Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Today is My Birthday

Happy Birthday to me. Today is my big three zero. I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I was always so convinced (even until recently) that it's just another number and no big deal, so why does it suddenly feel like a bit of a big deal? Hmmmm.

Baby me

Toddler me
3 year old me

I am one of the last of our friends (not the very last though) to reach 30 and it doesn't seem to have adversly affected them. I'm certainly not feeling any older than I did yesterday, so perhaps it's just the thought that I've entered the next decade and I can no longer say I'm a twenty-something? I'm in the whole next bracket and no longer elligble for 18-30 holidays (not that I ever wanted to go on one, but it's the thought that I'm now not allowed). I think it's also a little bit to do with 'where am I now' and 'what have I achieved since leaving school'. In terms of career, I've kind of been idling (until a couple of years ago when I started with the OU) thinking I've still got all of the time in the world to work out what I want to be when I grow up. Do you ever get that? The feeling of not really being a grown up, just playing house, and hoping nobody notices you still have the sense of humour similar to your 6 year old?

7 year old me at school

7 year old me meeting my new baby sister (I have a brother too, but no meeting him the hospital pic)

8 year old me feeding my baby sister ice cream on holiday. I really remind myself of the Small Person in this picture (my sister could be the Smaller Person!)

Maybe that's another thing. I always considered anyone over the age of 30 as a 'real grown-up', now that I'm here and part of the secret gang, I have the growing realisation that this is as grown up as it gets, which worryingly means the entire world is being run by six year olds in adult form! Eeeek! Scary thought. Explains a lot though...

Really grumpy 15 year old me on holiday

16 year old me during Rag Week at sixth form (me and my best friend are dressed as 'dirty old men'!)

I think mostly the 'ugh' feeling stems from the state of limbo we're living in right now, and it just happens to coincide with a big birthday. I love studying with the OU, it's hard work, but I feel like I'm improving and learning. It's restricting though, and now moving into the 3rd and final year, I still can't quite see the end in sight. I know it's there, but it's just out of view behind all of these other things that are between me in the here and now, and me in my graduation gown next year (fingers crossed!). Me not working leaves us very short on funds and with a lot of pressure on Mr Bogert as the only earner. We've reached a point now where the two years has worn us down a little and we're stuck repeating the same tasks every month. We miss being able to just go to the cinema or out for something to eat on the odd occasion, we miss being able to treat the kids, we miss the ability to work on the house and get it finished, we miss not having to rely on family to help us out (it's a good job they're so good!). Mr Bogert had something fantastical planned for my birthday which was super-duper top secret, but then we had car issues and I broke my glasses, so whatever it was (he still wont tell me) has been postponed due to the usual lack of funds until next month. I'd be lying if I said I'm not disappointed, but you know, these things happen, and at least I have something super-duper and fantastical to look forward to next month. Whatever we can't do now, we can always make up for in the future. This is what I mean by our state of limbo. We're just kind of suspended here for a few years unable to do much! :)

17 year old me with my 'new' boyfriend - Mr Bogert
Mr Bogert and me on my 18th Birthday

Mr Bogert has secured a few pennies and a babysitter for Orange Wednesday at the cinema though, and we are taking a magical family mystery tour somewhere during the day, so not all is lost :)

21 year old me on holiday in Woolacombe

24 year old me with my baby girl

Despite me not working, there is never any time! We seem to get swept along from one thing to another without a chance to come up and breathe. Uni work and assignments and tutorials, photoshoots and meetings, Mr Bogert's work and work trips, the Small Person's school events, homework, projects, her dance classes, her acting club, her swimming lessons, toddler group, the Smaller Person's appointments, this person's birthday, that person's wedding, their baby's christening, village activities, meetings, groups, fundraisers and more. I've never understood the phrase "Stop the World, I want to get off!" more than I do right at this point in my life. Not get off for long mind you, I do quite like it here ;) but a short break to gather my thoughts and relax a little would be ideal. Most of the things we get caught up in are supposed to be enjoyable social activities, but we just don't seem to get chance to actually enjoy them as we're mentally preparing for the next day's onslaught!

25 year old me gets married to Mr Bogert
Mr Bogert turns 30 (last year) and celebrates with a masquerade ball.

Don't get me wrong, I know 30 isn't old by anyone's standards, I also know I'm very lucky, because what I might have fallen behind with in terms of career, I've certainly excelled with in terms of family (and career will catch up). I guess I'm just feeling a little tired and worn out, so excuse me if I don't celebrate with quite a much gusto as may seem appropriate to such a milestone. I promise I'll make more effort when I turn 35, have had a good nights sleep, have a completed degree and a job that reflects it, and a little spending money in my pocket wouldn't hurt either!

29 year old me and family Newman - my best accomplishment
* I apologise for the less than brilliant quality younger photos - they are taken on my phone from prints stuck in a scrapbook my Mum made for my 21st birthday. They were the only ones I had handy at short notice. I know, I've had 30 years notice, but hey!

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