by Working Mom
Some people don't like getting older, but I do.
|Today is my birthday. I am 39 years old.
I know many people don’t like celebrating their birthdays because they don’t consider getting one year older as a good thing.
But I do. I have gained one more year of experience and knowledge. I know 365 days worth of information I didn’t know a year ago. I like getting older!
A lot of people believe that the older you get the less beautiful you are. Well, if we are going purely by physical attractiveness, I’ve seen people in their 50’s and 60’s that outshine any 20 year old. And I’ve seen plenty of unattractive 20 somethings. Having a chronological age less than a certain number does not guarantee certain physical attributes.
Besides, I think what’s on the inside is WAY more important than what you look like on the outside. Every grey hair is a line of wisdom, every wrinkle a crease of experience.
I don’t mind that each year brings me closer to death. Death is a part of life and I use it as a reminder to be grateful for every day I have left.
When I celebrate my birthday, I am celebrating what I have accomplished in my life. At age 18 I was kicked out the cult my family belonged to. Everyone I knew since I was a baby, all of my family and friends would not talk to me anymore, not even a hello.
I got my own apartment and worked two minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet. I had no one to help me if I needed a ride to work or if I needed to borrow some money. I remember eating $.88 Swanson potpies every night for dinner.
After a year I moved to New York City where I got married and then pregnant with my first child. I worked full time the entire pregnancy which was very hard physically. After the pregnancy my health deteriorated even more. I suffered from severe back pain and fatigue almost daily.
Even so, we couldn’t afford for me to stop working. I went from receptionist, to administrative assistant to my current job as communications coordinator. I think I did pretty well, considering I did all this with just a high school diploma.
I continued to mature and grow mentally. I had been married for 11 years and began to realize that my husband was not a good husband or father. I began to understand that my daughters and I deserved better. In 2009 I moved my two daughters and myself into an apartment and filed for a divorce. It was scary moving out. The thought that I was going to be solely responsible for two precious lives frightened me. But then I realized I had been a single parent even when I was married. I did the lion’s share of the parenting, housework and even paying the bills. I realized I had been doing it ALL on my own for 11 years and that my girls and I would be just fine.
And I was right. Since my divorce I’ve improved my credit score over 100 points. I also got my associate’s degree. It wasn’t easy, being a single parent, working full time and going to school part time, but thankfully Amber was old enough to watch her younger sister for me while I went to school in the evening.
I look back over the years at all the things I’ve done for my girls. Fights with the school to get them the help they needed, taking them to doctor appointments and hiring tutors.
I’ve worked very hard to take care of myself and my girls. That’s why I don’t view my birthday as one more year closer to death, I view it as one more year of accomplishment and experience. I am proud of what I’ve done so far, and I look forward to doing even more.