Bicentennial Baby

Birthdays – either you love 'em or hate 'em. Most years I'm like an attention-seeking five year old, but after getting engaged earlier this year and getting more than enough attention, the hermit lifestyle suddenly seems more attractive.

I'm trying to stay away from using this blog as an excuse to just blather on about myself. But since it is my birthday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give you some background.

I was born in the sweltering summer of 1976 in New York City not long after America's 200-year birthday celebrations. I was nearly two weeks late and my Mom says my personality was already formed – I'm not a big champion of change. That said, I make it a point to fight my aversion to it tooth and nail. Otherwise, I'd never get anything done. I'd also be really unhappy as coping with change pretty much describes life.

After graduating from university (or college, depending on where you're reading this from), I worked as a financial journalist in New York City for a few years. But in 2002 when the technology newsletter I was editing got shut down (no readers left), I decided it was a good time to up sticks and so applied internally for an opening my company had in its London bureau.

I've been in England – London specifically – ever since. I'm even a naturalized British citizen and get confused about whether I should be using the English or American names for things when I make a shopping list for myself. Washing-up liquid or dishwashing soap? Kitchen roll or paper towels? It's a hard life.

So back to birthdays. In keeping with the message of this blog, we are often the best expert on our ourselves and a birthday can be a good time to assess how things are going. However, this can also be dangerous. So easy to get stuck worrying that you haven't come far enough or you're running out of time to do the things you want to do. A birthday should never be an excuse to beat yourself up. If you find that happening, please reach for another piece of cake.

Perhaps birthdays are actually a better time to practice acceptance. Why do we all feel like we have to be like everyone else? The reality is that people are extremely different from one another. I mean, I'm never going to look good in skinny jeans. Unless I wear a dress over them and then what's the point?

I think the best part of getting older is that you can see much more clearly what the things are that you enjoy and what generally makes you tick – without having to make excuses. And generally these days I am getting better at not trying to be all things to all people.

Despite my normal social nature, I've just had enough recently, so tonight will be time for ordering in some pizza (my favorite) and perhaps busting out some quality champagne, except this time I won't be swigging out of the bottle. At least for tonight.

No comments

Back to Top