Birthday Girl

Published October 25, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Today is my 39th birthday.

I still can’t believe I’m 39.  Most of the time I feel about 12.  I used to think that 39 was this old, wise age.  Pshaw, yeah right!  But it’s weird to realise that some of my peers have already got grandchildren.  I can’t even imagine having kids myself, let alone grandchildren.  To be honest, I really don’t believe in “age” as such, I think every one of us is different and our experiences shape who we are, so that no two people, even those born on the same day of the same year are really the same when it comes to their life stages.  We all travel through our lives at our own pace.

Unlike a lot of people, I am not worried about getting older, and I don’t feel the need to hide or fib about my age.  I actually feel like I’ve achieved something with each added year.  It’s another year’s experience, another year’s life I’ve got under my belt so to speak.  The only time I ever felt dread about getting older was in my years of very low self esteem, because I had convinced myself that my value was already very low, so getting older only lowered it further.  These days I value each passing year with a blessing and 365 days (occasionally 366) of experiences.

Plus, I really love birthdays themselves.  They don’t even have to be mine, birthdays are just awesome, no matter whose they are.  But when it’s my turn, it’s even more awesome.  Birthdays are always happy days for me these days.  I get to see my Facebook and Twitter all lit up with people wishing me well, which is just lovely.  My Grandma calls me.  I get birthday cards in the mail from all over the world.  I hear from friends that I don’t hear from very often.  Cake happens at some point.  And I get some lovely gifts too.  How lucky I am to have a whole day of just lovely things happening to me.

This year, my birthday fun actually started the day before, when the lovely Brigid came in to work to hand paint my nails for me during my lunch break.  Brigid is so talented at nail art, check out the sweetie nails she painted for me:

Left hand - with dodgy thumbnail.


Right hand

I’ve never had hand painted nails before, so I’m quite tickled at these.

Then this morning, when I got to work, I found a big parcel on my desk and this cake, both from my friend Nadia (who is also my colleague):

There be cake!

Oh it looks pretty unassuming, with it’s chocolate icing and shiny cachous, but when it came time for me to cut it:

Nadia always takes photos at these weird angles. She's such a hipster.

Yes, I really do have that many toys all over my desk.  But the tiger belongs to my colleague Roberto!

So when I cut the cake open:


My team and I deemed it highly delicious, there was lots of murmurings of “om-nom-nom” and “mmm… moist!” (Though we spent all morning discussing what a creepy word “moist” actually is – say it a few times to yourself and tell me you don’t agree.)

When a few more slices were cut, I realised something else…

Double rainbow... all the way across the plate!

It’s so vivid!  What does it mean?

Do you know what I think I love best about this cake?  That the centre is almost exactly the same colour as my hair!

So all in all I had a lovely day, and I’m looking forward to catching up with other friends on the weekend for a bit of a belated celebration with them.

How do you feel about getting older?  What about birthdays?  Let’s talk about the fact that we all grow older and have these anniversaries every year!

33 comments on “Birthday Girl

  • OMG cupcake nails! I *so* want cupcake nails!!!!

    I am a big fan of birthdays. I think they are special and deserve to be fussed over. Admittedly I have been the only one in the family to thinks so (until Miss Roo came along and she loves a birthday as much as I do!). I *think* I have now trained my boys to understand that a birthday must be fussed over.

    Getting older doesn’t worry me. I was about the only one of my friends (at the time) who couldn’t have cared less about turning 30. I notice how my body and looks change as I get older. I have been getting white hair since I was 19 though. I notice ageing most on my hands as I have very crepe like skin on my hands (just like my mum and her mum).

    I think the only time I might get things about my age is when I hit 46 and I will be older than my mum ever lived to be.

    Happy Birthday gorgeous!

    • Yeah I can understand those feelings around milestones like passed parents ages etc. I have another friend who has outlived both his parents ages by about 10 years and he really struggled with that when he hit those milestones.

