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It’s My Birthday…Drum Roll Please!

It’s my birthday, drum roll please!  Cue the balloons, confetti, and have the parade ready to march down the street.  I mean, is this what I should expect to happen today? That the clouds will part and the sun’s rays will shine directly down on me to say, “HELLO WORLD! IT’S MY DAY!”?  No, today isn’t about all that hoopla.  It’s not about cake and presents and singing.  A birthday is a celebration, but, for me, being that my birthday is so close to New Year’s Day, it ends up colliding and melding into one big contemplative hangover.

Truth be told, I’ve actually been struggling with this birthday A LOT.  I actually feel quite embarrassed even writing about it.  While most women (especially those in the public eye) write about getting older in a positive light, stating that 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30 blah blah blah, I am feeling a bit down in the damn dumps.  I’ve suddenly crossed over the hump of being in my mid thirties, inching much closer to 40.  While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this number, it represents a passing of time. It also represents a hard truth: I can no longer pretend not to be “adulting” anymore. And not only does this birthday represent a passing of time, it also represents my life and all its accomplishments.

In the last 37 years, I made my parents grandparents and I became the oldest of 4 siblings.  I transitioned from a city girl to a cowgirl.  I played in competitive soccer matches, watched my parents marriage fail, helped support my family through my sister’s traumatic brain injury, and created a family of my own.  I moved a minimum of 20 times, loved greatly, achieved my dream of attending and graduating NYU, learned to dance with my fear, created a career, married my best friend, became a mother, and showed up for my friends. I learned to ride a motorcycle, watched my grandmother struggle with dementia, witnessed a best friend lose a mother, scaled a mountain (or two), started a business, sucked at a home remodel, gave birth to three incredible humans (two of which were in my own home), found my voice…and not all in that order.  

When I think back on all of this, I don’t look at anything I’ve accomplished as a triumph or a failure. It’s just my life. It was the path taken, the path chosen, and also what was chosen for me.  And when I think back, I remember to be grateful for both the good and bad, because pain is a teacher, and the heartaches are just as valid as the highs.  So, as I move closer to 40 (a.k.a. “the new 30”), I realize that it is in fact just a number.  I realize that I’m the only one judging myself, and, in doing that, I’m the one with the ageism issues. These are MY insecurities, my feelings of inadequacy, and my inner demons projecting fear all over my incredibly blessed life.  So I’m taking responsibility, because I am the one in control of how I look at them.  While I learn to embrace this negative perspective, if I turn it on it’s head, I can also see the joy, the triumphs, the friendships, the pain, and the connections. I can simply lean into myself, and let this be a lesson in acceptance.

So, in honor of being 37, here are the things I would like to make a priority in my life:

Patience with myself and others.  A dear friend of mine used to love the saying “be kind to everyone you meet, for every soul is engaged in a great battle.”  I adore this quote because it’s so true.  We are all living out our own narrative and doing the best job that we can.  It’s important to remember this and be patient as we move forward.

Forgiveness to myself with no “buts” or contingencies.  It’s about forgiving and moving forward.  Period.

Less Competition.  This is a big one for me. I am a competitor by nature (still, at 37, I blame soccer), and a little competition can be healthy. However, competition can trigger underlying fears and thoughts that create negative emotions about ourselves and others. Releasing competition means enjoying more inner peace, love, joy and happiness in life.

More self love, less judgement which kind of goes along with forgiveness, but I would like to stop editing myself in fear of being judged.  

More courageousness and fearlessness, which for me means not being afraid to shoot from the hip and speak from the heart.

And with these ideas in mind, I would like to say Happy New Year, Happy Birthday to me, and love to you all. 

XO,

Gen

All Photography by Angela Doran

 
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39 Comments

  • Jess

    Happy Birthday Gen!!!! I hope you had and are still having a wonderful and fabulous day!! You have had quite an eventful and successful life! Many blessings and sad times are our lives. Goes in cycles; however, the good is much more than the bad. Our attitude is everything and really effects the outcome in many situations. Feeling grateful for the little things really helps me no matter what I’m feeling. You are a beautiful, strong woman, mother, daughter, friend and wife. You have a beautiful family and wonderful way of giving back through your site. I just turned 45 and I feel the ageism lol. I look back and wonder gosh where did the last decade go! You are way ahead of the game!!

