5/21/09

Living your best life and all that

It just so happens that I was born on the 22nd of May a mere 34 years ago. This isn't all that monumental. I mean, everyone has birthdays, and it's not like it's my 40th or something. But of course, it gets me thinking about my life...

If I were "living my best life," as Opie (that's short for Oprah, only Gail and I get to call her that) likes to say, I think I'd be a vegetarian and a long-distance runner. I can feel both those things buried in me somewhere, but I like to ignore them while I eat steak and sit around.

It's not that refraining from meat and strapping on the cross-trainers are things that define the well-lived life for everyone, I'm just talking about me here. Because it's my best life we're talking about, and I can make up whatever I want because I've been around for 34 years.

In my best (imaginary) life, I'm also a nurse. (In my current life, I haven't gone to school to be a nurse, I just think she's buried in there somewhere with the vegetarian runner.) I'm working hard at the hospital, and then taking part in some kind of community theater on the weekends. Because yes, you guessed it, in my best life I can totally act. (And I'm also a published author, just so you know.)

(While we're at this, you should probably know that I'm completely emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy. This is my BEST life, so I have no issues. And that, my friends, is reeeaaal nice.)

Sidenotes: If I were a nurse (who goes running daily and refrains from steak eating while rushing off to the stage to be the star of the latest live theater hit), I would also line-dry my clothing as much as possible. There's just something about that crisp feeling with that fresh air scent. It's like the starchy envelope wrapped around my best life.

And : Of course I'd be doing more gardening, my whole yard a feast of sorts, if I were living my best life.

Yeah, so there it is. At 34, I figure I could be doing more to "live my best life." And maybe, just maybe, I'll add some of those things to my life at some point, they really do appeal to me after all.

But is this what birthdays are for? A day to remember that you were born and then fuss over all the things you could have done or should be doing?

I think not.

Birthdays are a chance to look around, see all that is good, and then really see it! Your best life! Happening right then. Your very own big and best life cake. So I'm going to have mine, and I'll eat it too, scooping up the ice cream and the words, "Ryan, Miles, and Asher." Because of course, they are the icing on the cake.

Happy Birthday to me.


Miles - 2005


Asher- 2007

54 clicked right here to comment:

Erin said...

Wow, your best life sounds really exciting.

And, your current life is very exciting in very different ways. (I love your best life cake analogy.)

Happy birthday to you!

Annette Lyon said...

Happy birthday!

I think these are the days not to hit ourselves over the head with the things we haven't done, but to celebrate that yes, we were born to this world and we've made a difference and matter--at least to our children. And that's huge.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Happy, happy birthday, my friend.

And you're right. The life you have today IS your best life.

(Both boys were c-sections? Have we heard those stories?)

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Happy Birthday Heather. It is funny to see you mention the parts of you that you can feel inside of you even if they are not up on the surface. I feel like that towards a few things too but I am not always sure how to bring them out, or if I want them out!

Anyway, I think it sounds like you are living your best life right now, surrounded by the people you love the most. Enjoy your day.

Kazzy said...

Lives evolve, and so do "bests". Glad to know you.

Jillene said...

Great post as usual Heather!! I hope that you have a VERY Happy Birthday!!

Mrs4444 said...

Here's to you, Heather! Hope your day was as special as you :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are a really good writer, I think you could be a published author. Your "best Life" (vegan nurse runner auther freah air dryer) sounds pretty amazing, but your real life sounds great too. Who has time for waiting for line drying and running when you've got 2 wonderful boys to play with and hug. You have time to do that stuff later. Enjoy Miles and Asher now....run when they're in college. Oh and being a nurse.....sometimes I don't think it's all it's cracked up to be....I've been one for 7 years and I'm getting burned out already. May be time for a change.
-Susan
P.S. both my boys were c-sections too......we'll have to talk.

Elizabeth said...

Your "best life" sounds a lot like mine! But aren't our real lives so much better for now? We have time for the rest later.

Happy Birthday to you, friend. You know I love ya!

Jamie said...

Happy Birthday to you, sweet lady! Hope your day is a super one!!!

mrs boo radley said...

Happiest day to you!

Sheryl said...

happy birthday, friend.

go eat a steak, sit around all weekend - enjoy!!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

You know that you've gotten really practical when your "best life" includes things like laundry...

Melanie J said...

Extra super happy birthday!!!!

Lara said...

Happy Birthday! The life you live now is amazing! You are amazing. I hope you had a wonderful day...you deserve it!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Laughing out loud at "but I like to ignore them while I eat steak and sit around." Those both sound like wonderful ingredients for a best birthday. You imaginary best life sounds really great for you, but I bet your kids are so glad you picked your current best life. Good for you!

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Lindsay said...

I'm new here so I REALLY hope Ryan is your husband, or else you forgot a kid pic!!! Just kiddin', wicked good post.

susannah said...

happiest of birthdays to you. since i've been 34 for three months now, i'd say it's pretty good for the most part. :)

i, too, believe i have a marathon hidden somewhere deep inside of me, and *then* i see people running marathons and i think, "nope. i'm good. it's deep inside, and that's where that marathon is going to stay for now." maybe life is my marathon right now, and that's good enough for me...

