Reflections at 34…

Last year I was enjoying a fine-dining dinner of KFC, thanks to the generosity of Thrive Africa staff in South Africa. The year before that…in the bush of Botswana (sadly, no KFC or anything else remotely close).  

Another year, another birthday, another country.  

This year I am 34!  

I tend to look at birthdays in a negative light, don’t ask me why.  I guess its the getting older part that doesn’t suit me too well, and unfortunately I have this ‘glass half empty’ attitude when it comes to this day.  I think things like…

‘No husband, no kids, no house with the picket fence, no dog….’ etc.

I do it every year, and every year I end up a tinge bit disappointed.  But this year I am vowing to look at it from the ‘glass half full’ attitude (or at least I’m going to attempt to).  Instead of thinking of the things I don’t YET have, I am going to make a list of the things I have been incredibly blessed to experience throughout my 34 years on this earth.  I’m turning over a new birthday leaf.

As we say in Hebrew…. la chaim! (to life!)

About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

16 responses to “Reflections at 34…

  • Teri

    Hey Maureen, I love your glass half full approach. You are one a tremendous journey and experiencing some wonderful people and places. Enjoy and savor each day. Blessings on this day and many more.

  • marc

    dude… i seriously can’t believe that you’re 34! that’s crazy!

    (and way to shout out to Thrive Africa! woot woot!)

  • Ione Lake

    A husband and kids are nice but you have led an incredible life that you could never lead with a husband and kids. I believe God put you where you are for a reason. The husband and kids may come later or not but you have led an incredible life and helped alot of people Jesus never had a wife or kids either.

  • Andrea

    I have to fight off those thoughts, too, when my birthday rolls around. But like you, when I stop and change my perspective, I realize all the amazing, crazy things I’ve gotten to do that so many people I know have never been able to do.
    I pray that this birthday is a very blessed one and that this year is one of the best ones of your life!
    Happy birthday! 🙂

  • Katherine

    Ok, first, i can’t believe you told us your age… it used to be a big secret like your middle name! You really ARE turning over a new birthday leaf! 🙂 Yes, you really have experienced so much in your short 34 years! What a blessing! And remember you have PLENTY of time to have a family… you’re only 34, that’s young! 🙂 Love you Mo! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 🙂

  • Katherine

    so what is your middle name? 🙂

  • Mom

    I like that new leaf!!
    Kristy was saying last night that it’s been a loooong time since we’ve celebrated your b’day with you. I think for her it was when we were in Rio with you. For Kristy it’s been even longer. Now that would be a b’day surprise I would love to make happen. Family shows up at your door with a singing telegram! Dream on.

  • Joseph

    Look at the positive for sure…the gifts you have brought others through your serving and the experiences that you have lived that some of us will never have the honor of doing so.
    Life is always about giving up something and taking something else. If you had the husband, kids and picket fence, you would look out the window of your home and wish for the opportunities you currently have.
    It is always tough to sit back an wonder what if….

    I am turning 40 in just a few weeks and I have started falling in the same trap of why didn’t I do this or that…..but you know what…we have amazing lives, meet amazing people and do amazing things…and we ghet to write about it as well 🙂

    Have a great glass of wine and celebrate all the amazing people, places and experiences that have touched your life.

    Happy Birthday.

  • Tim

    Hope you had a wonderful Birthday Maureen! Here’s to another grat year!!!

  • Gina

    Life is what you make it. I am de-lurking today. Happy Birthday. I think you have a great life…..if the other things are meant to be…they will be. It is not necessarily better than what you have. It is all a trade off. I initially had a long post here but it is probably better off as an e-mail. Have a wonderful year. Make the most of it which I believe you will. Cheers!

  • annie

    Happy Birthday!!! I have to echo (a bit) Ione up there. I’ll admit I’m a bit envious of all the traveling you’ve done. If I wasn’t married … well … let’s just say I would LOVE to do what you do. But … to everything a time and purpose. I believe I have followed God, and … for some reason that hasn’t (yet) included the traveling I would love to do. sigh. So I do trust that. It doesn’t stop me from a wistful sigh now and then, though.

    Happy Birthday!!

  • lovewillbringustogether

    I’m sure you know the dream of the Great Husband, the 2.4 beautiful Children and the Home with the lovely garden and the white picket fence around it is shared with millions of your fellow human beings and all think it ‘could’ turn out just the way they (and you) Dream of.

    You might even be lucky enough to know some people for whom that Dream has come true? (Perhaps only through blogs/twitter?)

    I can assure you that for every one of us who Have that Dream there are 99 of us for whom the Dream turned varying shades of ‘Sour’ – Abused wives, Suicidal husbands who can no longer stand the stress of trying to find enough money to both pay a mortgage and feed his wife and kids, taking their own lives and sometimes much worse, Loving families ripped apart by a child who has developed a drug habit or been involved in a fatal car crash. i could go on and on telling the truth of life over the lie of the Dream.

    it can be a very STRONG temptation to believe in the Dream…

    You are blessed beyond belief to be so fortunate to life the life you are doing – to have made your choices so freely and not be forced into living the life you did NOT dream of.
    That is something to be VERY thankful for indeed.

    That new leaf of yours is a very good one to turn – a very good one indeed.

    Live the life He wants for you (the one you are doing, perhaps with as much wisdom as He can provide?) over the one you sometimes have a longing for ‘inside’.

    Keep your awareness close to you at all times of what He has to offer and your dreams will turn into the life you have most need of for this life, but more importantly, in the next.

    I have a feeling on this Birthday you have received a truly great Present/Gift. 🙂

    Happy Birthday!


  • alece

    happy (very late) birthday. i can’t believe i missed your day. sorry, friend.

    how’d the half-full work out for you this year?

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