Happy Birthday – a birthday letter to myself

December is my birthday month

As you may have guessed my birthday is today, just two weeks out from Christmas.  I love the month of December – it’s like full on party mode all month for me 🙂

I’m also known for stretching out my birthday celebrations, and this year is no exception. The time difference between Australia and UK mean that I get to celebrate over the best part of two days 🙂

December Birthday
Some December Birthday people might relate to this – but not me!

Happy Birthday to me!

Last year I saw this idea on someone else’s blog and loved it. I left a comment and she encouraged me to give writing my own birthday letter a go, so here I am, now into year 2 of my birthday letter. I don’t know if I’ll update it every year, but then again, it’s my birthday so I can do what I want 🙂    

Come and enjoy the trip down memory lane

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.

Sweet 16
Sweet 16

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. You go on to celebrate over 40 years of wedded bliss 🙂

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.

Living in the UK in 1992
Living in the UK in 1992 – sightseeing with my Aunty Carol

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.

Graduation Day
Graduation Day

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 on 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 52 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 🙂

Birthday photo taken on 12/12/12
Birthday photo taken on 12/12/12 with Sarah and Ben

You also decided to start a blog this year – and what fun it turns out to be!

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.

Granny Debs and Emilia
Granny Debs and Emilia

Dear 59 year old Debbie:

Well who would have thought you’d be spending your 59th birthday over in Cheddar in the UK? A lot has happened during the year but the biggest three things involve your three daughters.

Spoiler alert – you now have 2 granddaughters and another on the way in 2020! Dottie was born very early at 25 weeks, but don’t worry she’s home now and doing well, as are her parents. Emilia turned one and you had to celebrate her birthday early as you were in England with the new tiny baby but Emilia didn’t mind too much. Eliza and Shawn announced their happy news that they are also having a baby in March 2020 – so all those years you’ve been waiting patiently for grandchildren have paid off threefold 🙂

Oh and you become an author – you wrote a children’s book! Not sure if it counts if it’s only a self published story and it’s not going to sell any copies (outside of family), but you did arrange for an illustrator and it has its own ISBN!!

You are very proud of your three daughters for all they have achieved and coped with over the years.

Your sister also struggles during the year with breast cancer, and you try your hardest to support her – you are very proud of her.

You are finally at peace with your forced redundancy three years ago, words your 56 year old self never thought she’d hear you say!

Only one year to go until you turn 60 – just thought I’d get in first before everyone else starts mentioning it!!!

The last year in your 50s coming right up

As you wrote in a post earlier this week, this is how you want to go into your last year of being in your 50s – jumping, splashing and having fun whenever you can. It’s not always easy but I know you’ll try your hardest 🙂

Jumping in puddles as I approach my last year in the 50s
Jumping in puddles as I approach my last year in the 50s

It seems I have written a birthday post every year so I just had to continue the tradition again this year!

Birthday Girl – 2013

Birthday thoughts – 2014

I just needed to crunch some leaves – 2015

Bring on 2017 – 2016

What makes the birthday girl so special – 2017

A birthday letter from me – 2018

Yes I know this post is all about me but it’s my special day, so thanks for indulging me! If you have any thoughts on how to celebrate entering my last year in the 50s, just let me know in the comments. And feel free to wish me luck!

Happy birthday to me 🙂 on election day in England!

Deb xx


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45 Replies to “Happy Birthday – a birthday letter to myself”

  1. Hi Deb – how did I miss this post and the chance to wish you happy birthday??? So I’ll wish you Merry Birthday to combine the two occasions with Christmas tomorrow! Loved your life story and so interesting to see some of the correlations with mine – especially at the ages we both had our kids, started blogging and took on unexpected retirement. Synchronicity!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll take the Merry Birthday wishes thanks Leanne 😂 I also think there’s a lot of synchronicity at work with our life stories. I love reading about your life and thoughts. Always so interesting and spot on. Stay cool and enjoy Christmas xx

