Reflections on turning one year older, priorities, and the early-mid 30s

I turn 34 in less than an hour. It will be the first in several years in which I haven’t planned an extravaganza or a night on the town. I’m housesitting until tomorrow, and I’ve enjoyed having a little R&R while taking care of some adorable Shih Tzus in a quaint and quiet home.

After pooch-sitting duties are over tomorrow, I plan separate get-togethers with my parents, who missed out on a lot of my birthdays because of distance and scheduling conflicts. Mostly my dad. That’s another story altogether. But even though they haven’t been married or lived in the same state in 22 years, they each made a conscious decision to move to the area to be closer to me. After years of partying and celebrating my birthday with a bang (and often a bad hangover), I have no desire to go back to that time and would really rather live a simple life.

I’ve seen this trend in a lot of my friends my age who are married and/or parents. But I don’t fit either of those descriptions. I think I just found different things to focus on. There’s my dog, my mom, my dad… things that keep me grounded.

But I must admit: There is a teeny, tiny part of me who wants to have a biggol’ Birthdaypalooza. Maybe next year. Or maybe I’ll just rent a cabin with a jet bathtub and call it a day.

Blogger takes on unexpected role of caregiver

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for my life. I’ve been living with my mother for a couple of years and we’ve helped offset each other’s lives during the recession, but my mother’s health took a serious turn and I immediately had to take on a new, full-time job: Caregiver.

Since then I’ve been reading up and sharing stories on what it means to be a caregiver. It means that at any given moment, you have to be ready to make a call to a nurse or an ambulance. It means you have to make sure bills are paid, checks are deposited and the lights stay on. It means making sure you get enough sleep while making your parent comfortable.

And it means relying on friends to help whenever they can. I don’t get too personal here, but lemme tell you who’s been my best friend throughout this ordeal.

Sebastian has been there. Sebastian means coming home from the emergency room and not having to worry about being alone. He’s happy to see me, he’s wagging his tail, he’s yipping, wondering where I am, and yapping, wondering where his Mama K is.

My mom is now on her third hospital stay in two weeks. Her recovery may take a lot longer than we want, but she has a wonderful team of doctors and staff who want her to be happy and healthy and vibrant again. That’s what I want, too.

And what Sebastian wants.

So, that’s how life is over here in Bellesouth Country. You never know what’s going to happen, do you?

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