    • Pamela Colon

      Hope your birthday was as amazing are you are.

    • Krystal

      You are such an inspiration. I just turned 36 on the 4th so i get it. I have also had a hard time. Just remember you are beautiful inside and out. You are also an awesome role model for all us moms. Happy Birthday sweetie

  • Shauna

    Happy birthday Gen!? I hope you had a wonderful day. Keep on being amazing. Here’s to 2018❤️❤️

  • Kimothy

    Happy Birthday Gen!! ???

  • Shaista

    A very very happy birthday to the woman that inspires me the most, second only to my biological family and her husband, the angel who keeps my idol loved and grounded, the yummy mummy who has three little precious munchkins, an amazing birthday to my Wonder Woman, Genevieve Padalecki!!! I love you, ma’am! Keep smiling and blogging! Stay blessed forever!

    I absolutely love how open you are, how you’ve laid bare your heart, and how courageous you must be to show such honesty! You truly Inspire me to be the best woman I can be! I’m so proud of what you’ve achieved, ma’am! I pray to the Almighty to bless you beyond limits or restrictions, and shower you with loads of love, health, happiness, peace, bliss, success, fame, prosperity and contentment!! I love you so much!

  • Kendra

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEN!!! I hope you had an amazing day and it continues throughout your life. Id just like you to know that you’re my role model! I strive to be you. You as a wife, a mother, and a woman in itself. You show me everyday that we can change the world for the better. You show me that yes as women we have hardships but also as humans. You show me that we can beat anything. You show me how to love unconditionally!! I love you, you Beautiful woman!! Keep being you and strive to live brighter! ~Kendra?

  • Madison

    Gen, Happy Birthday, thanks for sharing this, you writing your blog and being personal, it’s so brave and insipring. Its helped me realize my own insecurities and problems and I’m working through them with a little help from you and some people that are close to my heart. It means a lot that you would share this and know that you have my support and so many others, Love Mads.

  • Shannon Hollifield

    Happy Birthday! As a women who is well on her way to being 50 I can sincerely relate to most of those points. 2017 was a rough year for my family so it’s getting the courage to dust my self off, forget self doubts & forge a new career path. My 40’s have given me more wisdom & the incredible ability to be more open in many cases, without caring about the opinions of others who have no baring on my life. I wish you luck in everything you persue, and continued happiness.

  • Alesia Blake

    Thank you Gen. In my 58 almost 59 yrs. I have lost the love of my life, my mother, my sister, my brother, and my oldest child. From 2006 to 2015 I didnt think I would make it. But then something wonderful happened, I found Supernatural, and the spnfamily and then I found you and your Inspirations that you write about, and it made me realize that even someone who is beautiful, talented, in love, and mother. Can still struggle as well and do it with Grace and dignity. So thank you for helping this woman realize that we’re all just humans. I’m better now a lot of counseling helped. As well as my pet my little wiener dog. So happy birthday, and thank you for living your life as an inspiration at least to me.♡

  • Cathy Dove

    Happy Birthday Gen!

  • Ana

    I am always amazed at your strength and self reflection. You are such an amazing role model for so many of us, and you are such a gift to this world. I hope you had the happiest of birthdays!!

  • Karen Graham

    Happy birthday Gen. I love your optimism and your goals. I hope you’ve had a wonderful day! xoxo

  • Jaime

    Happy birthday, Gen! Getting older is something I’ve always struggled with so…I feel you & I admire your drive to make something positive out of these feelings! I’m going to remember that when my birthday arrives in march!

  • Rea Cupit

    This was such a beautiful post, Gen. I’m turning 32 next month, and I can already relate to so much you have written here (though I am definitely behind in a lot of categories, much to my chagrin 😉 ). Thank you for being so open and honest with us; you are already speaking your truths, and that truly inspires me in my own goals and life.

