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38 things

38 does sound old. And actually, I do feel old a lot. I look at my young children and I think “I’m too old for this!” I fall into bed exhausted at night and don’t like to get out of it in the mornings. And yet, somehow, I still feel like I’m peering out at the world through a kid’s eyes.

Oh, what did you say? Did you ask if it was my birthday today? Awww, you are so sweet to remember! Yep. 38 years old today.

Do you remember being younger — like highschool age — and having older people saying this to you: “These are the best days of your life.” I do. Even Bryan Adams likes to remind me that “those were the best days of our lives.”

Funny. Because when I think back on my most powerful, most special moments … they’ve all been as an adult. I don’t know why. I had a great childhood. But there it is.

Today, I’m going to find make time to celebrate some of these moments. I’m going to soak in them, marinate in them, roll around and wrap myself in them.

First, I’m going to write out 38 things that I’m happy to have done in my life so far. I’ll share a few with you:

  • Sat quietly in the middle of the night, with only the moon shining in the window, nursing my baby.
  • Learned an enormous amount about life in the 8 1/2 months that sweet little Janna stayed with us.
  • Gave up all sense of propriety and told poo, pee, fart and bum jokes with my daughter just so I can watch her laugh until she can no longer breathe.
  • Dug really deep and crawled my way to the finish line of my Masters thesis.
  • Slept in a tent on an unknown stretch of coast in Portugal with my dear love.

Then, I’m going to write out 38 more things that I’d still like to do in my life.

  • Have an article published in a national women’s magazine.
  • Shave my head.
  • Sip a cold beer against the backdrop of white buildings while looking out at Greek islands.
  • Help my daughter find a passion in life (other than Pokemon).

For my birthday present, will you share some of your memories or yearnings for the future with me? I’d be the best present ever.

Now reprinted with permission on Blissfully Domestic.

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  1. Happy birthday and all the best with your wishes! I’m keeping my fingers crossed and sending you only the best positive vibes!

    As for me, my birthday is Monday and I’m hitting the big 4-0 so, baby, this is a year of reflection for me too…

    Some things that I’d like to do:
    – get to my target weight
    – finish my MAPP
    – become a renowned speaker / trainer spreading information about positive psychology and making it applied for coaches, educators, corporate professionals and any other meaningful group that will listen to me!

    I really really really want that last one!

    Enjoy your savouring! That’s a big positive!!
    :-) Lisa

  2. My dear niece Julie. I was there 38 years ago! I have the proof of photos of me, your loving uncle holding you when you couldn’t walk, and then when you started to crawl. I realized last week when we were at dinner that the love I had for you as a baby hasn’t changed. Through all the years of absence, of life events that happened to us both, my love for you hasn’t changed.
    Happy Birthday dear Julie.

    Much Love

    Uncle Ross

  3. Happy Birthday Julz!!
    You’re lovely. I wish i could have spent more time and known you better here. ( Nat is such a hog!!) My yearnings for the future…i am going to come to Canada and go to Avonlea and ( if they wont let me BE Anne) get my picture taken with Anne and possibly pash Gilbert…oh, and end poverty and bring world peace. Hope you have a lovely day!
    Love Ali. xxx

  4. Happy Birthday Julie,

    Celebrate and enjoy! Hugs!

  5. Happy Birthday! To me, you ARE young. Ah, to be 38 again… Enjoy your day and your whole year being 38.

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Okay here it is some thoughts about the past and some aspirations for the future.
    My reflections(in no particular order):
    1. Hiking the west coast trail with my dad and sister while they used their make-shift wooden walking sticks to poke me in the back and push me to the brink.
    2. “Finding myself” when I held Connor in my arms for the first time.
    3. Paris and Monty
    4. Buying our dream home and panicing that we couldn’t possibly survive the enormouse mortgage, especially having another mortgage at the same time. We did it though and we are definately stronger for it!
    5. Training and running my 1st 5km with my Uncle.

    Future Aspirations:
    1. Run a half marathon
    2. Take my family to Disneyland
    3. Take a 2nd honeymoon to Costa Rica
    4. Be my own boss!
    5. Get Connor potty trained! For the love of god!

  7. What a great birthday idea.

    One of my happiest moments was in Tofino, BC. We were on a surfing weekend, but the weather hadn’t turned out so great for surf. The wind was whipping the waves into froth, and it was raining. HARD. But, we had made the trip, and dammit we were going to surf.

    I remember standing alone, waist deep in the freezing cold water, the rain driving against my face, and the small bump that was baby Keith suddenly conspicuous under my wetsuit. I started laughing, laughing out loud. What the HELL am I doing here!?

    One of those moments that’s so strange, so unrepeatable and that for some reason, makes joy swell up in your heart.

  8. Thank you to everyone who has shared their memories and hopes here so far. I feel very inspired and happy!

  9. Posted by Julie’s Hubby:

    Memories I have that I think of often:

    A pair of Canadians pitching a tent on the lawn.

    Glimpsing the sun rise through the window as my daughter was born.

    My son laying on my chest moments after his birth.


  10. Happy Birthday Julie! 38 years old…. let’s see. When I was 38, Bev & I just moved into our new home.
    Bev & I both wish you a great day and a great year.

    We luv ya

  11. Wow. What a great thing to do on your birthday. So in your honour, here are my lists:

    — sitting in my car with my four-month old son, in a parking lot of an NCC nature trail, overcast but beautiful fall afternoon, nursing my little boy. I chose not to drive the extra 5 minutes home to feed him that day. The memory is indelible.
    — hiking around Britain (and a bit of Europe) alone when I was 19. It pushed me out of my shell and I met lots of interesting people.
    — worked at the NAC. My inner ballerina was alive each and every day.
    — found work about which i am passionate at age 45.
    — to have been blessed with men in my life who exude integrity, humour, intelligence and charm.

    Still to do:
    –find more ways to build dance into my life’s work
    — swim with dolphins
    — take Thomas to explore other countries
    — Become a (much) more patient mommy
    — take care of myself so I enjoy the best of health so I can enjoy my life and family.
    — laugh every single day.

    Hugs and happy birthday, Jules!

  12. To find a way to inspire all Canadians to care passionately about what’s going on in their country. That means looking beyond the sound byte or the silly scandal of the day to find out what’s actually been happening since 1/23/06 (and what happened during the election that preceded it). A great starting point for doing this research: Elizabeth May’s new book, Losing Confidence.

    It’s kind of geeky mission, but it’s my number one big-picture wish right now.

    On my daily list of life:
    – book revisions
    – health resolutions
    – spending more time with friends
    – savoring the stages my kids are at
    – fun with hubby
    – add more items to list :-)

  13. Jules, I am a little late, but here it is:

    – scoring a game winning goal in a university hockey game
    – swimming by myself, at night, in the river with only the moonlight and ducks
    – having the best dance party at my wedding, and not caring what anyone thought of the music and us
    – sitting in a hammock, on top of a hill on an island in Thailand (with my love)
    – living in South Korea

    still to do:
    – travel, travel, travel
    – surf
    – be the mother i always wanted to be
    – find a way to be involved in politics in canada, that i can be happy with
    – live in the country, and own a house!

  14. Hi Jules, I am a lot late!

    -I swam with dolphins in the Bahamas, they are scary! I believe the outdoors are overated and have been done to death.

    -I want to make lots more quilts, visit Canada and quilt there too. You can’t make quilts outside!

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