a peek inside the fishbowl

19 Aug, 2009

Ruminating about 37

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The other day I met someone who didn’t know what an ATARI was. I felt rather ancient for a moment or two… and then returned to reality.

I would like to start by admitting that until a couple of months ago I thought I was 37 about to turn 38. I was thrilled when Mark corrected me.

“YOU MEAN I’VE BEEN 36 THIS WHOLE TIME?” I said. I felt like I’d won a lottery… like my life had been extended by a whole year. Well, today I’m 37 FOR REAL.

Instead of being depressed about growing one year older and getting a little bit closer to checking myself into an old age home, I’m reflecting on other things. This is not something I’m foisting upon myself in an effort to cheer myself up. I’m really feeling good about the State of My Life at the moment.

  • I have a wonderful husband
  • I have two sweet little girls, who are smart and funny and a joy to be around
  • I truly enjoy my chosen career path, in which there have been some new developments (I’m keeping a lid on it all for now but I will say that they are Thrillingly Exciting and Make Me Want to Pinch Myself. Hard.)
  • I love my neighborhood and my community
  • I live in good health and relative comfort without too much worry
  • I like the person I have become

Oh friends.  I don’t mean to get all weepy but I very am glad to be me today …  and I wanted to share that with you. 

Can I ask you all for a birthday gift? I’d love to hear what good things are going on in your life right now. Indulge me!

21 Responses to "Ruminating about 37"

1 | Marla

August 19th, 2009 at 7:44 am


Happy Birthday! Fine, here’s your wish: It is so good that I have people in my life (like you) that I can share news of my good fortune with, because it is increased by others’ happiness. And more specifically – vacation time is coming up, and I have just been given an opportunity that will allow me to indulge a little while we’re away!

2 | Chantal

August 19th, 2009 at 7:57 am


Happy Birthday Andrea! Enjoy this extra year you didn’t know you had :)

3 | Ginger

August 19th, 2009 at 8:15 am


Happy Happy Birthday! As for good things in my life…I feel like my whole life is better than it ever has been. I am a mom and that is amazing. The boys are almost a year old which is hard to believe. And they are on the verge of walking which thrills them to no end. Life is good, even in the hard moments, life is good!

4 | coffeewithjulie

August 19th, 2009 at 8:50 am


Wow – your birthday is today! So is my daughter’s. Happy Birthday to you dear Andrea!! Leos unite!

It is always nice to hear the gratitude that people have for the good things in their lives – great post. And I’m dying to find out more about this exciting new career development!

Here’s your requested bday gift …

1. My hubby.
2. My daughter.
3. My son.
4. My new bloggy friends.
5. My rewarding, flexible career path.
6. My small, pain-in-the-butt, but full-of-character home.
7. Some seriously amazing girlfriends that truly make a difference in my life on a daily basis.
8. Did I mention my hubby? I think he must count twice.

5 | Miss Vicky

August 19th, 2009 at 9:18 am


Yay! I love birthdays! Hope you have a wonderful day! Having reached one of those Milestone birthdays not too long ago, I also like to use the occasion to reflect and celebrate what’s good in my life. so here we go:

1) I have two amazing kids. TWO! When I was 37, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to have one. And I have a great partner too! Who knew? I feel very blessed.
2) I have done some kick-ass cool things in my life, through work and volunteer/political activities. They haven’t always turned out the way I expected but sometimes I shake my head at my career(s) thus far. Sometimes I regret that I’m not doing some of that stuff anymore, but I can’t wait to see what comes next
3) I love my blog, even though I’ve kind of neglected it lately. I think it’s made a difference, and helped build community, and that is pretty awesome!

6 | archie belaney

August 19th, 2009 at 10:39 am


Happy Birthday. Good Things in my life – my 2 boys, who have had the best summer ever. My wife who joined us this summer for all of our adventures and added more than she knows to the fun. Our lives are better than ever and the bumps in the road are manageable. Life is good. Have a very happy birthday.

7 | Sharon

August 19th, 2009 at 10:47 am


HappyBirthday Andrea! Mine is in a few days and I’m very pleased that we share the same cool month!
I going to say what is going good in my life is many, many things
1st off my kids are doing fine, even if they do turn my hair grey at times! My Hubby is a work in progress but I still like him. LOL!
I love where I live.
And Mostly and this is purely selfish…
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE being back in school.
I love the classes I am taking! I love talking to people about like minded stuff and getting to know the professors and how much fun they are has been a unexpected JOY.
I am happy…
And I’m glad to see you are too!

8 | mapsgirl

August 19th, 2009 at 12:12 pm


Happy Birthday!!!

I’d have to say that my list would be much like yours….right down to the “2 sweet little girls”.

9 | porter

August 19th, 2009 at 12:59 pm


Happy Birthday!

Can I ask you all for a birthday gift? I’d love to hear what good things are going on in your life right now.


I have a wonderful husband who just told me this morning that I am his best friend & that he is so lucky to have me as his wife. I feel the same way towards him.

I have two healthy, wonderful daughters. I always wanted sons until I had my girls. Thank goodness I didn’t get to decide for myself.

I have my health and everyone I love does as well.

I want for nothing…well okay, I do dream fo things often but overall I have everything I could ask for.

There is alot of laughter and happiness in my life and I am loved.

I have to end here because I am having good friends over with their lovely children so we can all relax by my pool and enjoy this perfect day.

Happy Birthday Andrea, you are an amazing woman. Oh can I just add that I am lucky to have ‘met’ you, you add to my life as well.

