Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

It’s My Birthday…But The Presents Aren’t For Me
April 10, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

Today, I officially kiss my 20s good-bye as it’s my 30th birthday! This is a milestone birthday for a number of reasons. Of course, many believe that when you turn 30, your life really begins. Others say that you officially start getting old when you hit 30, and that’s when things start falling apart. But I believe those who’ve been telling me for the last several weeks that your 30s are the best time of your life.

About 7 years ago, I set a goal for myself to be completely debt-free by the time I hit 30. At that time, I had two student loans totaling about $20k and I had racked up about $15k in credit card debt. Am I debt-free yet? Nope – I missed this goal. However, I DID pay off all of my credit cards, paid off my car entirely, and I only have around $12k in student loans left to pay, which I should be done paying off by the time I hit 31.

Did I fail here? I don’t think so! Setting goals helps you stay focused in any given area of your life and gives you something to work toward. Most people don’t even hit their goals the first time around. But they’re better off than when they started.

Lesson learned: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars!

This year for my birthday, all I wanted was to spend time with the people I call my friends. I’m having a party at a downtown Cincinnati martini club and some of my local friends and those within driving distance are coming to help me celebrate. At this point in my life, making memories with those I love is important. My mom had planned to come up this week, but at the very last minute she had to cancel because of some health issues that are not allowing her to travel. She was very upset about this and I felt bad that she was more worried about missing my birthday than she seemed to be about her health.

Amybeth and mom 2008To give you a little background on my mom, she was diagnosed back in the 90s with a disease called fibromyalgia. In its simplest definition, fibromyalgia is described as chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points that occur in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. My mom was a special education teacher at the middle school level, and she was moving some boxes one summer preparing for the school year when she injured her back. Because it was a Workers’ Comp case, she was made to wait three months to have back surgery, resulting in complications that led to scar tissue developing around her incision area. She had to have a second back surgery, and shortly after that she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia can be very mild or extremely severe. The form my mom was diagnosed with is more toward the severe side. Over the years she has had to wear a brace to deal with weak nerves in her foot, and she has to walk with canes now. She has had to take some really heavy-duty medications which dried up her salivary glands and caused several of her teeth to decay. She now has complete dentures, and she is only 61. Lots of other things have been affected, including her kidneys and her overall posture. It breaks my heart to see what this has done to her – a lady I used to have to run to keep up with.

This year, for my 30th birthday, I want to do something for the woman who brought me into the world. That’s why for every comment that is left on this post, I am going to donate $5 to the National Fibromyalgia Association.  The National Fibromyalgia Association supports research, medical education programs, patient education and support groups to help those dealing with the disease. I love both my mom and dad, and I know many of you are getting to, or have already gotten to, the point where your parents are starting to age quickly and it’s tough to watch them go through health challenges.

I’ll donate up to $500 (100 comments). As far as comments go, you can leave whatever you’d like, I would only ask that you don’t leave like 10 comments, and make it somewhat meaningful 🙂 

Thank you for helping me work toward another goal, and also to give my mom a gift on my birthday 🙂


48 Comments so far
Leave a comment


It’s a good thing that you are doing here, Amybeth!

Comment by David Manaster

Amy Beth – happy birthday. And trust me – 30 is not even at the pinacle between young and old. You are still living te best of years. But don’t take them for granted!

Best wishes to your mum. And thanks for supporting the cause of Fibromyalgia. My mum and and a friend also has it. And I know it is painful.

Happy Birthday!

Comment by Rick


Happy Birthday! What a wonderful idea in honor of your Mom. May you reach your goal!

Charles Bretz

Comment by Charles Bretz

Amybeth – This is an amazing idea! Congrats on the big 3-0, and I’m so sorry I can’t make it today. We’ll definitely go celebrate next time I’m in town.

In the mean time, tell your mom I’m praying for her.

God Bless!


Comment by Aaron Baer

I think this is a great way to involve people!

I also like what you said about setting goals. I have a list of 10 goals, and I’m making some of them HARD. I only expect to complete 6-7 of them … but I don’t know which ones. If I complete more, then I’ll know I set my goals too easy.


Comment by Darius

Excellent way to celebrate your birthday, your mom, and help others. Of course, you did land a new job not long ago and your other posts indicate you’re enjoying the orientation, etc., so that’s a good present in this economy!

Comment by Glenn Gutmacher

Happy Birthday Amybeth!

30? You don’t look a day over 29! 🙂

Enjoy your special day.

~~ Norman

Comment by Norman Katz

Happy day, Amybeth.

celebrate yourself and the beautiful lady you call Mom.

jilly @ wireless careers

Comment by jilly

Happy birthday, Amybeth! What a great idea! My mom also suffers from fibromyalgia. Thanks for doing what you’re doing!

