Summer, Day 11: Burnt out ends


I’ve always loved my birthday. It just hasn’t always loved me. As a kid, I read this book over and over again. I’m still not convinced there’s such a thing as too many birthdays, despite what Raggedy Ann and Andy tried to tell me. Maybe it’s related to coming from a big family: when there are lots of people vying for parental attention, birthdays are pretty much the best day ever: you get presents, your choice of food, and cake/brownies/cookies/something chocolate.

Today was the last day of 32, and I’m insanely excited to usher in 33 when I wake tomorrow. And to be honest, it’s been a few years since I was this excited about celebrating.

For 32, The Spouse ditched me to play golf for work on the other side of the state, but the day turned out nicely: dinner with the Queen of Cool, the a viewing of super 8.

For 31, I was at West Point, and that was a fabulous day: dinner with 20 of my newest and closest friends, followed by plenty of amaretto sours in the lounge.

I was a mess with 30, not because it was 30 but because a friend scheduled another friend’s baby shower for the same day. It was only a year since I’d lost the baby and I was still a wreck. That loss weighed heavy on me that year as my birthday approached, but I wanted desperately to make it better. The scheduling fiasco upset me so much – I couldn’t handle the thought of attending a shower, and figured no one would want to go to a shower AND a party, not to mention that the combination of two such events with all that baggage just seemed like a recipe for weirdness. So I purposefully scheduled a research trip for that time and tried to find ways to celebrate on my own out of town.

The year I turned 29 was the year we lost the baby. I don’t yet know how to articulate the connection between my growing older and losing a baby halfway through a pregnancy, but it’s been a difficult area for me. And The Spouse and I have had a history of birthday fiascos at times, so I made sure to be away from home that year, on research. I just felt like I needed breathing space, so I created it with two weeks of east coast research and time alone.

But this year, I like to think things are different. Time helps. Being out of grad school and feeling secure in my career helps. Things are just…in balance somehow, and that’s good.

So tomorrow, I celebrate 33 years in style, rocking it in a new red dress, sharing treats with my students, taking myself out for fun, and meeting The Spouse for dinner. Throw in a few random adventures as they come my way, and I think it’ll be an awesome way to turn the page.


3 thoughts on “Summer, Day 11: Burnt out ends

  1. Hey Tonya – I can only hope you remember me. We met at Big Berks & hung around together. Would you be interested in working on a panel for Big Berks 2014, something on women pushing for new rights/opportunities & societal responses to those efforts? A friend wants to do something on the suffragists being force fed, I am thinking of doing something on women terrorists, and you could do something on women in the US military (or whatever). Does that interest you?

    • I have to admit – I’ve been following your blog for months and couldn’t remember how I’d found it! When is the deadline for proposals for Berks 2014? I’m partially interested, but I’m a bit out of the game and want to think about it a bit.

      • Totally get that. As to deadline… who knows? We all have time, methinks. Email me at scatteredandrandom dot me dot com.


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