WIAW: The Birthday Edition

Good morning, and happy Wednesday!

It’s a good day around here: today is my birthday, which I’m pretty stoked about. I’m getting a massage after work, which will be followed by dinner with Brandon at our favorite steak restaurant (it’s a pricey venue, so we only go for special occasions). Adding to which, I have a good feeling about this year — and, in the interest of full disclosure, let’s call it like it is: I’m turning 32, not going for a perpetual repeat of 29.

Although I know it’s not normal for women to like anything about the aging process, I have to say: I’m actually a big fan of getting older.

Now, there are definitely some things I don’t enjoy, like those blasted wrinkles (if I’m going to be old enough to get wrinkles I at least want to be old enough to stop getting zits, m’kay?) and the occasional gray hair. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t own at least one bottle of anti-aging wrinkle cream, and I’ve totally searched my scalp for silvery strands (and carried out strategic strike hair-pulling operations) on more than one occasion.

But whenever stuff like that really gets to me, I have two counter-arguments that shut it down faster than Katniss Everdeen would be able to shoot a lame, morbidly obese rhinoceros with her bow and arrow:

First and foremost, I think it’s important to have a sense of perspective. Here in the developed world, we’re taught to fear aging — but if you contrast the life expectancy in the U.S. to the life expectancy in countries like Swaziland (where it’s an astoundingly low 31.88 years), one thing becomes clear: when compared to places where it’s normal to die of AIDS before you’re 30, where it’s standard for children to succumb to preventable diseases before their fifth birthday, and where young women are routinely killed by pregnancy complications and a lack of access to emergency obstetric care, it’s a privilege to get older.

Sign me up for the wrinkles.

Secondly, one thing I like about getting older is the feeling that I’m really progressing in my life. When I look back on the last 10 years (I published that post yesterday, and it’s easily my favorite blog post thus far), I’m struck by how much I’ve done, experienced, and learned…and that’s just in the last decade. Who knows what else I will have done and learned by the time I’m 42, 52, and beyond?

I’ve always loved the idea of the wise, kind, well-lived older woman — women like Madeleine Albright, Helen Mirren, and a long list of similarly amazing role models — and I hope to grow into that role someday. At this stage in my life, I love learning and experiencing as much as I can — but it’s something that can only be done if one is, y’know, alive and thus growing older.

So when people ask how old I am today, I’ll proudly say that I’m 32. No perpetual 29’s for me: it’s onward and upward for this cowgirl.

Aaaaaaand with all that being said (my apologies for the Tolstoy-esque intro here), it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday, as hosted by the lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons!


I started my birthday off with toast and coffee, per the usual — seriously, coffee is the nectar of the gods. Whoever came up with the idea of drinking it needs to be canonized, or given a monument, or something to commemorate their awesomeness.

After my workout, I slurped down a green smoothie made with kale, a frozen banana, frozen mango, and non-fat kefir:

Snacks du jour included a soy hazelnut latte (thank you, Starbucks, for the free birthday drink — or, in LOL-speak, MOAR KOFEEZ), blueberries with Greek yogurt and granola, an apple, and carrots with hummus.

Lunch? Soup! After this weekend’s moving bedlam, I wasn’t about to attempt something wildly over-achieving like making a soup from scratch for the week. I normally do that on the weekends, but I’m a big fan of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good — or in this case, not letting my usual drive to be uber-healthy keep me from being pretty darn healthy — so I decided that it’d be perfectly acceptable to rely on pre-made soups this week. I combined a can of Progresso lentil soup with some French onion soup, and voila: three days’ worth of lunches.

Dinner: We’re going out to our favorite steak house for my birthday dinner, and since we won’t be back until late, I figure I’ll post a picture of our first legit meal in the new apartment: smoky BBQ turkey chili. It was delicious, and it was the perfect meal for a rainy, gross Monday. I’ll post the recipe later this week, so check back if you’d like to get the recipe hook-up.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday!

4 thoughts on “WIAW: The Birthday Edition

  1. therunwithin January 30, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    happy birthday lady! enjoy that massage, so jealous.

  2. Caitlin Helsel January 30, 2013 / 5:09 pm

    Happy birthday lady love!! Your day sounds amazing (esp that massage), and your attitude on getting older is fabulous! It is absolutely a privilege to do so and we should celebrate that rather than try to hide it!

  3. aftertheivyleague.com January 30, 2013 / 6:47 pm

    Happy birthday!! I am so admiring your approach to getting older..I really need to keep this in mind for my next birthday before I have a mini-freakout and sing the Toys'R'Us theme "I don't wanna grow up". It really is a blessing and privilege to be able to live another year.

  4. jessielovestorun January 31, 2013 / 5:09 am

    Happy Birthday dear!! Enjoy the massage & your birthday dinner 🙂 Can't wait to hear all about it 🙂 :)(wow, just realized i used a lot of smileys in this comment, Ha!)

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