    I hope you have had a wonderful birthday, and that this year is even bigger and better for you than all the last. <3 <3 ^-^

  • Heather

    Beautiful words and kudos to you for sharing with such honesty. As someone who stayed 44 until I turned 50 (my kids wouldnt let me pretend anymore) i know your pain and at times now that this year brings 55 and then 60 starts rearing its head I have to admit that i cant even wrap my head around that at all … at the moment I try not to think of myself as any age .. i just try to enjoy my life as it is until i learn to be brave and can acknowledge my age with pride.

  • Sue

    Happy Birthday Genevieve. Hope you had a lovely day. ( How could you not with Jared around ?)
    (Ps. I believe I said “Gen” on Twitter-apologies ?)
    Sue x

  • Jamile

    I’m in tears, sooo beautiful Gen!! Happy Birthday!!

  • Mahima Kapoor

    A very happy birthday to you, Gen. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, there’s nothing as inspiring to me as your honesty and your desire to do better at everything. And the courage with which you set on about doing that. You’re a beautiful person, and I love you, and thank you for your candid words. They mean a lot to me. I hope your day was full of all things lovely and wonderful. So much love for you (from India!).

  • Jax

    Happy Birthday!!! I loved this post. I think that when bloggers are truly honest, it makes them and their content more relatable, so great job! These sorts of thoughts have been creeping in for me for the past year or so. Not doing enough, not achieving enough. The biological clock is real, yo. I always thought it was a joke. I often find myself stuck in a mental loop of comparing my life to my friends lives, and then thinking “Hold up, I don’t want her life. Why am I even thinking about this?”. It’s a nonsensical mental spiral and I need to be better at recognising and adapting into something productive.

  • Christa

    Happiest of days to you and keep being brave.

  • Jordy Sirkin

    I really enjoyed reading this personal post. Life is a rough ride filled with so many varying emotions – sometimes all in a single day. I certainly feel that pain of age. Not for vapid reasons, but like you said, you can no longer pretend not to be adulting. I’m inching closer to 30 and I feel like I have accomplished enough, or gotten to a point in my career, to feel satified with my point in life. I always thought 30 meant you knew everything, you were structured in your career, knew what the hell you were doing, and life would get simpler. Boy was I wrong. We also put so much pressure on ourselves as women. It’s why it’s so important to have those close friends who you can confide in, or feel comfort in knowing they’re in the same boat as you.

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday! And hopefully the hangover isn’t too strong. The really bad part of age is the longer recovery time.

  • Alicia

    This is a great reminder for all of us. I am very aware of how close I am to 35 and am reminded every day by some well – intentioned people that I am not getting any younger and am still single with no kids. Why is that a crime for a woman to not be married or have children at this age? Anyway, that is a subject for another blog i guess. Happy birthday! Keep living for you and remind yourself that you are only human and are not perfect. You are pretty damn amazing though!

  • Elena

    We are our worst enemies. I’ve had the same struggles too but changing how I think about it is a huge game changer. I’m here to be me and no one else. What I do now on this world will leave a mark and that will become my legacy. So I commend you for changing your thoughts and making the effort to be a better positive you!

  • Lyrain

    Happy Birthday to you Gen.

  • Evie

    What a beautiful and honest blog. Love your priorities, they are very thoughtful.

  • Maggie

    I love this post. 2018 is going to be a milestone for me; one that I’m happy to make because the alternative truly sucks, but I still feel that I have SO much to do in this life and not enough time to do it all. I love how you counted things that weren’t necessarily happy ones in your list of achievements. And, I LOVE that you are doing random acts of kindness. We need more kindness in our world right now. Namaste, Gen. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

  • Lisa

    Happy birthday. I love your honesty about getting older, by the way-you look fantastick. I felt the same way when i got closer to my 40th about getting older. We all have judge ourselves way to harshly. However, when I turned 50 (i’m now 51), i wanted to show it off the rooftop, cause I made it. And I celebrated in a big way. Kudus to you (:

  • Christine

    Beautiful pictures and thoughtful words. I hope your birthday was even better than expected. You are a beautiful lady (inside and out).

