Let the birthday celebrations begin …..
As it’s my birthday today, I decided to write a letter to myself. I tend to celebrate my birthdays with gusto – for example, when I turned 50 I spent the whole year in birthday mode! So indulge me…..
Optimism about one’s ageing exerts measurable, positive effects on the brain*
December is party month
My birthday is in mid-December, just two weeks out from Christmas. I love the month of December – it’s party mode all month for me. I don’t know if it’s something I’ve learnt to do so that I don’t miss out on any attention or if it’s just the pure joy of having a birthday but I just love to celebrate. Being showered with love and gifts, all month, is also great fun!
I must admit I take a dim view of anyone who sends me a birthday card (yes I still get some cards in the actual real mail, but these days the money inside is missing) with a cheaper Christmas stamp on the envelope. And don’t even think about wrapping my birthday gift with Christmas paper because that’s all you have lying around the house at the moment. Definite no-no. I’m not being ungrateful, would you wrap a birthday present in May with Christmas paper? No I didn’t think so 🙂
Happy Birthday to me!
OK – I admit that I saw this idea on someone else’s blog and loved the idea. I left a comment on her post and she encouraged me to give writing my own birthday letter a go, so here I am. Come and enjoy the trip down memory lane with me.
Dear 1 year old Deborah: Apparently you were called Deborah in those days! Enjoy being the first born because soon enough you’ll have a sister and a brother for company. Don’t expect to see your father very much in your first few years, he’s married to the Navy too.
Dear 5 year old Debbie: You are lucky to have made it to 5 years of age, what with car accidents with your mother, surviving dreadful illnesses and hospitalisation for months! Thankfully all that baby fat gave you the strength to carry on. You are now a proud big sister.
Dear 10 year old Debbie: Girl Guides, running, bike riding, reading, hanging out with friends and your new house in the bush make life one big adventure which sets the scene for your future.
Dear 16 year old Debbie: Who would have guessed that starting a part-time job as a check out chick would lead you to meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger who would feature heavily in your future life.
Soon after this you travel on your first overseas trip on a school excursion and survive a horrific accident in which 3 people die and you receive a Bravery Award from the Queen as a result.
Dear 19 year old Debbie: Your 19th birthday and in exactly a month’s time you’ll be marrying the love of your life. When your father asks if you’re sure it’s what you want to do at only 19, that there’s no rush, that there’s a big wide world out there to explore – tell him you’ll do all the travel and adventuring together as a family. You’ve already started a new life by moving away from home, to Newcastle, and started saving to buy your first home together.
Dear 22 year old Debbie: Once you have your own house, it seems the right time to start a family and it doesn’t take long. Melanie arrives half way through the year and changes you from a couple, into a family of three, and you wonder how your heart can love someone so much.
Dear 25 year old Debbie: Life continues to get busier with the arrival of Sarah half way through this year, your heart continues to grow with love. Melanie and Sarah are dubbed by some friends as Search and Destroy.
Dear 28 year old Debbie: By the time you are 28 you are the proud and happy mother of three beautiful and clever daughters with Eliza being your Bicentennial Project. How much love can your heart take? You are also a qualified breastfeeding counsellor (bet you didn’t see that one coming) and enjoy helping other mothers over the phone while your daughters wreak havoc around you. They love it when the phone rings – it means they can go wild and you can’t do anything about it.
Dear 32 year old Debbie: Don’t hesitate to take on the world, it’s a scary thought travelling to the other side of the world for the first time and going on a Teacher Exchange with three little girls in tow is full of unknowns, but believe me, it’s well worth the effort. Saying yes to the opportunity becomes one of those life changing moments you’ll never regret.
Dear 40 year old Debbie: You know how you always wanted to be a teacher? Well it finally happens and you start studying by distance education with 3 teenage girls at home, while also working 2 part-time jobs. Graduation is a very proud moment, with the Mathematician and two of your girls there.
Your father rings you to tell you the story of how you came to be named Debbie – very special – treasure this moment.
Dear 42 year old Debbie: A great idea! Why don’t you prepare yourself for a monumental photo at the precise moment of 12.12pm on 12/12/2012! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity 🙂
Dear 50 year old Debbie: This is a huge year for you. Turning 50 with a combined 110th birthday party with your friend Ros who turned 60, with a surprise visit from Melanie all the way from England, followed by an extended family weekend to a Queensland island where Sarah surprised you by coming home from England as well. You had all three girls, your parents, your brother and sister – and you met your youngest daughter’s new boyfriend (spoiler alert: he goes onto to become her husband). Then you continue the birthday celebrations by travelling to Europe with your parents, sister and daughters and go on a barge and bike ride from Paris to Bruges. This time with your parents turns out to be very special.
Since turning 50 you have lost your brother-in-law who died suddenly at age 55 and you wonder how you can cope with the awful grief. Then a few years later your father dies and only a few months later your father-in-law dies suddenly while you are travelling the world on your 3 month Odyssey. It is an extremely sad time so take every opportunity to see them, talk with them and show your love. You also become Mother of the Bride – twice!
Dear 56 year old Debbie: Don’t panic but your career of teaching in a men’s correctional centre (YES, a prison) spanning over 2 decades, is about to end and you’ll be VERY upset about it all. In fact it makes you very sick and stressed, as it’s not your choice to finish up this way. Being made redundant is always hard but remember, it’s not you that’s been made redundant it’s the job. Hang in there, life will get better.
Dear 58 year old Debbie: Happy birthday Granny Debs! Yes, you’re a grandmother now and don’t you just love this new role? Make sure you enjoy your new granddaughter but don’t neglect your own children, they were here first remember, and still need you to help and guide them through adulthood.
It’s a bittersweet birthday this year as it’s the first one since you lost your father in January and your father-in-law in July. Spend time doing what you love is my only advice to you, as you never know what is around the corner. You and the Mathematician take a huge 3 month Odyssey during the year and visit bucket list places like Iceland, cycling in Amsterdam and the Tour de France.
It’s the end of wearing your 57 years bold t-shirt so put it away for your sister’s birthday, you know she’ll love to wear it one day soon 🙂
Happy birthday from me to you.
It seems I have enjoyed writing a birthday post every year since starting my blog! did I tell you i love having my birthday??
* Quote above is by John Medina in brain rules for ageing well, 10 Principles for staying vital, happy and sharp – a kind friend sent me a copy of some of these principles for my birthday!!
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