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Well, we have come to the end the month of lovely guest bloggers – my birthday gift to myself.  I’ve loved sharing my space with these ladies that I’ve come to love and learning more about how they celebrate birthdays just seemed like a picture into their world

Today I bring to you one fantastically funny, cheerfully charming, ever encouraging and always heartily honest – the one and only Jacqueline Wolven.  Of course our worlds collided at that ever infamous Arkansas Women Bloggers conference last year.  I was charmed with her wit but more moved by her devious way of being so honest that you can’t help but love her, and then I realized how much she cared about other people and KNOWING them and pouring into them and making the world a better place (see now you know why I love her).  I relish at any chance to hang in her presence and learn so much by listening to what she writes.  If you do not have jacquelinewolven.com on your favorites bar…do it now.  I’m anticipating her having her own annotated bibliography soon!

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There is never a question in my mind about whether I should
celebrate my birthday. I’m not going to be perpetually 19, 29 or 39. I age just
like a good cheese and I’m happy about it. Face it, the teens and twenties were
for heartbreak and drama; this getting older thing rocks and I want to
celebrate it every single year.

This year I turn 45 and I am looking at all of the possible
ways that I will celebrate it, but before I do I thought I’d share some of the
awful ways I have celebrated in the past and why that won’t ever happen again.

Sweet 16 wasn’t so
sweet.
My dad was hospitalized for a heart attack. It ended up being
nothing, but it was a shock to see him lying in the emergency room.  (Yes, I realize that he didn’t plan this
little trip to the ER.) He assured me that he was fine so I went off to my
evening. Yep, Rocky Horror Picture Show at the midnight showing. I was crowned
virgin of the night. You know, just what every 16 year old wants on their
birthday.

All grown up at 18.
My parents, in true we’re over it fashion, planned a vacation on my 18th
birthday. I’m not sure where they went or what I did, but I am sure I pouted in
true youngest child fashion!

21 was not fun.  My parents, because a repeat performance was
in order, left for a cruise. I had just had my daughter and thought they would
have cake or something, but instead it was time to head to Canada. Oh, not me,
them.

30 was just so awful
I won’t repeat it here.
Really.

44 no more. I
stupidly thought it would be fun to have a big event on my birthday. Dumb. I
was not happy about sharing my day with a big public project. I basically had a
melt down with my husband where I screamed a banshee scream. Not pretty.

I have had lovely birthdays. Birthdays with unexpected
visitors, sweet home made cakes, presents that were so special I cried and I
cherish those minutes, but those horrible birthdays remind me why I have to
craft the day that I want. No one is going to fulfill your secret dreams for
your special day. In fact, it will never work out if you keep what you really
want to yourself.

Granted, my 44th was a hiccup in learning this
birthday lesson, but what I have found is that I need to do what I need to do
on my day. It might be a quiet afternoon with my family, a party with everyone
dancing, lunch with a few girlfriends or a quick trip. I never rely on someone
else to figure out what I might want… I’ve done that too many times with not
great results and I will never do it again. It’s my birthday and I’ll celebrate
it how I want to! I hope you do too!

You can follow all of my celebrations at jacquelinewolven.com and that little
girl in the sailor suit, yep, that’s me!