Tomorrow on June 25th I turn 44. Whenever my birthday comes, I like to reflect on the year. What went well? What am I proud of? What do I want to do better this year? I also like to celebrate. I am not that person who is embarrassed or ashamed or hiding my age. I am the person who stands proud to be 44. Every year is a blessing.

I changed my tune about birthdays during one of my child’s birthdays. I was sad that my son or one of my daughter’s was another year older. I love babies and I really enjoyed all three of my children’s baby years. One of my friend’s told me that every year was a blessing and that some people won’t get to celebrate their birthday that year. It hit me like a ton of bricks and totally changed my perspective. Now I embrace and appreciate every age as a blessing we have been given.

This has been a big year for me. This was the year I officially “went back to work” and started earning a paycheck for my family. Whinypaluza has become my business and it is something that I am very proud of. I consistently wrote every week and followed up my blogs with a vlog (video blog). I’ve been blogging for over six years, but this year it really became consistent work for me. I am so thankful for Seth’s marketing and business advice and for him “managing” my career. I have found a way to use my social work degree while still being home with my children. We have more ideas for Whinypaluza’s future so please stay tuned!

Other than my blog and my vlog, I also finally finished my first book. I became determined that this was the year that I would get it published and completed and I achieved this goal. My first book is called Whinypaluza and you can get it on Amazon. My mom just finished reading it and wrote me the nicest note about how much she loved it. That meant so much to me. Time to work on publishing two more books that I have in the works.

I complete my term of being President of my daughter’s Elementary School PTA on June 30th and I will be moving on to new positions on other PTA’s. As one door closes, other doors are always waiting to open for you. That is something I have learned over the years and have come to embrace. I used to resist change. I have learned to ride the wave of change much smoother than when I was younger. It is true what they say about being older and wiser.

As I type this our friend is setting up a time with us to bring me a SUV to test drive. After 12 years of minivans, I am closing the door on that chapter of my life. My husband convinced me to get a minivan and it has been very convenient for 12 years. It is time for me to pick a SUV that I will really enjoy driving. If I am going to be the mommy taxi, and I am going to “live” in my car, I would like to at least like what I am driving. As I said, 44 is literally opening new doors for me. I am very excited for a new birthday car.

I spent a lot of my 43rd year driving my kids around to various activities. My son played on so many soccer teams that I lost track. He is a goalkeeper and other teams kept asking him to come play for them. We went to so many soccer games and truly enjoyed watching him play. I can’t wait until he can get back on the field.

Ella was in several musicals between the theater she attends, the school musical and the temple musical. She was a busy girl and I spent a lot of time transporting her to all her rehearsals. I also drove my kids to Hebrew school, Girl Scouts and Lillie’s dance classes. It was my busiest mommy taxi year. The older they get the busier my taxi service becomes. In three years, Max will get his license and start to be able to help me with all this driving around! Trust me, I am not rushing this at all. I am enjoying him being 13.

When I gave birth to Max, I remember thinking his Bar Mitzvah was 13 years away. That felt like a very long time. This year we celebrated Max’s Bar Mitzvah. I spent a lot of my 43rd year planning my son’s Bar Mitzvah. Covid-19 changed a lot of our plans. We had to cancel Max’s big party and do his Bar Mitzvah service on Zoom. His “Zoom Mitzvah” was wonderful, and we did the best that we could under the circumstances we were in.

I will always remember being 43 years old and living in quarantine with my family. I think it brought us all closer together. I enjoyed having my husband work at home for three months. He has recently gone back to the office to work. I am so thankful for all the business he continued to have this whole year. His businesses are all doing well, and I am very thankful.

Every year my friendships change. Some friendships grow stronger, some friendships remain, and some friendships change either for the better or the worse. I have learned to accept this as just being a part of life. There are a couple of friendships that I am thinking of in particular as I write this. One friendship ended and one is strained. I was just telling a couple of my friends today that I don’t think I actually did anything. I think I know what happened with both of these friendships and I don’t think it has anything to do with me. You see, we tend to take things personally. We take things personally that may have absolutely nothing to do with us. I keep learning this lesson over and over again. One of my husband’s favorite lines is “You don’t know anything yet.” He is so right. We can make guesses and collect information but unless people tell us things directly, we don’t really know. If you are a friend in my life reading this, thank you for being a friend. Thank you for being in my life and making it richer. I appreciate my family and friends so immensely. Life is all about love and relationships to me.

My most popular blog and vlog this year was probably “My Yo Yo Weight.” I really thought long and hard before I put that blog out to the universe. I hesitated, wondering if I wanted to go there. I am so thankful that I decided to go for it. The more authentic I am, the bigger the risk is, the better the blog. That is what I am learning. If I want to help people than I need to share my successes and my struggles. My weight has gone up and down for the last twenty years. I am hopeful that as I turn 44, I will achieve an ideal weight and learn to maintain it. That is one of my main goals for the coming year. As I write this, my weight has already significantly gone down. I will continue to go down and I know I can achieve and maintain a healthy weight. G-d willing, 44 is my year to achieve this.

What do I think the goal of life is? I think we are all trying to be the best version of ourselves. Every year we learn, and we grow. Every year I learn more about myself. I am proud of the life I have created. I am proud of the husband I chose. I am proud of our three children. I am proud of the work I do.   I am not proud of my weight. There are great things and there are things to work on. As I said in blogs before, I don’t tend to give up. I am a first-born child and we tend to be driven.

As your birthday approaches, I encourage you to reflect on the previous year. Think about what went well and think about what you would like to achieve in the coming year. Here are some of my goals:

  • Say goodbye to my 12 years of minivans and welcome a new SUV that I love. Happy Birthday to me!
  • ***Achieve a healthy ideal weight and maintain it.
  • Do some form of exercise every day. I usually walk 2-4 miles every day. I am going to keep adding to this.
  • Work on publishing two books. My second Whinypaluza book and a children’s book with my daughter Ella.
  • Adding more to Whinypaluza – ideas are in the works.
  • Work on being a calmer me. More mindfulness and meditation. This will help mostly in my relationships with my husband, my children and with myself.

I would love to hear from you about the goals you are working on. Remember that you can always make topic requests for me to blog and vlog about.

44 is looking good and is opening new doors for me. I am excited for what’s to come! Birthday Blessings to me.

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R