Deep thoughts, random insights, and musings by Susan Jacobs

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Birthday

It's hard to believe it, but I am now 29 years old. Or, as I tell people, 29 for the first time.:) I have no intention of ever lying about my age, but it makes for a good joke.

Now that I am getting perilously close to 30, it is strange to realize that I don't feel old at all. I feel much younger than I ever thought I would at this age, and I don't think I'm deluding myself into believing that I am younger than I actually am. It's just that 29 is younger than I thought it would be. Or, as my Mom says, I am a young 29.

People often mistake me for someone younger, probably in part because I am not a particularly sophisticated dresser, and my style has changed little since college. (There are lots of long cotton skirts and sweaters in my wardrobe, and very few suits for daily wear.) But good genes also play a part, as well as "good clean living." Twenty-nine years of living a G-rated life (for which I am very proud) has kept me bright-eyed and spry. I also eat reasonably well and get regular exercise, floss daily and avoid dangerous sun exposure, which helps. (This may sound hopelessly boring to some people, but I'd rather be boring and healthy than exciting and unhealthy.) I like to say that I may not be much of a looker now, but with the way I take care of my skin and teeth, just wait until I'm 80.

This birthday was not particularly eventful, and that was just as I wanted it. In my office, the birthday girl or boy is responsible for bringing in his or her own treats, so I brought in some cupcakes this morning, which were much appreciated. This evening, some close friends had me over for a lovely supper, and they sang happy birthday to me and took my picture as I blew out a candle on a cupcake. I got several cards and a couple of gifts in the mail, and many phone calls and emails with happy birthday wishes. It is wonderful that so many people thought of me. All in all, it's been a good day.

As a single woman, birthdays can be particularly difficult because in some ways they are merely reminders that I am a year older, and still not married. More and more I appreciate what a blessing it is to be happy and single, rather than unhappily married to the wrong person. However, it is still difficult being single. My ideal birthday would be spent with family, most notably a husband. I would love to have someone close to me to make arrangements for my birthday celebration -- just someone to pick up a cake and decide what we should eat for dinner. Someone to take care of me.

Most of the time I am more than happy to take care of myself, but at least on this day of the year, it would be so nice to be able to sit back and let someone else make plans for me. Someone to make me feel special.

Since that's not a reality right now, I tend to do a lot of advance planning for my birthday to make plans that will be fun and can be done with people I care about, so that I am not alone on my birthday. My mom told me a long time ago to let people know what I want for my birthday, instead of expecting them to guess, so that I would not be disappointed, and I have taken this advice. But it would be nice for a change not to have to do the planning for my own celebration.

Despite the difficulty of getting older as a single person, it occurred to me today that birthdays are one of the few occasions that are sort of equal opportunity experiences for married people and single folks. We are all born, and we all get older, and hence, we all have birthdays. For some people, the celebrations are more important than others, but birthdays themselves don't discriminate -- we all have them. It's a very obvious point, and not one that is particularly profound, but it brought me some comfort today.

Incidentally, for any loyal readers who have remained, I sincerely apologize for the dearth of my posts. Life has been busy lately, mostly with work and community activities, and some visits to family members. Also, as someone who writes for a living, it is difficult to come home and write even more. I have a whole list of topics that I'd like to discuss, but they all take more time and emotional energy than I can afford to expend most of the time. Still, I do have moments of inspiration, and I haven't given up on the idea of blogging, so please do continue to check back for new posts every once in a while, and thanks for reading.