Turning “Old” Years Old

Senior Picture, 1995.

Me now in 2017. Not too bad for being “old.” 😉

This Sunday, June 4th, I’ll turn 40 years old. According to my 14-year-old daughter, I won’t be considered “old” until I’m 40. So I guess I’ll be enjoying my last couple of days of being “young.” I’m not upset with her for considering 40 old and I imagine I thought the same thing when I was her age. I think when I was her age the idea of turning 40 was beyond my comprehension, but now that’s it’s almost upon me, I’m not the least bit concerned about it.

When I was younger and I thought about turning 40, I expected that I’d have some big bash with all my friends and family. I will be going to lunch with my daughters and mother on my birthday but as my friends all live in different states, I won’t be seeing them. There won’t be a big 40th birthday party for me and I’m okay with that. I know how blessed I am to have my wonderful family and great friends. I’ll save the big bash for my 50th I guess. 😉

If you’d asked me in my teens where I thought I’d be at 40, I would have said happily married with children. Well the happily married didn’t work out, but I do have two amazing daughters that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I probably also would have said that I’d be a published fantasy author by now and that hasn’t happened either. Mind you, I haven’t exactly been trying to get anything published for the last couple of decades so the fault is my own. I also haven’t written much of my own work in the last decade despite my continuing desire to do so. Perhaps I’ll spend some time writing today to dust off that area of my brain before I become too “old” for such creative endeavors.

Honestly, age is just a number to me and I’ve felt that way for many years. I still have the same spark and energy that I had when I was a teenager, even if my body doesn’t always agree. I was a positive person in my teens, but I think I’m an even more positive person now because I’ve gone through so many life challenges and come out stronger. I know who I am and what I want far better than I did in my teens, 20’s and early 30’s and I’m sure my 40’s will bring me even greater self-awareness.

To all those young women (and men) out there who fear getting “old” and “aging” I want to say that fear will only hold you back. Embrace every day for the gift that it is and relish all the amazing moments in your life. Don’t waste time wishing to be older or younger, just love who you are and what makes you different, unique, and a force to be reckoned with.

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Priceless Gifts and Purple Hair

My daughters and I in Boston, 2014

My daughters and I in Boston, 2014

Today is my 39th birthday and I can honestly say that I’m not the same woman I was a year ago. That’s okay though because life is about change and it’s important that I continue to grow as a person and learn new lessons every day. Like the Phoenix I have a tattoo of on my left upper arm, I always rise from the ashes of any adversity that tries to drag me down.

Enough of the heavy stuff though, today is a happy day! It’s my weekend with my daughters and I’ll be picking them up this morning for a day of fun and adventures. My oldest daughter asked me a while ago what I wanted for my birthday and I couldn’t come up with anything that can be bought because I already have every gift I could ever want. My greatest and most priceless gifts are my two daughters and I have a loving family, good friends, loyal pets, my health, a career as a writer and my very own house. There’s nothing anyone could wrap and give to me that would mean more to me than what I already have.

While my younger daughter Jaycie stays with my mom’s to play with the myriad of toys there, Jordan and I will be heading to the theater to see X-Men Apocalypse, a movie I can honestly say I’ve been waiting over 20 years for. Why? Because it has Psylocke in it! Psylocke has been one of my favorite X-Men since way back when she was just a demure purple-haired telekinetic who’s powers manifested as purple butterfly wings on her face. Through some rather convoluted comic book plot lines (I suppose that’s redundant) she later became a ninja assassin who wielded Japanese swords and a psychic knife and that just made me love her more! I think one of the reasons I identify with Psylocke is because a photographer called me “purple hair” one year during elementary school photos (I assume because my hair was so dark) and it’s stuck with me.

Uncanny_Psylocke

I realized I just revealed a rather large geeky aspect of myself, but I don’t really care. I’ve loved X-Men since the late 1980’s and have several boxes of their comic books that I really need to bring up from the basement. In addition to seeing the movie, I’ll be playing some Warcraft (yes, further geekness) with Jordan watching, enjoying dinner from Applebee’s at my mom’s, beading, and having an awesome dessert of ice cream cake. It’s already a beautiful morning out and I know it’s going to be an awesome day! I may be turning 39, but my spirit is still as young and energetic as it was when I was 16. Doesn’t mean I’ll be dying my hair purple any day soon though…

A Creative Spirit

Jordan unwrapping her birthday cupcake

Jordan unwrapping her birthday cupcake

Today is my oldest daughter’s eleventh birthday. As difficult as it was to comprehend my youngest turning seven, it’s even harder to accept that Jordan is now eleven! She’s starting sixth grade in September which really doesn’t seem possible.