  • Kim Jacobs

    Gen, you are wise beyond your years. Many people who are much older than you have not found half the acceptance, or are anywhere near as generous of spirit. Life is indeed a journey and we must all come to terms with what that journey brings us. I was fortunate to learn a lot of these lessons for myself in my late 20’s and early 30’s – i’m now in my late 50’s – though, as you say, that is just a number and seems quite meaningless. I love hearing your stories, the antics of your children, and seeing the pure love between you and your husband. You are both positive role models for your kids, and for all of us.

    Thank you, and have an awesome birthday month (why restrict yourself to just one day?). Doing random acts of kindness is not something I put thought or effort into, it’s something I do instinctively, but I am going to follow your example and your challenge to do a little extra.

    I really hope to meet you one day so I can tell you in person how much of an inspiration you are.

  • Azure

    Happy bday Gen!!!! You are sun h an amazing person and a wonderful mother. Don’t stop being amazing! You and Jared and ADORABLE!!!!

  • Selin Cicek

    Happy Birthday ❤?

  • Erin

    Such well written words. I will also turn 37 this year on St. Patrick’s Day, and your words strike a very familiar chord in my brain. The past 15 years of my life have been spent as a child and adolescent mental health nurse, and while I do not have kids of my own I feel fortuante/grateful enough to have left an impact and legacy on all the young people that I have taken care of and helped. I love your mindset and how to approach this year, and am inspired to challenge myself and my thought process to climbing ever closer to the 4-0. Thank you for being such a beautiful inspiration and happiest of belated birthdays.

  • Jutta

    You are one of the inspiring woman out there! Thank you for being you!

  • Lyndsey Maclean

    Hope you had a good birthday! My daughters birthday is also on the 8th, she was 15! 15, can’t believe I have a 15 year old even though I am 42 ? My beautiful girl has special needs so I’m extra grateful for every birthday I get to spend with her.
    Great Post as usual, love reading about what you’re up to and seeing the lovely photos of your fab family ❤️

  • Liz Beecroft

    Gen – your post resonates so closely for me.
    I turn 40 this year and rapidly see the time passing and have regrets for things not done, for not spending time with my children more, for being a working mother, for not seeing my extended family more etc. etc.
    But life is what we make it, and how we allow it to shape who we are.
    Thank you for showing that, underneath it all, we have struggles, regrets, achievements and joy.

    A little joy goes a long way, and a smile means nothing until you give it away!

    Happy birthday x

  • Marilyn Case

    I’m fast approaching 64 and don’t feel a day over 30 – sometimes. Other days my body reminds me of how old I really am. But I try to celebrate each day, week, month and year as I go through this thing called life. With depression, it’s not always easy. But the mantra #AlwaysKeepFighting rings in my ear, in the voice of your wonderful husband, to whom I owe so much. Love you and your beautiful family!

  • Buffy

    What a fantastic post and at the perfect time. I love reading your posts, probably because you are so down to earth and you give yourself permission to fail. We all need reminders of this and need to support each other. Thank you for always allowing me to understand that I am a super woman. As a single mom and teacher in one of lowest paid states (just to the North of you) I struggle on daily basis and am always questioning myself about my parenting skills and am I working hard enough. I wll be back to read this post many times and plan to share it with other super women I know. I truly appreciate you sharing yourself with us. Also, just had surgery, there are probably many typos in here! Lol!

  • MaryAnn

    You took the words right out of my mouth, I’m not very good at writting or getting my thoughts out there. Happy late Birthday and I have been feeling the same way, this past Monday was my 38th birthday and I’m scared to death of getting older because with each year that passes I feel that I won’t have time for my hopes and dreams. Thank you for sharing your feelings and you are not alone in them. I wish you all the best in this new year

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