Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Yesterday, I turned 40. It was a birthday I was dreading. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I just never thought I would be 40. It has always seemed, to me at least, that at 40, you are officially a grownup. You need to have it really together at 40. 401K's and college funds for the kids. Maybe even wills. Paperwork that is official, in fireproof boxes. A savings account, with money in it! Emergency funds, and investments. That is age 40 in my mind. Or it was, until I got here.

No college funds. No investments. No will. Not even a fireproof box. I think there is a shoe box under the bed, and a mess of papers, and envelopes in the dreaded "drawer". The savings account is laughable. Just a checking account. One that is emptied out as soon as the paycheck is put in, at that.

We are broke until payday. Of course my birthday would fall between pay periods. My parents came for a visit, and took me grocery shopping. My Dad actually apologized for not having a gift for me. "Are you kidding me?" I thought, looking at my cart filled with fruit, and vegetables, milk and meat. This is fantastic!!!! Yet, walking out of the grocery store, I felt like such a kid. Here are my parents, taking care of me and my family. Helping us out. It shouldn't be this way. It should be the other way around.

We had a really great dinner. David grilled, and I took full advantage of the date. I didn't fold the laundry, and I knew the dishes in the dishwasher were clean, but I left them to be "found" by David. I put my feet up, and let my kids make mud pies outside. And I thought that I don't feel 40. I don't have all the official stuff I thought would come with this new decade. Hell...we are having one of our worst struggles financially, right at this very moment.

And instead of feeling bad about myself, I felt lucky. I felt blessed. I have a love I never thought possible. I have three smart, beautiful daughters that amaze me every day. I have two parents, still here with me, who I love, and love me tenfold in return. I might not have a home this time next year. And I can guarantee I won't have a savings account.

But looking at the girls gigantic smiles in the glow of ALL the candles on my cake, I saw all the riches of my life. The dream of a family, come true.

 Right there in front of me.

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