November 22, 1968

Well. I’m just about 40. And you know what? I’m much less this:



And way more this:



To tell you the truth, I wasn’t too bad off with the 40 thing, it’s just made me more reflective. There’s been a whole lot of living in those years. I’ve grown up, I’ve regressed, mourned the death of people I love, rejoiced at the (painful, epidural-free) birth of two beautiful new souls, moved maybe 45 times, realized my limits, stretched my boundaries, overcame fears, and created new ones. I still have a long way to go.


Tomorrow The Rock is throwing me a little party, and I’ve only questioned his judgment a giant’s handful of times. It’s like I always say, why let go when you can go crazy trying to plan everything yourself? My absolute favorite party would be to have everyone I love, have grown to love and learned to like a whole lot, gathered around a campfire telling stories and singing songs. (Don’t worry people coming to the party, I didn’t win out on that one.) Instead, there’ll be a fire pit and an iPod. (But my friend, Mike, has a guitar and he’s not afraid to use it.)


I’ll see some special friends tomorrow night, friends who crimped my hair and snuck me to Tijuana when I was 18, friends who made me laugh after my heart cracked open, friends who nurtured my spiritual development, friends who saw through me when I said I was done with marriage, friends who support me in everything I do, and friends who don’t, for good reason. And also? My off-color, politically-incorrect, buffoony, lovable dad will be there. So…


I’m feeling pretty blessed.


Except should I wear jeans? Or a tiara? I’m not one to call attention to myself, but I’m thinking I should sparkle just a tad (hint, hint, The ROCK).


Anyway, I thought I’d close with two things: one, an exercise I absolutely love (more on that in a minute) and two, an announcement of a birthday giveaway by a jewelry designer I adore. So, first things first.


Esquire Magazine runs a monthly column called “What I’ve Learned,” and I look forward to it in every issue. I always wondered what my answers would be to some of the posed questions, so I took the time tonight, on the eve of my 40th birthday, to think about it. Here’s some of the questions (in bold), with my answers.


My first memory is when I was probably three years old, swinging in the jungle backyard of our home in La Brea. The swingset was positioned close to our neighbor’s backyard, so on every thrust, the soles of my feet came close to where the neighbor’s dog barked a few feet away, and tried in vain to catch my heels through the metal circles of the fence *just* separating us.


The best lesson my mom taught me was to not wait. This sounds cruel, but it’s not meant to be: my mom never went after her dreams, and I watched her potential and her hope and her yearning fade over time and I don’t want to follow. My mom also taught me, after her death, to forgive.


The great thing I have in my life are the many flawed and beautiful people who teach me every day to keep learning, and to not take it all so seriously.


As you get older, you need to be willing to shed your skin. Who you were “then,” doesn’t have to be who you are now.


Men look great when they’re stripped of their egos.


My whole life has been one long road to realizing I don’t have all the answers. And that it’s OK.


I call myself a dichotomy.


My last words will be I kept on trying.


So there you have it.


Read what celebrities, authors, political figures have to say about “What I’ve Learned” here.


Now, the giveaway. I thought a nice way to celebrate my birthday would be to share something I love. I discovered Kelly Meeker Designs about a year ago and then my friend, Ellen, bought me something from Kelly and I fell in love deeper. As luck would have it, Kelly has generously offered to give away a $50 gift certificate to her site, and I can’t wait for someone to win it! Maybe you can buy something like this:



or like this:



Or something equally as fabulous. Just visit Kelly’s site here, see what you like, then come back here and tell me all about it in the comments. (It’d also be real nice if you signed up for her newsletter.) On Monday, Nov. 24 at 5PM, I’ll randomly pick a winner of the $50 Kelly Meeker gift certificate.


And meanwhile? Thanks for being at my campfire.


p.s. ANYONE can enter the jewelry giveaway. The more, the merrier. I don’t care if you know who I am, give a fig whether I turned 40, or are here for the first time. I love Kelly Meeker’s stuff and I think you would too. So, cast your inhibitions to the wind and try to win!


