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Happy Birthday to Me

Standing in the last hours of being 35; squinting at the next year of being 36.

In Hebrew, our letters double as our numbers and each letter has a numerical value.  Sometimes numbers inadvertently form words, the most famous being “chai” or life, which is written with the same letters that are used to write “18.”

Denominations of 18 have special significance in Hebrew because they’re tied via gematria to “life” (hence why Jews often make donations or give gifts in denominations of 18).  So 36 is a special year.  Josh told me “no tears” when I started wailing a few nights about growing older as he held me on the sofa.  “This year is double life.”

For my birthday, he took me to the aquarium this past weekend and when we walked in under the waterfall and saw the trout larger than my arm swimming back and forth as we waited to get through the entrance, I knew in my bones that we had picked the perfect spot to say goodbye to being 35.

Happy birthday to me.


1 Lisa { 06.01.10 at 1:03 pm }

Happy Birthday!

2 Quiet Dreams { 06.01.10 at 1:07 pm }

Yom huledet sameach! Waiting with bated breath to see what blessings you bring to the world in this next year and beyond!

3 Tara { 06.01.10 at 1:18 pm }

Happy Birthday! My Aunt (who’s 65) always tells me, “Life just keeps getting better, dear.”

4 Rebecca { 06.01.10 at 1:22 pm }

Happy Birthday!! I’ve often had that thought of double life as I head toward 36 (I’ve got 7 months until then). I think it will be a wonderful year for us all!

And, the song in the video? That was wonderful. I’m a chemistry prof and I will definitely be appropriating that for my intro class this summer!

5 Tonggu Momma { 06.01.10 at 1:34 pm }

Happy Birthday! (I’ll be turning 36 in two days.)

6 Angie { 06.01.10 at 1:42 pm }

Happy happy happy…Go 1974!

7 S { 06.01.10 at 1:43 pm }

Happy birthday! (To me–aged 39–36 seems young. . . . )

8 KLTTX { 06.01.10 at 1:45 pm }

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great one.

9 myinfertilitywoes { 06.01.10 at 1:48 pm }

Yay! Birthdays are awesome!!! Have a very happy one!!

10 Mrs Shoes { 06.01.10 at 1:49 pm }

Wishing you many birthday blessings!

11 Jendeis { 06.01.10 at 1:57 pm }

Happy birthday sweetie! Double chai!!

12 PaleMother { 06.01.10 at 2:02 pm }

Happy Birthday, lovely Mel!

When they say, “Life begins at 40,” it sounds like all BS cliche. But you know, in a lot of ways it’s true; not BS at all. I also think that … as much as we fret about some of these birthdays, there will be so many where we look back and the idea that 36 … or forty-anything is ~old~ … will seem ridiculous. Hopefully will all still be blogging about it. 😉

Here’s to double life and here’s to you, someone who is living so very, very well – a fne reason to celebrate. Thanks again for all you do. The day you were born was a blessing to everyone who knows you … even if it’s just the virtual “know.”

Lots of love and best wishes for the best year yet.

13 Twangy { 06.01.10 at 2:02 pm }

Many happy returns of the day! 35 is a good age, I thought. You are at the height of your powers, and yet still have plenty of time ahead. Enjoy it thoroughly!

14 Twangy { 06.01.10 at 2:05 pm }

Oops. 36, I meant. Never was very good with numbers!

15 Katie { 06.01.10 at 2:09 pm }

Happy happy birthday, Mel. May all your hopes and dreams come true.

16 Mer { 06.01.10 at 2:13 pm }

Happy Birthday! I love thinking of 36 as extra special because it’s double chai! As a Jewish woman who often donates to charities and gives gifts in multiples of 18, it never occurred to me before. I’ll be 36 on my next birthday, and thinking of it this way will definitely make me smile.

17 Neil { 06.01.10 at 2:24 pm }

Happy Birthday, double chai!

18 loribeth { 06.01.10 at 2:25 pm }

Happy birthday!! If you think turning 36 is traumatic, wait until 50 — that’s what I have to look forward to next, lol. But hey — it sure beats the alternative, doesn’t it? ; ) I hope you have a fabulous day!

19 Bummed Uterus { 06.01.10 at 2:26 pm }

Happy Birthday!! I hope this next year will be the best one yet!

20 Calliope { 06.01.10 at 2:29 pm }

Double chai! I love it!!!! Thinking of you and hoping you are having the most kickass of days! Xxxooo

21 a { 06.01.10 at 2:32 pm }

Happy Birthday, youngster!

22 CC { 06.01.10 at 2:38 pm }

Happy Birthday Mel!! I hope 36 treats you great!

