday breakfast, and I opened presents and cards that had been sent to me.  I am really enjoying having a roommate – I’ve been on my own for the last four years and it’s fun to share my home again.  We co-hosted our first dinner party on Friday evening and that went really well.  She made desert (trifle with strawberries from our CSA) and I made a salad of greens mostly from our garden or the CSA, basil dressing from our own basil (I should post that recipe!) and local tomatoes, as well as a roasted beet salad (another one for the recipe page).  Friends brought other really tasty dishes and we all sat out in the garden to eat.  The weather has been very cooperative this weekend and this was the first time I’ve actually spent time in the garden since it’s been finished!

I spent much of today sitting in the garden reading Harry Potter.  I had actually planned on going away camping for a few days, but it seems that the universe was determined to keep him home.  One thing after another has gone wrong over the past two weeks, not the least of which was my basement flooding the day after I moved my bedroom down there.  What a mess!  So extra clean-up on top of dissertation work, some travel, dog training, and so on.  It’s been crazy.  I decided last night to just stay put and enjoy a quiet day at home, and just force myself not to do any of the 874 chores I have on my to-do list.  

Other than turning on my computer this evening, I actually stuck to that promise and sat for hours in the garden reading my book.  I really need to do this more often.  My birthday present to myself, I have decided, is permission to take one day off a week like this, every week.  That means one day of no chores, no dissertation, no dog training, nothing.  Just relaxing and doing the things I wish I could do when I’m busy doing all the other stuff.  Hopefully I can stick to this, as today has been really restorative (other than the mushrooming list of chores I have come up with to add to my to-do list).


3 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday!
    I just wanted to pop in and say hi too. I found your site about a month ago and it has lots of great info in it. I’m from Ilderton, which is only 10 min from London (north). You’ve inspired me to go check out Arva’s grain store. I went to Covent garden market last saturday for the first time.
    Hope you have a great day,

  2. Hi Jen! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and to write your comment. I was in Ilderton recently for the Ontario dog agility regional competition. Very fun to watch! I didn’t see much of Ilderton though…

    It’s always great to hear that people find the information I’m collecting useful. I still have a lot more to add and am working at building up the info section as I can. I hope you enjoyed the market last Saturday. I hear there is a market in Ailsa Craig but I haven’t been able to find any information on it. That may be closer to you – I’ll be sure to post anything I come up with!

  3. Happy Birthday, Helene! My goodness, I hear you on the birthday. If it’s any consolation, I think you look fabulous, certainly not like the mother of a 23-year old???????!!!!!! She might need some spectacles actually.

    I enjoyed the entry about the Cold War too. This is the bizarre thing about teaching – you age and the students always stay the same age, BUT with the added complication that you never feel older, so you don’t really realize that you look, well, increasingly doddering to them. The other thing I really remember from that era is the constant preoccupation with which Canadian city was bigger – Montreal or Toronto – driven I think by Toronto’s desire to overtake Montreal. And who can forget: butter or margarine? Somewhat more parochial hot issues of the day…

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