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  2. Hi Debbie,
    A very belated happy birthday to you!
    I have been lagging behind in checking posts. So read this only today.
    I am glad that the election in the UK produced a clear winner and a good majority for the winner. The nation has suffered a lot because of the stalemate in the Commons.
    I am in Australia on holiday. I have been lucky with the extreme weather conditions. Was in Sydney for a week. Came to Melbourne late last night.
    Do check out by tour diary on my blog.
    Thank you.
    – bpradeepnair.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am feeling very weepy today and am so behind on my blog reading that I realize this post is a few days old. But it has me so choked up. Your messages to yourself are so priceless. Among my favorites are the ones about being a grandmother of two, about to be three sweet grandbabies. And the message about your beloved career coming to an end, sadly. I know you have had such concerns with baby Dottie but she appears to be a real warrior and doing so well. This 3rd grandbaby of mine is worrying all of us silly; still 5 weeks before her birth-date but she is trying to come early. Of course, she is so much further along than your baby girl, I feel silly about even mentioning it. And yet, we worry. Wishing you a year of puddles to splash in, glorious walks in the sunshine and loads of opportunities for fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear I hope you’re feeling better now Leslie! Dottie is going well and we’re so happy to be here with our daughter over Christmas. We’re getting lots of cuddles and creating memories. I also hope your grand baby is staying put for a while longer and all goes well when she is born. Yes we worry!! I’m worried about my youngest daughter back home who is 30 weeks pregnant and I feel so far away. Wishing you. A happy Christmas and all the best for the new year to your family. It’s been a big year of upheavals for you too, so stay well.

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  4. Aww a horse drawn cart for your wedding, that’s amazing and it’s brilliant you have such great photos from that time. My parents married in a registry office but they were disappointed by the photos (I agree, whoever took them didn’t have the best eye for angles or getting them both properly in the picture!) but the quality generally is very poor. I tried editing it but my technical abilities came up short. Anyway, well off track…
    I LOVE this post, and the letter is a fab idea. Beautiful photos! I’m glad you’re stretching the celebrations for the month, especially as I’m a little late with this 😉

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!  🎉♥🌹

    Caz xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Caz, your comments are always so uplifting! Yes I wanted a horse drawn carriage for our wedding and it was very special. I’m all for stretching birthdays out to maximise the fun. The letter was such fun to write and share old photos. Thanks again and take care xx

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  5. That was an enjoyable read, Debbie. What a great idea to write a letter to yourself during particular stages of your life. You’ve led a busy and active life, and it’s so good to see you living life to the full rather than not making the most of it. I think like many of our lives, it reads like a rollercoaster.
    I had no idea that you had self-published a book. How did I miss that? Not only do I wish you a belated Happy Birthday, but a belated ‘Welcome to the self-published Authors’ club.
    I hope you enjoyed all the celebrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hugh! I’m not one to let the world roll on by without me that’s for sure. Everyone’s life is full of ups and downs and we have to acknowledge those moments as they make us what we are today. I’m still trying to write a post about my book. Maybe once I get home!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved reading your birthday letter Deb. So many memories there. I loved the image about December birthdays. My grandson was born on Christmas Day. Meaning he is very special of course. Enjoy your celebrations with a difference in the other side of the world. Happy Birthday Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pat! I hope you’ll take on the challenge and do a letter for your next birthday (feel free to link or tag me in it if you do). It’s a great way of organising your thoughts in what you’ve done in the past. I’ll just add onto this each year or so now that I have the basis there. I’m so pleased to hear you enjoyed it 😊

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  7. Oh my gosh, loved reading your letter. Sounds like you have had a great life and are on your way to doing more great things! A 3 month odyssey? What is that? ( sounds very cool) I am a 63 year old Deb , and am so eager to live my life to the fullest. Your writing inspires me. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Deb! Always enjoy hearing from another Deb 🙂 I am fortunate in that I have had a great life so far with lots of adventures. The 3 month odyssey was simply a long holiday away from home! Thanks again for your kind comments and keep living life to the fullest x

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  8. Couldn’t miss this opportunity to wish you a very happy 59th birthday Deb. Although I hope to talk to you later when its actually your day where you are in UK. Loved this post, it brings back some many memories of times past. Have a very happy day. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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