Midlife Contentment

Last week I turned 35. I wanted to write about it then, but I have been too busy doing things that 35 year old moms do, like chaperoning trips to the zoo, going to PTA meetings, and selling flowers for teacher appreciation week. It’s a gangsta life, people.

I went all kinds of hardcore  on the flower people when I realized they have me 575 flowers instead of 600!

I went all sorts of hardcore when the flower people gave me 575 carnations instead of 600.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t take some time to celebrate. The night before my birthday, when my two-year-old was refusing to sleep (because otherwise, I’d have been in bed by 8 pm), I spent some time surfing the net on my iDevice, trolling some of my favorite sites. Like Michaels, and Kohls. I even splurged on something I’ve been wanting for a long time… a twee little castle for our fairy garden.

photo (14)

On sale for $9.99 at Joann’s, with $1.50 flat shipping. Who could resist?

And my celebrations weren’t limited to online shopping. The day after my birthday, I dragged my husband and daughter to the mall. I had a coupon for $10 off any $10+ purchase at JC Penney, and another one for $10 off any $25 purchase. That’s like money in your pocket!

So while my husband was taking the kid to ride the carousel, I was stalking the aisles of Penney’s, looking for the best way to maximize my coupon savings.

I saw this hot little number early in my scouting adventure, and I thought about buying it, just to be ironic. But then I realized that it was a junior sized cut, and that its snug contouring of the remnants of my mummy tummy would only look pathetic.

rebel

A Rebel Youth — who shops at Penney’s.

I finally ended up in the Jewelry department, checking out the 70+% off sterling silver collection, which felt like destiny. I walked out of the store with over $200 worth of silver earrings for a grand total of $18. It was a rhapsodic moment.

Hitting the age of 35 doesn’t carry with it any of the anxious anticipation or exuberance that distinguish the milestone birthdays of our younger years. In fact, I had expected it to be a difficult birthday, much like 30 was for me five years ago.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t. It just sort of happened, and I was content. And the thing is, that at 35, I can appreciate contentment for what it is – one of the rarest and most valuable experiences we can ever hope to have.

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