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Monday, January 18, 2010

Thoughts from Someone in Their Mid-30's

I am turning 35 in 2 days. That means in 48 hours I can no longer claim to be in my “early 30’s” but will now fall right smack in the “mid 30’s” category. I’ve never been one to obsess about my age. I’ve never felt compelled to lie about my age nor have I ever tried to evade the “how old are you” question. (Ask me about my weight and that’s an entirely different matter altogether!). The thought of turning a year older does not really scare me nor does it elicit feelings of depression and anguish. To be perfectly honest I’m pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. I don’t feel any different. I can’t claim to not know where the years have gone and I can't ask myself "how can I now be 35". I’ve had a pretty good life so far and I feel that I have had the opportunity to experience many things, positive and negative. I think the quality of my life has been proportionate to the quantity of years I have been alive. I can’t really say turning 35 has crept up on me ... I knew it was coming ... I've been expecting it. It’s all good and I am taking things in stride.

I guess the only thing that is weighing on me is the fact that turning 35 means there are less chances of our having a large family. I’ve always thought that at 35, I would have at least 2 kids and would be planning to have baby #3 or #4 in the next year or two. Jojo and I both come from big families and I’ve always wanted one of my own. (FYI - My definition of a “big family” is having 4-5 kids). But since I am turning 35 in two days and biologically I don’t think it’s possible to have 5 kids in the next 5 years (unless we have twins and then triplets!) … well, I may have to rethink the whole idea of wanting a big family.

Actually, lately, I have been thinking about this whole “having a baby” idea more than usual. (Maybe turning 35 does that to a woman!). I’ve always thought that having a child was one of the most important things I would ever do. That it would be the defining moment and the would be the one thing that would complete me. In many ways, I still do. And I still am not giving up on the fact that Jojo and I want to have children. But, because we have not been blessed yet, I’ve had the time to rethink and reevaluate.

Recently I read an entry by one of my most favorite bloggers (Frances Sales). She is actually pregnant herself. In her entry, she writes about how when people found out she was pregnant, they would tell her that “having kids is the best thing that can ever happen to you” and “now your life will have meaning”. She writes that those sentiments saddened her because while she is happy to be having a child, she never felt that her life before becoming pregnant was not a good one or that it had no meaning. She was happy before being pregnant just as she is happy now that she is pregnant. Maybe "happy" in different ways, or "happy" in different levels but certainly not because one life is better than the other.

I agree. I know I will be ecstatic if I ever become pregnant and I know I will love being a mom. I look forward to that. I can appreciate friends and family who keep telling me “I wish you could have kids” or “it will be so wonderful when you have kids of your own”. I know they mean well and I honestly never take it the wrong way. But if it does not happen or if it happens much later than I want, it does not mean I will live a life that is sad or any less fulfilled. It just means things will be different. Not lonely, not bad, not less meaningful, just different.

Jojo and I love kids (I think my nieces and nephews can attest to that). We would love to have kids of our own. We have been trying. We have seen doctors and prayed novenas. We have kept hopeful and patient. The bottomline is we do want children but I do not want to be consumed with the thought of having kids. I don’t want to be depressed every time a pregnancy test comes out negative. I don’t want to be pressured every time I am asked if we have kids. I don’t want to be desperate and try to conceive using any artificial means. I want it to happen badly but I don’t want it to consume my life. I don’t want having or not having a child to be the end all, be all of my existence. I don’t want it to be the reason I am happy or not.

I view having a child as a blessing. Just as having a good husband, having a good family, having good friends, having a career, having your health, having a home, … etc. etc. If we are or are not blessed with kids, then we should just remain grateful for our other blessings and move on with our life the way we were destined to live it.


mom said...

Happy Birthday Joanne! Your life is constantly filled with choices. It is your choice to be happy or sad, feel fulfilled or empty, be hopeful or desperate. I am glad that you have chosen to see your "glass" half full rather than half empty. Just keep Faith Joanne. Stay happy and yours will be a very blessed life. Have a very Happy 35th Birthday.

leslie ty said...

Happy Happy birthday to the BEST BEST BEST friend in the world...Everything happens for a reason...Have faith...I know your prayers will be answered soon =)

In the mean time, ENJOY life...continue to count your blessings =)

Jin said...

Happy birthday, Joanne!
Your writing deeply touched my heart.I couldn't say a word for a while with a heart full of feeling and I am holding a tears.
You told me your conclusion "other blessings" that you told me last time. "if it's not meant to be, then perhaps our blessings are to berond in something else." This sentence gave me lots of encouragement and I could change my thinking differently.I noted it and am bringing it in my pocket all the time. In coming March, Jack will leave for Japan because of company and we will have temperary separation for a year. So I try to have my mind comfortably about our baby issue.

Joanne, I am sure that you will have really good mom, for sure. You will be blessed soon. If not,I think we could give a blessing to someone who doesn't have a mom.^^

with love,Jin

Junarakasa's Story said...

Thanks Mom. =) Looking at the glass as "half full" is a conscious decision. It's not always easy to do but the effort definitely yields much better rewards =)

Hi Les. Thank you for the b-day greeting and thank you for being an awesome best friend as well. I am so happy to have you in my life =) Ikaw din, I know good things are in store (just take it one day at a time). =)

Hi Jin. So happy to hear from you again. And I am glad that my blog has made some sort of impact on you. I know we are going through the same thing =) Hang in there and don't lose hope. It's important to stay positive. But at the same time, focus on the other parts of your life that are going great too. You are an awesome person and I know you have a lot to be thankful for =) BTW, since Jack will be away for some time ... how about you come spend some time with me in LA? =)

JOYEEE said...

hey dets, dont give up!:) Your blog entry really made me realize things too. Its true that we should count all our blessings and not only focus on one aspect. Having a kid would be great...and its still not too late. Some women have kids as late as 43 or 45. But more than that, its true like you said that you should be thankful for other things too- how your family loves you, how friends are always there, how lucky you are to have a nice and warm house, and how lucky you are to get to travel every now and then and live a comfortable and happy life. Many things to be thankful for!:) Hang in there sis! I'm here for u too:)

Junarakasa said...

Thanks so much, Joyeee =)