      30 was a weird experience for me, but once I got past it, I haven’t looked back. My 30’s have been the best years of my life, because they’re the part of my life where I started to learn to live for myself and not other people. I think it’s only going to get better from here.

      I think next time Brigid does my nails I’ll ask for them to all be cupcakes.

  • Happy Birthday!! I ♥ your nails and double rainbow cake. 🙂

    Personally, birthdays don’t bother me but I suspect that mostly comes from having a husband 3 years older than me – and we’ve been together since I was 16 so all those birthdays until now haven’t seemed so bad when he’s been there before me. I’ve also always been told that I’m mature for my age and crap like that, so I also kind of feel I’m growing into myself, not leaving behind a younger version of me if that makes sense?

  • I loove birthdays!
    I have one coming up on Friday. I always try to have a “social month” in my birthday month, where I make an extra effort to catch up with friends. I’ve had some lovely coffee and lunches out, Fri night I’m having friends over for board games, Sat night I’m going out with other friends for some Italian. Getting older doesn’t bother me either, I certainly don’t feel 33. I certainly love getting a bit of attention every year. 😉
    I love your birthday cake, your friend is so talented.

    • Good on you Bek, sometimes life gets us so swamped that we need to actually focus on making sure we are social, as an act of self care. I hope you have an awesome time for your birthday and that you get a fancy cake like mine!

  • Your nails look awesome! I want them!!

    I love birthdays. Mine was October 8th – I was 49. Age doesn’t bother me either. Like you said, it’s not the age, it’s where you are in life. I’m in a good place right now, for the most part.

    The birthday that bothered me today was my son’s – he turned 18!!! I am so fiercely proud of the person he has become, but it’s hard to believe that his childhood is over and that next year at this time, he will be in college for his birthday – and probably not in a college close to home (I will travel to be sure!). People always said that your child’s childhood goes fast…they weren’t kidding!

    Happy Birthday to you today too Kath. October 25th is an awesome day!! Enjoy your special day. I’m glad that you have such great friends out there that take care of you and love you.

    • Happy belated birthday La! You are just a few days younger than my beloved best friend, he was October 2nd, and also turned 49. There will be a hell of a party next year when he turns 50 and I turn 40!

      That has to be a bit intense, when your children reach adulthood.

  • Happiest of birthdays, Kath!

    Count me among those who love a birthday, no matter what the number involved. I did have a moment of ‘huh, really?’ in September when I turned 49… but it really was just a sort of ‘no kidding’ moment rather than worry or upset. Then again, I grew up spending as much time as possible with my great aunt who was still wondering what she would be when she grew up when she was in her eighties. I figure if I’m around another day, I can have another adventure of some sort, and that’s worth celebrating.

    Those nails and the cake are beyond awesome. Now I just need to train people who live around me to make that kind of a fuss over me. Not that I mind baking my own birthday cake. I’m a damn good baker and I love treating me. But the nail thing would totally rock. I could definitely rock cupcake nails.

  • Happy Birthday Kath! 🙂

    I too fell victim to the “depressed I’m getting older” crap, which IMO is a mind-over-matter thing. I figured after my 21st birthday that I could stop looking forward to them..but now that I’m past the age where I can rent a car, I feel less anxious about my age really. 😉 If anything, my recent 27th birthday was a total blast and I’m happy there’s many more to come.

    I totally dig the cherry nail art! And that cake = AWESOMENESS. Those are some really vivid colors!

    • It is so much fun celebrating birthdays. After all, we have to spend so much of our lives doing the necessary stuff, that is boring, and yet when birthdays roll around, we can just celebrate and have fun.

  • I am 62 & look forward to my birthday as being the ONE day of the year when it is about me. Besides, I have never looked or acted my age. I may have to grow old, but I don’t have to grow up. Right now I am checking out everyone’s Halloween decorations & looking forward to trick-or-treating with my granddaughter next Monday; October is my favorite month & Halloween is my favorite holiday, always has been.

    Happy birthday, Kath. Your nails look adorable & what a neat cake!