Deb said...

if only our bodies would actually burn the calories our imaginary best life long distance runners use!

happy birthday, fellow may baby.

you have an awesome life, as is... with plenty (PLENTY) of time to realize any of those dreams you decide you want to pursue... or none at all.

Debbie said...

Well now, happy birthday to one of my favorite people in the whole world! I hope you have a day full of hand drawn cards, flowers (and weeds) picked from the yard, and sloppy kisses.
And did I know already and just forgot that we are separated by only 6 days? Why does that not surprise me?

sara said...

Happy belated birthday!!! I hope you had a sweet day!!!

NorahS said...

Happy Birthday! I never think deep thoughs on my birthday. I just think about cake, so good for you!

Ronda's Rants said...

Happy Birthday!
You are living your best life...it shines all the way over here!

Mylestones said...

You cracked me up with your "eating steak and sitting around", "only me and Gail call her that...", etc. It's YOUR birthday, and yet you provide the entertainment. That's why we love you. :-)
Happy Birthday!!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Have I told you lately that yours is one of my favorite blogs to read? And I am still totally loving the new design. I just sit here at my big computer desk staring at the sweet stripes and little birdie. Incidentally I can not look at the birdie with out thinking of your sweater.

Happy birthday to an amazing mother, and an amazing woman who is absolutely living her best life. :)

happygeek said...

Happy birthday!
Hey, I'm not the only one whose first pics of both her kids involves a large sheet!
Enjoy this life. It is the best.

K and/or K said...

Happy Birthday Heather!
I love that the category for this post is "wierdness."

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds like your living you best life right now!

Jen said...

what a beautiful way to look at a birthday. I love it. Oh and Happy Birthday.

Sabrina said...

Happy Birthday Friend!!!

Have a beautiful day!

The Mom Jen said...

Happy Birthday beautiful! Hope you have a lovely day!

Keyona said...

You rock Heather! Happy Birthday beautiful lady!

Mommy Mo said...

Happy Birthday Heather- I hope you have the most awesome day.

So, does this make you a Taurus or Gemini?

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

Hippo birdie to you. You ARE the best already. I'm so grateful to have "met" you this year!

Lee of MWOB said...

Happy Birthday to a friggin' spring chicken in my book! :-) 34??? You're a babe my friend....enjoy every last second of your best life which, you are soooooo right, is RIGHT NOW!!!

Those pics of you and your babies just made me all teary eyed.....

Have a killer day!!!

:-)

Lee

Jami said...

Well, young lady, happy birthday!

Peanut said...

Happy Birthday Heather! I hope you enjoy the icing today :)

Heidi Ashworth said...

The best Happy Birthday To Me posts I've ever read. Love you!Oh, and Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

Mammatalk said...

Happy birthday, you sweet young thing!! Have a great day.

I, myself, am preparing to do battle with that 40 beast next year. Shhh!

Corinne said...

Happy Birthday :) What a lovely post to celebrate your day.

Shauna said...

Hope you have a super weekend!
♥ HUGS ♥

Bonnie said...

Happy Birthday Heather! love your best life scenario.. got me to thinking about mine. Love the pictures.

Blessed said...

Happy birthday!

I'm not sure what my "best life" looks like although I'm sure it includes being able to fit into my pre-baby clothes :)

I'll be 34 in just a couple of weeks - Hubby and I's present to me this year is baby #2 who will come via c-section a week after my birthday unless he chooses to make an early appearance!

MoziEsmé said...

Happy birthday to you! Enjoy the last year of the first half of your life, biblically speaking... :)

Angie said...

Happy birthday my bloggy friend! :) Your best life sounds great, but I am personally happy for your current life... you'd have so little time for blogging in your best life. :) Hope your day was wonderful.

Lisa said...

Happy, happy birthday. We are both 34. I tend to get reflective on birthdays, but I like the lighter way you approached it. Good to have dreams!

Love the pictures from yesterday, too. Looks like the boys were having fun being boys.

Enjoy your weekend!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

You and my son share a birthday!! Happy Birthday sweetie!! :) I love your outlook, as always :) I hope your birthday was as special as you are!

I am so sorry I wasn't here to celebrate and wish you a happy birthday yesterday, I was at the ER, not even celebrating w/ my son, either :(

Anonymous said...

You're the best. That would surpass any gift that anyone can get in this lifetime.

Tooj said...

I know I missed this on Friday, but I truly hope it was wonderful and this weekend was/is too. My best friend is a vegetarian and long distance runner. She's great at it, but me....eh, I would stink. LOL I do the running, just not as long distance anymore and I couldn't give up turkey and chicken. They love me.

Kristen said...

Happy Birthday! I am 34, too. It's a good year.

LexiconLuvr said...

Happy belated Birthday!

Heather, you already live your best life. In every post, with every word, you are your best. I wish I could adequately express how much I admire and respect you. You are amazing. Happiest of Birthdays to you!!

jen@odbt said...

I'm sorry I missed this post. Happy belated Birthday! You hit it on the nose - see what's good! Our family make us live our best life.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

Hope your birthday was amazing!

radioactive girl said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it was a great one!

I dream of being a vegetarian nurse too. I am actually somewhat planning to go to school when my youngest is in 1st grade which means this coming fall I need to talk to a counselor to figure out what I need to do to make that happen. But for right now I am happy being home.

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