32 Responses to “November 22, 1968”

  1. Paul says:

    After midnight on the east coast. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love San Diego. Just turned 40 this summer. No difference, so enjoy . . . oh yeah – jeans AND a tiara sound appropriate.

  2. Matthew says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I try to always remember that ego = ugly. Thank you for reminding me.

  3. Molly says:

    Oh Deb, Have a wonderful birthday. The 40’s are the best!!


  4. Kristen M. says:

    Happy Birthday! …and thanks for the giveaway/gift. All the necklaces are stunning. My favorite is the Swarovski Crystal & Freshwater Pearl Cluster Necklace.

  5. stef says:

    i can understand why you love kelly’s jewelry; it’s beautiful! i’m really weird about jewelry…there are very few occasions where i wear stuff that isn’t really simple or just silver (w/o stones), but the first photo of the amethyst pendant had me hooked! i also like these earrings as well. i hope she gave you a g/c as well! ;)

    happiest of birthdays to you; i only hope that i’m as vibrant and young as you are in 9 (short!) years. :) and i agree with paul: wear a tiara! own it, girl!

  6. vodkamom says:

    I LOVED this post. I hope you have a happy, happy day- and celebrate the woman you’ve become, and the woman you have yet to be…does that make sense? I send you hugs- and PLEASE wear the damn tiara!!

    p.s. LOVe the jewelry. THis one is my fav. – Labradorite, Citrine, and Labradorite Nugget Cluster Necklace

    I’ll have a martini in your honor tonight!!

  7. pajama momma says:

    Happy Birthday SDMomma!

    *leaving today, will be within stalking distance shortly ;)

  8. feathermaye says:

    Happy Birthday Deb!! I hope you have a wonderful party!

    I love the amethyst and moonstone necklace you have pictured here. Gorgeous!

    I’ve laid low during your giveaways, feeling like I was too part-time on your comments to get all greedy… but the purple swayed me today. ;)

  9. San Diego Momma says:


    I WANT you to win stuff here! Seriously, anyone can enter. I don’t care if you’ve never left a comment in your whole life!

  10. Frick. I want these:

    Swarovski Crystal & Freshwater Pearl Cluster Necklace $60

    Moss Amethyst, Amethyst & Grey Moonstone Necklace $40

    Or anything else.

    And? Put your eyebrows on tonight. I don’t want you looking like the woman in that picture.

    See you tonight Birthday Girl!

  11. Ferd says:

    I’m not playing the contest because I’m not here for that. Don’t want to dilute the reason.

    I’m just here to wish you a very Happy Birthday! Welcome to the forties, to the decade of sinking or swimming. No problem for you, though, as you are already a beautiful swimmer!

    May your day be full of LOL’s with the people you love and love you back! Enjoy every moment!

  12. Me says:

    Happy Birthday! Have a beautiful day!

  13. Happy Birthday!!! I had a dream last night and you and Cheri at Blog This Mom were in it. You made cameo’s and we drank and talked and laughed, and wished Vodka Mom was there. True story!

    Loved your post, especially what your mom taught you, and the “shedding your skin” part. Loved it all actually.

    Wish I could celebrate with you. Have a wonderful time and a healthy, happy year!
    XO, Chris

  14. Midlife Mama says:

    Happy 40th Birthday!! Yay you!!

    I loved turning 40. My forties were the happiest times in my life, and some of the worst times, too. I turned 50 this year; now THAT was hard.

    But have a great day and you’re lucky someone is throwing you a party. What a nice thing to do. Enjoy your day!! You deserve it. :)

  15. g says:

    have a wonderful birthday. Forty is totally fun!! Fifty’s not bad either.

    Enjoy it, and look around at the faces surrounding you and just be thankful. Have a marvelous time.

  16. Who is that Ferd? And why doesn’t Ferd want jewelry? I don’t understand. I’m going to miss your party, and I still want jewelry.

