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Sunday, October 02, 2005 

Another Year. Another Candle.

Yesterday I turned 39 and I have to report that it's not that much different from being 38. For that matter, it's not that much different than being 30. Age doesn't change me. Experiences do. I am definitely not the same person as I was when I was 20. I may still have the same wicked temper but the way I think has undergone major renovations. Things I believed to be true 20 years ago now seem so naive or were just completely wrong. "Me" now would not talk to "Me" then. I haven't turned into a female Dalai Lama or anything but I have become much more self-assured and confident. My judgement and decisions are not easily affected by what other people think and that gives me the independence to steer my own course through life rather than sail along on someone else's. If you talk to my husband, he’ll tell you that it’s all just a fancy way to say that I’ve become sociopathic. I’ll let you know if he’s right when I turn 79. For now, here is my take on some of the truisms that I have heard through the years.

All people deserve respect. No, they don't. Just because someone was born does not make them special. What they do and how they treat others makes them special and deserving of my respect.

If you work hard, you will reap the benefits. If you work hard, you get tired. If you work smart, your chances are better at reaping benefits.

Give people the benefit of the doubt. This rule definitely does not apply to ex-boyfriends. Giving them the benefit of the doubt means you can't learn from past mistakes. There's a reason you broke up, remember it. Don't resurrect something that never was worth living in the first place.

No child is a mistake. This one is actually valid. Children aren't mistakes. Adults who can't be bothered raising them own the copyright on the word 'mistake'.

Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. For the most part, whatever bad experiences you have in life which don't kill you makes you angrier, colder and jaded. You become stronger as a result of your attitude towards what happened, not the experience itself.

Choose your men. Don't let them choose you. My father told me this one after I broke up with yet another boyfriend. Of all the things anyone's ever told me in my life, this had to be one of the most useful pieces of advice. He was so right. I found my husband based on this bit of wisdom. Thanks Dad.

Money is the root of all evil. Worshipping money is the root of all evil. Being wealthy does not solve your problems. Look at the majority of wealthy people in the world...their lives are filled with multiple divorces, addictions, rehab visits and kids who are just as screwed up as their parents. Money helps solve some financial problems. It certainly is not the source of happiness.

If you wake up in the morning and wiggle your toes, you have the power to change everything. Another Dad-ism. Again, he was right. As long as I'm breathing and can move, I don't have to be a bystander in my own life, I can become an active participant in it. Whining about it doesn't do anyone any good. Bad experiences don't define my life, they are just a part of it.

39 candles will crush the birthday cake. Completely false. It is, however, more difficult to fit them on a standard size cake without burning your arms trying to light them all.

The first 18 years of my life were shaped by my parents. The next 10 years were shaped by my stupid decisions and bad judgement. I smartened up in my 30s. I look forward to my 40s because I will have (hopefully) stopped becoming my own worst enemy.

Well you seem to be fine now and very positive about the big 40 that will approach you faster than the speed of light. That in itself isn't a bad thing however I do remember Edina (a la Absolutely Fabulous) asking her daughter on the morning of her fourtieth "Have a look outside sweetie, are the buzzards circling?"

Anyway we'll worry about all that in the fall of 2006. For now, back to this thread.


Happy Birthday! I know why I like you now, another Libra!

I am going through almost the same things, although I still think I lean towards bad judgment sometimes. I will be turning 36 and I often think back to my late teens and early 20's and think "what a jackass!"

Now I'm just a jackass in a different way.

Happy Birthday, SW! I have a list similar to yours. We definitely agree on most points. And above all: respect is earned. The greatest truth of them all...

Happy belated birthday, Sea.

Respect is earned, but common decency should always be given to others, except to those of them who are jerks, as bad former significant others can be.

SeaWitch, you are a very wise woman and it sounds like your husband is a very lucky man. Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for the Birthday greetings everyone! Next year I'll post my mailing address and see what gifties may show up! LOL And that brings me to another old adage...It is better to give than to receive. Personally, I think it's better to do both. I may have smartened up a bit since my twenties, but I never said I became altruistic either. hehehe

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