On the 15th anniversary of my 25th birthday

It is my birthday today. Actually, it is my fortieth birthday today and I am so excited about it! I feel healthy, happy and that life is good. I was very depressed at 30, with mountains of student loans, the purchase of my first car and starting in my teaching career. I think I was overwhelmed and felt tremendous pressure to have the kind of life others expected of me. Over the last ten years, I have become established in my career, carved out a life for myself in Toronto and become the person I was meant to be. My student loans are paid off, my second car will be paid off next month and I continue to enjoy discovering this city where I find myself. (For my birthday treat, I am going to check out a gelato shop down on Baldwin Street that specializes in Asian flavours!) I also get to see my parents AND a play at Stratford on Friday night when my parents pass through on their way back home from their vacation. Life is good!

I was looking through a scrapbook my mum made for me on my eighteenth birthday last night. It stops at that time, but I found some gems inside!I was looking for birthdays past, since I will not have any birthday photos from this year until I see Mum and Dad on Friday. We will be celebrating my milestone, as well as my father’s birthday, also a big one. In case he is uncomfortable sharing his age, I will only say that the square root of it is 8.37.

Here I am on my first birthday. I think that those walkers are illegal now.

Here I am on my first birthday. I think that those walkers are illegal now.

It is amazing to me that these pictures exist. They are relics of another time, as evidenced by the giant boat of a 1970s car in the background.

My seventh birthday, apparently in someone else's laundry room.

My seventh birthday, apparently in a laundry room.

I love my crown! This was when we still had a cottage in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. My parents had friends in town, so we  would go there for celebrations, where things were a little less rustic. (And to do the laundry. With Surf detergent, no less! Another relic.)

Eleventh birthday. I only recognize one of the other girls. Who are these people?

Eleventh birthday. I only recognize one of the other girls. Who are these people?

I am trying to figure out who they are! I only recognize Victoria, who lived around the corner from us. I am also having trouble believing that this birthday was at home. I do not recognize that wall and there are no placemats on the table! However, there IS a tablecloth and I recognize those Ikea chairs that followed us a few times across the country. It is difficult to see the cake, but I believe it was a dog. My mother was legendary for her birthday cakes. There must be a photo somewhere of the Holly Hobbie cake she made for one of my birthdays. Everyone still talks about my brother’s R2D2 cake. I believe she made them without the particularly shaped pans that are so common today. I know that she spent a long time icing them, too, early in the morning before we all woke up!

My twelfth birthday. This is someone else's house because my mother always insisted on placemats.

My twelfth birthday. This is someone else’s house because my mother always insisted on placemats.

I think this was the last year we had the cottage. We are, once again, at a friend’s house. It is always interesting to look at style. I am rocking that zebra print! That is my dad presenting the cake. I had to make sure Mum and my brother were here, too (they have a tendency to take, rather than appear in, the birthday photos).

Me and my brother. We are eating cake, so I can only assume it is a birthday. We are at home, as there are placemats on the table.

Me and my brother. We are eating cake, so I can only assume it is a birthday. We are at home, as there are placemats on the table.

We had those placemats forever! I wonder if my parents still have them…

Me and Mum! Having your child standing on a counter in a maxi dress whilst cutting her hair is probably frowned upon these days...

Me and Mum! Having your child standing on a counter in a maxi dress whilst cutting her hair is probably frowned upon these days…

The date stamp on the back of the photo is May 1977, so maybe this was my birthday haircut for my third birthday…

I think that was the last time I wore a maxi dress; no need to draw attention to my decided lack of height! It is interesting that, even at almost 3, I displayed an interest in patchwork and current styles.

27 july 2014

27 july 2014

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8 thoughts on “On the 15th anniversary of my 25th birthday

  1. Happy Birthday Chera,,so nice to read the above stories about your birthdays..You certainly have done very well and yet still only 40,,Looks like you have grown your hair ,,looks good,,,enjoy your day
    ..

    • Hi Joan: Thank you again for your birthday wishes. I have been growing my hair, on the “I can do anything for a year” plan! The photos do represent certain moments in time. I still cannot believe how angelic my brother always looked, when we all knew the truth!

  2. Hi Margie: It is quite a milestone. My brother passed it already and Mum is still saying that she is too young to have children “our age”! She also let me know that she still has those placemats. They bought them in Jamaica, on their honeymoon!

  3. Happy Birthday! Life starts at 40,,,it’s all practice until then. You’ll enjoy your 40’s and all the freedoms from “the little things” that seem so important when we’re younger. It’s an amazing decade.

    • Thank you, Mary! That has been my experience within my own family. After 40, my mother, in particular, really seemed to come into her own. I like where I am and look forward to the continuing journey!

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