23 amanda { 06.01.10 at 2:39 pm }

Happy Birthday!!!

24 Sonja { 06.01.10 at 2:44 pm }

Happy Birthday!

25 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 06.01.10 at 2:48 pm }

Happy (almost) birthday to you!! (It’s tomorrow, right?) Here’s wishing you all the most wonderful things this year can bring, a year of double life!!

26 Tara { 06.01.10 at 3:06 pm }

Happy Birthday! Turning 36 in Chinese tradition is very important as it’s “your” year. This sounds like the Mel we’ve come to know:
“Those under the year of Tiger are courageous and powerful. They can be lovable, sensitive, hardworking and independent. They can show a lot of sympathy towards others and be very idealistic.”

27 Betty M { 06.01.10 at 3:15 pm }

Happy Birthday!!

28 gurlee { 06.01.10 at 3:31 pm }

Happy 36 Birthday, Mel! I have been in the land of 36 for a month or so and so far so good! I have a good feeling about this one. Enjoy! L’chaim!

29 susy { 06.01.10 at 3:32 pm }

Happy Birthday, dawling!! I agree w/ Josh! Double life, live it up, my friend! xoxo

30 Billy { 06.01.10 at 3:36 pm }

Twice chai!! How nice 🙂
I just discovered my mother (who btw shares your birthday!) was born in the Hebrew year תרצח (=murder). Ouch!

and of course
!!! Happyy Happy Birthday !!!

31 Shelli { 06.01.10 at 4:01 pm }

Just think, you will always be 5 years younger than me. That should give you a smile.

Have a great day!

32 Jo { 06.01.10 at 4:02 pm }

Happy Birthday!

33 HereWeGoAJen { 06.01.10 at 4:14 pm }

Cheater! Not until tomorrow! 😉

34 Heather { 06.01.10 at 4:19 pm }

Happy Birthday!!

35 Ellen K. { 06.01.10 at 4:29 pm }

Happy birthday, Mel! So many of my favorite people have birthdays in the first week of June; my mom’s birthday is also tomorrow. (Probably all favorites because of Aquarius-Gemini compatibility.) Hope you have a marvelous day and year!

36 Amel { 06.01.10 at 4:43 pm }

Happy birthday, Mel! Wishing you all the best things in life that money can’t buy!

37 Rebecca { 06.01.10 at 4:56 pm }

Double life, I like that 🙂 Do everything twice as well and with twice as much enthusiasm!

38 Suzanna Catherine { 06.01.10 at 4:56 pm }

Ah, 36. It was a very good year! And so was 46. At 50 I was moaning to my son about not wanting to be 50. He looked at me and drawled, “mama, it beats the alternative.” Well, yes it does!

I hope your year of “double life” brings you as many blessings as you bring to others.

39 Annacyclopedia { 06.01.10 at 5:09 pm }

Many blessings to you for your birthday and every day, Mel! You are so fabulous – may you always know this, even when you are feeling discouraged.

40 Lorin { 06.01.10 at 5:21 pm }

Okay. (takes a sip of water)
Here goes.

Happy birthday, to you! Happy birthday, to you! Happy birthday, dear Me-el! Happy birthday to youuuuuuu!

Blessings for the day and the year ahead.

41 JJ { 06.01.10 at 5:25 pm }

Many happy wishes for your new year, Mel!

42 Vee { 06.01.10 at 5:32 pm }

Happy Birthday gorgeous Mel!
I love that video and song, isn’t the underwater world just amazing ?
Just like YOU! xxx

43 Another Dreamer { 06.01.10 at 5:58 pm }

Happy Birthday- didn’t not know that about the numbers in Hebrew, that is so cool. Here’s to “Double Life” for you 🙂

44 Tireegal { 06.01.10 at 6:14 pm }

So young and so wise! Happy Birthday, Melissa!

45 Christy { 06.01.10 at 6:51 pm }

Happy Birthday!

46 IF Crossroads { 06.01.10 at 7:50 pm }

Happy, happy Birthday Mel 🙂 May your thirty sixth year bring you all your heart desires.

47 jodifur { 06.01.10 at 7:52 pm }

Happy Birthday

48 Keiko { 06.01.10 at 7:58 pm }

A very happy birthday indeed Melissa! Double life – may it be full of blessings this year!

49 queenie { 06.01.10 at 8:13 pm }

Your late 30’s are all about surveying where you’ve been and all you’ve accomplished, building on that, and sitting back once in a while and contently surveying it all. Enjoy every minute of this era-it’s all good!

50 Heather { 06.01.10 at 8:26 pm }

Welcome to the 36 club! 🙂

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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