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"How old are you?"...."I'm going on 31"

Posted Nov 21 2008 4:49pm
Disclaimer: This post is going to be long and probably a bit whiney at times. Yes, I know that you all were waiting for the tales of turning 30 and believe me, it was the BEST birthday ever. But, because Troy is so fabulous and did so much to make me have a perfectly special day, I feel like he earned a post strictly dedicated to how great and wonderful he is, and how great and wonderful my birthday was. But, before I can get to all of that, I really really have to get something off of my chest. So, here goes.

If you are a reader of my blog you know that I turned the big 3-0 on Saturday. This is a huge milestone in my life. I set some pretty lofty goals for myself prior to turning 30, namely challenging myself to a marathon, and I did it. I-RAN-A-MARATHON. Before-I turned-30. So, I've been super proud of myself over the last few weeks. And I was strolling into 30ness with a bright smile and an optimistic outlook on the next 30 years.

Now, if you read my blog, you might remember that I mentioned (okay, whined, griped, moaned) about how no one..count them people..not one single person in my family called to wish me good luck, premarathon, or congratulations, post marathon. No one. Nada. None. And it hurt. Alot. And my blogger friends came through and said no, no, no. It's not that they don't care about you, it's just that don't care about running. And I believed ya'll. I really really did. And especially when I finally told my family about the marathon and they seemed half-heartedly impressed. I was happy. I thought I had won in their eyes. And I thought the fellow bloggers were right....

But, what I failed to mention is that my family is sorta crazy. They do some weirdo things that no one can explain and I guess I just always dealt with it. NO, what I did was try to be the peace maker. I have always wanted everyone to be happy and feel loved. On birthdays I organize the party, cook, make sure everyone has brought a present or card (or I get them one if they need me to). On Mothers/Fathers Day, I cook again, make sure there are lots of presents for all. I send my parents an anniversary card every single year. When my dad and my brother quit smoking I sent them happy cards to let them know that I was proud of them, that I was there for them, and that I cared. When my dad forgets what he got my mom for her birthday, I remind him. And I remind him where he hid it. When my sister needs help with her finances, I listen and give advice even though I know she won't follow through with what I said. Or when her apartment got so wrecked because she is a single mom and works a million hours a week, I went over and cleaned for...on more than one occasion. When I go out of town I always bring presents back for my niece and nephews. When no one else wants to play with those rugrats, I'm there to chase them around and play hide and seek. When everyone is mad at everyone else, I'm the one that listens. I am the one that cares truly for all of these people. I used to think that I would give anything to make sure they all had a smile on their face. Not any more.

You see, because since I turned 30, no one has called. Sure, my true and trusty friends have. Heck, even Troy's friends who haven't known me for that long called and sang me a birthday serenade. But, not my mom, dad, brother, sister, niece, 2 nephews, or grandmother called. And today is day #3 with no call. No call people! How could someone that went through labor, changed my dirty diapers, probably stayed up while I cried through the night (as a baby and as a teenager)...how could that person forget that I had a birthday. And forget for 3 solid days???? I just saw everyone that I mentioned last Sunday for Father's Day. We talked briefly about that fact that I had a birthday coming up. I'll give them one day. I really thought surely by Sunday I would get a call. From someone. Anyone. But, here it is 6:30 pm three days into being 30 and nothing.

And it hurts alot. Alot more than the marathon. Alot more than when they forgot my 27th birthday. Or the Christmas in 2002 when they forgot to buy me any presents and didn't realize until everyone had opened their gifts and I had nothing. Or on my 18th birthday, the first time that I remember them forgetting. Or when I graduated from high school and my grandmother said she would be there and decided at the last minute to go see my uncle instead. It hurts alot more than that.

And I sortof feel stupid. That I have spent the last 30 years trying to be everything to them. Trying to make the best grades and get the best job and do the right thing, or do what I thought they would want me to do. I feel stupid for going the extra mile for birthdays. Even just last Sunday when my brother called and hadn't bought my dad anything yet for fathers day and I was in the bookstore and found just the right book for my dad, while I was on crutches and couldn't walk and hold his book and mine in my hand so I had to stand there and wait until Troy came back to help me to the register. I did that.

And I feel angry for thinking that they would ever ever stop for one moment in their busy lives to say thanks. To say Happy Birthday. To say I care enough about you to give you just a portion of what you give us. I didn't want a big party or some fancy presents or some special card. I just wanted a Happy Birthday. From the people who are supposed to be there when no one else is. This year it was Katherine and John and Pam and Mike and Scott and Jennifer and Jennifer and Barclay and Justin and Sandra and Estella and Anna and Chef Eddie and all my blogger friends and all the peeps at work who sang to me today and most importantly Troy. They were all there when no one else was. And I am truly thankful for that. I really really am. But it doesn't erase the hurt, or that lump in my throat when I think about the fact that the phone hasn't rung.

And while I am truly sad about this and vow to never treat my children like that, I am taking the high road and acting like a 30 year old. I'm not going to whine or complain or cry anymore. Instead, I'm going to focus on making the next 30 years the best possible. I'll still send my cards and put thought into my gift buying but no more stress from trying to organize the party on a day that is perfect for everyone else. No more calling and reminding everyone that it's grandma's birthday next week. No more cancelling fun shoppping trips with my friends because I've got some family event coming up. My friends asked first. They always do. No more going out of my way for my biological family.

And I'm not going to be bitter. I am excited that I realized how foolish I've been before I turned 50 or 78 or 93. I'm glad that it took just one little birthday to make me realize what is important. I am strolling into 30ness with a bright smile and an optimistic outlook on the life ahead of me.

And I'm so glad that I'm thirty.
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