I remember the day Jordan was born. We hadn’t wanted to find out the gender but I really wanted a girl so when the doctor said I had a girl, I was ecstatic! She had a full head of soft, dark hair and looked like a little me. As she’s grown up, she resembles me both in appearance and personality. She and I are very similar and can butt heads now and then. I have the final say as the mother though. I want her to also see me as a friend but being her mother always comes first.

Jordan has more artistic talent than I did at her age, than I do now in fact. She’s able to draw people far better than I can. She’s a writer too and she’s really good at putting humor into some of her stories. I read her stuff and it makes me laugh and as that was her intention, she smiles. She is an amazing older sister to Jaycie and the two play wonderfully together!

Jordan reading her new pony book and Jaycie listening intently

Jordan reading her new pony book and Jaycie listening intently

Jordan can be rather shy just like I was and still am at times. It takes her a while to come out of her shell but once she does, she shines brighter than morning sunlight. She’s doing exceptionally well in school and her teachers love her, she’s even tutored other students on occasion. I know she will achieve whatever she puts her mind to!

Jordan working on one of her stories

Jordan working on one of her stories

Being the mother of such an intelligent and beautiful girl is an amazing gift. It also brings with it a lot of motherly worries. I know how mean boys and other girls can be when they reach a certain age and I hate the idea of her being picked on like I was. I feel I am better equipped to deal with any problems that arise now that I’m working from home. The school is less than five minutes from my house so if something is amiss, I’ll be down there so fast heads will spin!

Jordan with some of her artwork on display at school

Jordan with some of her artwork on display at school

I have faith that Jordan will choose a new and amazing path for herself and explore her full potential. I try very hard to be a good role model. I hope that seeing me own and maintain my own home and solve my problems on my own shows her that women are capable of anything! My baby Jordan is meant to stand confidently on her own two feet and make her own way in this world. Her loving mama will always have her back though.

Below is a gallery of drawings Jordan created using my pen and tablet in Paint. They’re her “anime” interpretations of the three of us.

Sometimes What You Want Most…

jaycie gift2

Jaycie opening one of her birthday gifts

Sometimes what you want most turns out to be something you didn’t even know existed. This was the case for my daughter Jaycie yesterday during her birthday party at my house. She’d been saying for over a month that what she really wanted for her birthday was the Twilight Sparkle pony from the latest My Little Pony incarnation. She has that particular pony at my mother’s house but not mine. I went on my favorite shopping site of Amazon and ordered a little two-pony set with Twilight Sparkle and Princess Cadence.

While shopping on Amazon I found some MLP items I’d never heard of before. They’re called Equestria Girls and they’re apparently the next installment of the My Little Pony story. They looked adorable and like something Jaycie would love so I grabbed a couple. I figured if she didn’t like them, her sister Jordan would.

I picked Jaycie and Jordan up from their father’s house yesterday afternoon and Jaycie showed me her birthday loot. She wasn’t overly thrilled about any of it though because she hadn’t received Twilight Sparkle. It was hard for me to contain my excitement because I knew that the exact thing she wanted was waiting for her at my house! She said “I hope I get my favorite gifts at Mommy’s house.” She was so sure she just wouldn’t be happy unless she got that pony.

Jaycie with the pony-filled castle in the background

Jaycie with the pony-filled castle in the background

I took the girls to my house and made them a snack while we waited for my mother and older brother to arrive. Once they did, I asked Jaycie when she wanted to open her presents and she of course said “Right now!” My mom brought over the gifts from her and my brother and Jaycie ripped through those pretty quick. She seemed to like them all but alas, no pony. I then brought out my gifts. The first was a MLP lunch box and the next was an Equestria Girl version of Apple Jack. Jaycie opened it, seemed puzzled by it and wasn’t overly excited about it. The third gift was Twilight Sparkle and Cadence but there wasn’t the enthusiasm I was expecting. The last gift was Rainbow Dash as an Equestria Girl and I could see that Jaycie was trying to take it all in.

Jordan and I started helping Jaycie get the toys out of their boxes and even out of the boxes, she didn’t seem excited about any of them. Jordan however was extremely eager to play with the Equestria Girls. I put Apple Jack’s cowboy hat on her head and showed it to Jaycie and she just sort of looked at it. Then I said that I was going to play with Apple Jack and Jaycie suddenly had a huge interest in her! Within the next half hour, Jaycie was enthusiastically playing with both Equestria Girls and the Twilight Sparkle set. When Jordan asked if she could play with one of the girls Jaycie wasn’t exactly thrilled to share. By the end of the night, Jaycie took the Equestria Girls to bed and left everything else in the living room, including the much desired Twilight Sparkle.

My girls playing with birthday toys

My girls playing with birthday toys

While all of that involves toys and might not seem very deep and meaningful, it showed me something. Jaycie thought she knew exactly what she wanted, what she would love the most, and yet discovered that she loved something else even more, something she hadn’t even known about. That says to me that life is full of pleasant surprises if you’re just open to them. Sometimes you’re so focused on one thing that you can’t see the other amazing possibilities until they bop you on the nose. When you expand your vision and let go of your narrow focus, you’re better able to enjoy everything going on around you so you don’t miss ANY of the good stuff!