  • Happy birthday Kath. I love your nails and what a fantastic looking cake.
    It’s my birthday this sunday-October birthdays are the best. I’m turning 35 but I don’t feel it and have to remind myself how old I am. The only thing that makes me fret about turning 35 is the words of the last gyno I saw who reminded me my clock is ticking when she told me fertility dips dramatically after 35 since we want and have been trying to have kids, but apart from that I don’t even notice the years passing.

  • A sure way to get my husband and I to start being silly is to say the word “moist”. We often use it as a tension breaker!

    Happiest of birthday’s to you Kath xoxo

  • Many happy returns! Love the cake! And the nails are awesome.

    I turn 43 at the end of November. And, yes, sometimes I think about that and I think that I can’t possibly be that old…can I? I don’t mean in a negative sense, just in the sense of having amassed that number of years. It never fails to awe me that there are people I went to school with who have teenage kids.

    I think a lot of how I feel about age is tied up, for me, in the way I grew up – I was expected to turn ‘grown up’ virtually overnight at the age of fourteen or so, and by the time I was in my twenties I was feeling ‘old’ in the negative sense of being drained, nothing to look forward to, everything downhill. I now realize that I was pretty badly depressed for much of that time, trying to fake the ‘respectable married housewife’ thing and hating it – and not coincidentally, experiencing my worst body hatred at that time. The turning point was at around 30-35, after living alone for a while and actually finding me again. So my theory is that, having missed out on a lot of years when I felt like I wasn’t properly inhabiting my own body and personality, I haven’t actually clocked up as much time as I appear to have done. Makes sense to me.

    • Indeed, I just don’t feel like a 39 year old… whatever a 39 year old is supposed to feel like.

      I think that I’m also the same way in that I didn’t really have much of a childhood. I was exposed to a life that robs children of their childhood, and expected to be responsible far beyond my years. So I understand that feeling of well if this is my childhood and these are supposed to be the most fun years… what have I got to look forward to?

      Independence really is a powerful trait to own, isn’t it?

  • happy happy happy wonderful, fabulous, awesome, delightful, fantastic birthday!!! i, too, love birthdays, so i’m super delighted that you were celebrated in all sorts of fun ways. that cake is off the HOOK!

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! It looks like you had some great surprises and some great friends to spoil you. I absolutely love those nails!! How cute, and that cake is fantastical, you made me giggle at the double rainbow reference. Hope this coming year is full of tons of joy and happiness with just enough challenges to leave you feeling accomplished and successful!

  • Happity Birthday To you!!! I too am a fan of those epicly cute nails! I am glad to hear that I am not the only female that feels fine about aging. I am actively looking forward to grey hair and wrinkles. It always seemed to me that grey hair and wrinkles was like the cultural equivalent of a get of jail free card. You get to be yourself, without consequences. You don’t have to impress anyone anymore, you’re not usually sexually objectified, and sometimes you even get more respect than when you did at 30. I’m all for it. Plus I just love the way gray hair looks!

  • Happy Birthday Kath!
    I love reading your blog. Thanks for all you do. Your cake and nails beat all I’ve ever seen! You must have friends as amazing as you are. Thanks for being you! Keep living out loud. The world needs it!

  • Happy birthday, Kath!! Many happy returns!

    I’ve got a few years on you and I can say that the only downside to increasing birthdays is that the spankings become epic. 😉

    • You just make your cake mix as per normal, then portion it out in as many bowls as you want colours. Dye each portion whatever colour you want, and then pour each colour into the greased baking pan, just layering it as you like. If you want a really marbled effect, you can use a skewer and swirl it a bit.

  • when I’m busy or on my iphone I favourite all the posts I want to read and eventually get around to doing so. This has taken me longer than usual. Thanks for sharing your birthday thoughts and I think it’s kinda cool we also share the same birthday. In the past birthdays have been a huge disappointmnet and cause me much sadness and sorrow. But this year was delightful. I had a great day and am thankful that I did. Reading this helped to bring back that smile from the day and remember that I have had a good birthday. Love the cake and so glad you were spolt and loved.

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