  17. Oooh! Csquared3 is dreaming about us? What were we wearing, Chris?

  18. Here’s wishing you a happy birthday full of wonder and celebration!
    It just keeps getting better from here on out. Trust me on this one!

  19. Kari C says:

    Happy Birthday! I think this one will be the easiest, with the long anticipated 21 being the best ever. It is good here in “Club 40” we care about different things, forget about the less important ones and realize how precious it all is. We learn it is ok to say no, to tell the truth when asked for our opinions, and be right with it. I hope you have a FAB day and the year brings you good health and an abundance of love.

    I too am a SDmommie all the way here in CO. But he’s all grown up now and living the dream….the USSN Dream that is!! See we have a stalker-like connection!!!

    Enjoy your special day!!
    Chilly hugs from Colorado!


  20. jan says:

    Happy birthday! I’m about to hit 44 in a month, but the whole “turning 40 OMG!!1!” thing never bothered me at all.

    Cool jewelry! I would pick the carved rock crystal quartz leaf earrings ( and give them to my mom. She’s a real tree-hugger type and would really love those!

  21. Happy belated birthday greetings from me, who kicked 40 to the curb last week and settled into 41! I hope you had a wonderful celebration!

    Love the jewelry. I liked a lot of it, but kept coming back to the chocolate coin pearl cluster earrings. I could wear earrings like that every day!

  22. Binky says:

    Happy birthday to you!

    As for the jewelry, I think I would go with the Moonstone & Garnet Chaos Necklace. On Friday night I was wearing a dress that begged for a large, intricate design, but I had nothing that looked right. This one is so different and eye catching.

  23. Green Girl says:

    Many happy returns of the day to you! I love your perspective–it’s how I hope to see things in a couple years, too. Your clarity and brilliance impresses me.

  24. candy says:

    Happy Birthday. I hit the big one next year. so far, so good. I love the amethyst and moonstone necklace too.

  25. Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday, Deb!! I still want to look as fabulous as you do when I turn 40! I say wear the tiara and jeans or whatever else you wish at your party! Its all for you!

    I love this necklace: grossular garnet and carnelian ladder necklace

    I can see why you love Kelly’s jewelry.

  26. Oooh, lots of pretty stuff. I’m partial to these–Step Cut Smokey Quartz, Carnelian, and Garnet Cluster Earrings.

    Well the birthday has come and gone–you looked fab, I had a blast and the singing was amazing. I’m hoping I didn’t embarass myself too much–the Champagne was just for me, right?

  27. Tracey says:

    Happy Birthday and a Tiara is a must for any good birthday party! I loved the link for Kelly’s Jewelry and also love your post. This is my first time reading your website. I found you through Ms. Chicken. You are both fantastic writers. I really liked the Big Bold Onyx Circles Necklace and would be happy to forward Kelly’s link on to friends. We are always looking for great jewelry that is unique.

  28. Jennifer H says:

    Happy Birthday, Deb! I’m sure you sparkled, whatever you wore!

    Beautiful jewelry – will have to take a closer look…

  29. mommypie says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY my bloggy friend and fellow ’68er!! Hope your day was wonderful and the party a night to remember.

  30. Mich says:

    Hey doll-Had a great time on Sat.! So nice to get OUT. And YOU looked HOT (love that dress). Anyway, I’m feeling lucky these days, so I have to say I love the amethyst necklace and the grossular (what does that mean?) garnet one, too. Have a great Birthday week (because I believe in stretching it out at long as possible…). Love, Mich

  31. Diane says:

    This was a beautiful post!! Happy Birthday, my friend!!

  32. Da Goddess says:

    We shall soon celebrate your turning 40 together. Promise!

    I know you had a wonderful time — you told me so and I was thrilled to hear it. As I told you, I actually enjoyed 40 so much more than 39 and I know you will, too. Oh, and when you get to 42? Just you wait! Woo hoo!

    Soon, Deb. Soon.

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