Blooming Potential

The birthday gift from my  daughters.

The birthday gift from my daughters.

At times I can resemble a little whirlwind of chaos and despite the predictability of my life, I am not predictable. I have been told that my energy and exuberance can power a small town, or something like that. I can’t help it really, it’s who I am.

I imagine that the lives of the people I encounter are never the same after they meet me. I am a multi-dimensional and quirky being. I like to think that friendship with me, no matter how brief, serves a higher purpose than even I realize. I’m not implying I’m a deity of any kind, that would rival my desire to be humble. A queen yes, a goddess no. A girl has to keep things in perspective.

Today is my birthday. I was born into a family with two loving parents and two older brothers. I am the youngest and the only girl and yes, I was a bit spoiled. The only thing I’m spoiled with nowadays though is the love of family and friends. I work hard for everything I have and gain a deeper sense of pride by doing so. I am unique and I am blessed with many intangible gifts. The potential that exists within me is always blooming in new, colorful ways that I can’t always comprehend.

My snapdragons are blooming again!

My snapdragons are blooming again!

There will be no grand party in celebration of the day of my birth, but that’s more than fine with me. I did not sleep in or awaken to the luxury of breakfast in bed. I snarfed a cookie when I got up actually. My girls have school and I have to go into the office. After the routine of the day is done though we’re going to my oldest’s chorus and band concert and listening to her musical talent tonight is a perfect gift. Ice cream cake with my mother will follow and then we’ll all retire to bed…to perhaps fall asleep within an hour despite the night owls that reside in my home.

I know how fortunate I am to be enjoying this amazing journey called life. The adventures are never-ending and the companions I’ve had and continue to have on such adventures are brave, fearless, loyal and loving. I am surprised that some of them have stuck with me so long and I believe that speaks to the quality of my character and theirs. One of my closest friends says there’s a difference between having character and being a character, among his many other words of wisdom. My strength of character impresses even me sometimes and I am definitely a character you will never forget meeting.

So today is the day the powers that be placed me on this world and said “I wonder what will happen if we just wind her up and let her go?” What on earth were they thinking…

Remembering My Father

Today is my father’s birthday. His name was Robert Wesley Corbin. Were he still of this world and not in the heavenly plain he would be turning 72 years old. The last birthday we all celebrated with him was his 68th and it was a good day. We were all together at my parents’ house enjoying a good meal and great times. I still smile thinking of that day though it is bittersweet.

My father was a brilliant man. He stored so much knowledge in his mind it still amazes me. He knew all about wars from the Civil War to World War II and he was very big into airplanes, trains and battleships. Ask him a question and he’d have an answer, even if it wasn’t always the answer you were looking for. During games of Trivial Pursuit he was great at all the history questions but he got frustrated with the other “trivial” things dealing with sports or entertainment. He’d grumble out loud “why would anyone know that??” while I boggled at the fact that he knew what general led what historical attack on what day.

My father served in the Air Force and worked on the big cargo planes. He worked at Xerox as a mechanical/electrical engineer for most of his career. He was a great problem-solver and earned many patents dealing with the inner workings of copiers. I remember he used to ride a Moped to work when I was little and I’d always sit at the window to wave goodbye in the morning.

Some of my father's awards and patents

Some of my father’s awards and patents

I was Daddy’s Little Girl and my father and I were very close. He went to all my horseback riding lessons for several years before taking up riding himself. He was, of course, very good at it because my father excelled at any challenge presented him. He was always there for me without fail and he always saw the potential in me. For me, the bond between father and daughter meant that he loved me unconditionally, flaws and all, and I know how lucky I am to have experienced that love.

One of my favorite pics of my dad and I

One of my favorite pics of my dad and I

One of my father’s favorite suggestions when faced with a problem was to approach it from a different angle, a different perspective. That lesson has been invaluable in my life and he was right, there’s always a solution if you just think a little differently. I’m great at thinking differently, just ask my close friends. They’ll tell you that my mind works in creative, unique and puzzling ways. I got that from my dad along with numerous other amazing gifts.

My father’s spirit is never far from me. He knows that I am a bit lost without him and that sometimes I stumble in the dark. But he’s always there with a sign to reassure me that I’m on the right path or a subtle kick in the rear to correct my course. I believe that he’s looking out for me by making sure that I’m surrounded by indescribably loving family and friends that understand and accept all my quirks just like he did. I don’t take anything for granted anymore and I see every day as a new blessing full of unknown adventures. We’re having an adventure, Dad, we’re always having an adventure…

Visiting my father's marker, 10/21/2012

Visiting my father’s marker, 10/21/2012