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  • Writer's pictureTanya Berndt

Reflecting On My 37th Birthday

Birthdays are a time to look back over your life and reflect upon all that has changed throughout the years. With my 37th birthday on June 24th, there seems to be a lot more to reflect upon than ever before.

If I think back long and hard, I can remember the time my parents woke me up in bed, singing and dancing, announcing that it was my 5th birthday. Afraid to get older and not sure what being five meant, I cried in desperation and told them I liked being four and didn't wish to be any older.

As I did grow older, my birthday meant summer break which seemed to last forever. It meant summers at the local swimming pool and working to get my swimmer's medallion (being able to swim the length of the deep end of the pool) and receiving the ultimate prize, attaching a round badge to my swimming suit.

It meant playing outside with my neighborhood friends building a time machine made out of my red radio flyer wagon and the anticipation and surprise that instead of traveling to 2010, I traveled right into the pine tree in my front yard.

My mother announcing at the top of her lungs so the entire neighborhood knew that it was time for dinner, was always a memory that made me smile. The basement of my home was one of my favorite places in the entire world. It was where I was a champion nintendo player and conquered Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers II, but never Super Mario Brothers III. Playing Mike Tyson's Punch Out and running alongside little Mac and his coach during their stroll through New York City was another important task that had to be taken very seriously.

Nickelodeon shows became my life in that basement. Some of my very favorites were "You Can't Do That On Television" and "The Elephant Show", later replaced by MTV. I'll never forget my amazement when my parents rented a VCR at Blockbuster Video for the first time and we watched four movies on our bulky television while eating Jiffy Pop Popcorn that was freshly cooked on the stove.

I was probably about 14 when my life changed forever. My close neighborhood friend introduced me to an AOL chat room on his home computer. The way it sounded as it dialed up and went online was like music to my ears. AOL was where I could be anyone I wanted to be - a woman in college or a professional in the business world.

Then came AOL Instant Messenger where I could chat with my friends in school even though I had just seen them only minutes ago. Instead of a cell phone, I carried around a red beeper, a mechanism that one of my very first boyfriends used to dump me on.

Then came college, where instead of a home desktop computer for a family, the norm became bringing your own laptop to school with you and sitting it on your desk in your dorm room. About 2002 is when I was introduced to the cell phone. That was when cell phones were only used for calling, not texting and the cell phones weren't "smart" and you actually had to use keys to dial someone. After all this being said, somehow, this month I will be turning 37.

I've noticed a few things about getting older, my body gets older and I have more wisdom, but overall I am still that same person that loved playing outside and listening to my cassette tape walkman. Suddenly, out of nowhere, no one tells you that you are young, but, in fact, no one says anything about your age at all. You start to actually be taken seriously and you are called ma'am from time to time. My favorite life analogy I get from my mother-in-law - life is similar to a toilet paper roll, the older you get or the more toilet paper you use, the quicker it goes.

Just as my life has changed and evolved over 37 years, so has insurance risks. One risk in particular has evolved and important to almost every business large and small - it's called cyber liability insurance. What is it? When is it needed? What does it cover? Well, you will have to wait for my next blog post to learn more. In the meantime, my 37th birthday will be a celebration of another year of life and all the changes that come with it.

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