10 | Hellcat13

August 19th, 2009 at 1:50 pm


Happy Birthday! I loved reading about the happy things in your life, and I’d be pleased to share.

1. I have the greatest spouse, ever. We complement each other in so many ways, and even our fights are never more than temporary spats that we end up giggling about 5 minutes later. He’s amazing to (and for) me.

2. I just lost 50lbs, and I’m in probably the best shape of my life. I’m eating well, exercising regularly, and I feel fantastic. I injured my back a month ago, but even that is healing well with the help of my physiotherapist, and I’m back on track to feeling 100%.

3. My best friend is totally going to kick butt at a half marathon by next summer; I just know it.

4. Although we had a tough year with the loss of my uncle, my family is very tight-knit, close and supportive of each other. We clung together and remained strong.

5. I don’t have kids, but I do have kitties! And nothing gives me the warm and fuzzies quite like seeing their furry little faces waiting for me at the door when I get home from work. (Quite seriously. They’re like dogs. I swear they hear my car at the end of the street.)

6. Although it can be frustrating, I truly do like my job (even love it, at times) and I’m so happy I landed in an editing job.

11 | Susan

August 19th, 2009 at 2:18 pm


Happy birthday, Andrea!

Here’s your gift from me…

I was just thinking today how lucky I am to be able to spend some extra time with my amazing kiddies this summer, and into the forseeable future. It’s been wonderful so far. I feel like I’ve begun a new phase in my life and I’m excited about the unknown opportunities to come. I have an awesome, smart, successful and endlessly supportive husband. We have family and friends who we love and who are always there for us. And, we have a bunch of fun trips planned (with and without kids) in the coming year. Life is good!

12 | Lee

August 19th, 2009 at 2:33 pm


Happy birthday!

Good things? I’m celebrating my wonderful and healthy family.

(And recently I was approached by a 5yo who asked very seriously, “Have you ever heard of Star Wars?”)

13 | Lynn

August 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm


My youngest sister is pregnant! That’s good news because they’ve been trying for ages, with all the medical intervention stuff. Yay yay!

I find now that I am (actually!) 38, there’s not enough babies in my life anymore. All of my friends have had their last and are looking forward. I’m looking forward to the sweet smell of arrowroot-head baby again.

14 | LO

August 19th, 2009 at 5:57 pm


Happy Birthday!
LIfe is good isn’t it!

As I get older-
* I am learning to enjoy the ‘process’ instead of just hurrying to ‘do’ or be done
*I started and successfully ran my own business for several years and sold it
*I am now reentering the ‘corporate world’ BUT on my terms and in a position that allows me to be paid to follow my passions..finally….only took many years!
*I am still happily married to my best friend and we parent two great human beings together
*Friendships are amazing

15 | Ron

August 19th, 2009 at 6:18 pm


Clara…. and looking forward to your automated “thank you for commenting” email…

16 | Brie

August 19th, 2009 at 6:23 pm


Happy birthday! I am happy with the kids (most of the time), my husband and that we are planning a birthday party for both kids this weekend where we will be able to see lots of friends and family.

17 | Soire

August 19th, 2009 at 9:36 pm


Happy Birthday!! I have a thriving 28lb 7month old (chubby!!), 2 wonderful girls that are LOVING horse camp, my mama is here for a visit, and I’ve got Chocolate cake AND Fresh strawberry pie. It’s delicious over here!

18 | Carla

August 19th, 2009 at 10:14 pm


Happy Birthday! I am a fan of Leos, my husband is a Leo too.
Thanks for making me think of the good things in my life, sometimes it can be too easy to wallow in the challenges. There is so much that is good, family, health, job, but the thing that I am feeling supergrateful for right now is that I have just received a copy of a peer-reviewed journal where an academic article I wrote is published. Not just any article, but an article based on my thesis that I wrote at nights and submitted when my first daughter was 6 months old, and based on research I did when I was 1 and 7.5 months pregnant (in Sierra Leone no less!). So seeing this article is such a big achievement as I think of the circumstances and reminder of what I can do, of the support I have from my husband and the fact that it is possible to be present with my kids while doing things that tickle my brain. Hooray. Thanks for letting me toot my horn! :)

19 | Trea

August 20th, 2009 at 2:00 am


That’s too funny – my sister and I did EXACTLY the same thing you did a few months ago by thinking we were a year older than we were (we’re 11 months apart and this didn’t help with the basic math required). When we figured out we were off by a year, we were ecstatic! I think what happens is you turn 30 and stop keeping track, because, really, who the heck cares anyhow?

I’m thankful for the baby growing in my uterus at the moment, who is about to be born into my family in the next two weeks. His or her two year old brother doesn’t quite grasp the concept, so it should be interesting to see what he thinks of a new little person in our lives. I’m also blessed by a wonderful husband, partner, soul mate … whom I don’t take for granted one second. I’m also thankful that I am employed, mostly healthy, and attempt to be a positive, contributing citizen of the world by recycling and voting and all that other stuff my baby brain has let slip from my mind at this time.

20 | lacoop

August 20th, 2009 at 5:54 am


Happy Birthday. What good things are going on in my life right now? Too many to list, which in itself is a blessing. But at the top of the list is my wife and kids – so much fun, so much love. I’m really happy we have the time to enjoy each other. Everything else is gravy (I love gravy, so let’s not underestimate it).

21 | andrea

August 22nd, 2009 at 10:25 am


Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes… and for induging my request and telling me about all the good things in your lives. You’ve made my day!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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