Theme: Birthday


When I was a kid, 35 was my scary age. It was the age I would be a “real” adult with real world bills and real world problems. I’d have to get up every day and go to my boring job, in my boring suits, and count down the minutes until it was time to go home to my husband. Kids were never a consideration.

Last year, I hit my scary age.

I rang in my 35th year with a brand new baby and an older son turning four. I quit my job in corporate America to run my own business full-time. I was living in a home my husband and I purchased. And I was happy. 35, it turns out, wasn’t quite so scary.

So now this year, as I’m set to turn 36 in March, I am starting to feel all the same “scary age” feelings that I felt so long ago. 36 feels like a big deal to me. It is closer to 40 than I ever let myself picture as a kid.

But this scary age comes with feelings far more advanced than feeling “old”. I’ve started to understand my place in the world, and how much I’ve taken life for granted in the past. I’m now at the point that I understand my loved ones won’t be with me forever. I’m at the age where friends are getting divorced, or losing spouses, and all of it just feels terrifying.

I miss the days where the only thing that scared me about age was just feeling, or being (relatively speaking), old - that I wouldn’t be “cool” anymore. Now, fears about aging come with justifications of their validity.

So this year, as I welcome in 36, I am taking time to appreciate where I am in life. With a supportive husband I’m crazy about, with two healthy sons who keep me on my toes, with a business that I never could’ve imagined in my wildest dreams. 36, no matter how close to 40, is still young. And if I’m lucky, I still have a lot of life left to live. I vow to live this year remembering that.

- Sarah Hartley

Ps… Both Mia and Sarah have a birthday in March - the 5th and 15th respectively. Let’s celebrate!

Writing Exercises

Prompt 1: Fill in the blank: My most recent birthday made me feel _____.

Prompt 2: Write about your most favorite birthday present. And also your least favorite.

Prompt 3: When you were a child, what did you think life would be like at the age you are right now?

Exercise 1: Let's do some descriptive writing. Using your 5 senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing), write about a memorable birthday from your childhood using vivid imagery.

Exercise 2: Write for at least 10 minutes using the photo above as inspiration.

Birthday Features

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On Turning 36 By: Sarah Hartley

On Turning 36
By: Sarah Hartley

Another Year Older By: Jess Lambert

Another Year Older
By: Jess Lambert

My 40th Birthday (a poem) By: Laci Hoyt

My 40th Birthday (a poem)
By: Laci Hoyt

Sarah Hartley