Thanks also for the things you said about goal setting. I completely agree, and have only recently really started to adopt the idea of choosing goals as a guideline more than a commitment. In fact, I’m about to do some goal setting for my business right now!


Comment by Jeremy L. (aka Phlegon)

Happy Birthday Amybeth! The 30s are great. Welcome to the club.

What a great gift to your mom.

Comment by Barb Trimble

Happy birthday! I can remember thinking how old 30 was! Old is relative 🙂

Comment by Justin

Happy Birthday, Amybeth! Can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than to honor your mom. Enjoy the day! 🙂

Comment by Emily

Happy Birthday! Hope you get to celebrate and spend lots of time with your mom.

I have a friend who has fibromyalgia and it sounds like a horrible thing to have to deal with. Kudos for doing what you’re doing and giving back to the woman who gave you life. 🙂

Comment by _sarakate_

Amybeth, Happy Birthday to you and congrats on being 30! Someone once told me to make sure you have friends in every decade (20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc.) so you always have appreciation for where you have been and where you are headed. Enjoy your party!

Comment by Sue Glew

This is a wonderful idea! And Happy Birthday!

Comment by Limbo

What a neat idea! Happy birthday and best of luck in reaching your goal!

Comment by Susan

Happy 30th! Enjoy the party. Love to your mom! Way to make this a REAL celebration!

Comment by Nikki

Happy Birthday Amybeth! This is a great idea. I hope you have a fabulous day 🙂

Comment by Jenny K

Happy birthday, Amybeth. I think it’s great that you are honoring your mom on the day she gave birth to you 30 years ago. Fibromyalgia is a very debilitating disease. I have two friends who have it. As for turning 30, I am turning 40 in a few months and will look back with fondness on my 30s. Enjoy them!

Comment by jillsommer

Your 30s will be wonderful – just wait and see. Plus, they (who exactly is this “they,” I am not certain)say 40 is the new 20, so I guess that makes 30 the new 10. Cool.

Comment by Kristy Conlin


Best wishes for all your birthday dreams to come true! I’m so impressed with what your doing for your Mom. I have the milder form of fibromyalgia (diagnosed 7 years ago) and it’s still debilitating.
There have been good strides in fibromyalgia research in the past few years and I know your donation will help to make an even bigger difference – perhaps someday there will be a cure.

Comment by Christa H

Happy Birthday!

May you continue to number your days aright,
that you may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Comment by Chuck

Happy Birthday Great approach and attitude

Comment by Jared Gatti (BigCatJared Twitter)

Happy Birthday Amybeth! Hope you have an awesome day and raise lot’s of moolah for your mama 🙂

Comment by Super Honkey

Welcome to the 30’s. Its nice here! And you are so sweet for doing this, what an awesome bday gift! As a chronic neck pain sufferes myself I can tell your readers that this kind of pain just eats away at you all the time.

Be sure to raise a glass tonight at the martini club for all your friends out here in cyberspace who support and cherish you!

Comment by Shally

Happy birthday, Amybeth!

I have a friend with fibromyalgia, and have had some joint pain issues myself. I’m excited about what you’re doing with this post! Keep commenting, folks!

Comment by Leah

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful idea.

Comment by Lundy

Happy Birthday, Amybeth! What a great gift to give/get on the big 3-0.

Comment by Jeremy

I am so grateful that you were born, Amybeth! I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to have gotten to know you over the past year. My mom also has fibromyalgia, as do several of my friends. What you’re doing here is truly remarkable. God bless you.

Comment by Daniel Johnson, Jr.

Happy Birthday, Amybeth! What a wonderful, generous and caring young woman you are! Your mother obviously did a great job raising you. I know she is incredibly proud of you.

I’ve had fibromyalgia for almost 20 years and know how blessed I am to have the support of my grown children. I can’t tell you what a lift it has given me to read your post and see your obvious love and concern for your mom. God bless you both!

Comment by Karen Lee

What a great idea and inspiration for your Mom! My Dad suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and spinal stinosis(now in his 60’s)and I’ve seen how the pain has really aged him. I’ve also seen how research and new medication/treatments can really make a difference. You and your mom must be proud you’re entering your 30’s with a great heart and your priorities straight. Enjoy this time and I’ll bet your 40’s will be even better! Have a wonderful birthday and Happy Easter!

Comment by Kristine Toole

Hi there! I saw your Twitter feed from Daniel Johnson Jr.’s and that took me to your blog. I think it’s really wonderful what you’re doing in honor of your mom. I’m sure she is extremely proud that she has raised such a loving and thoughtful daughter.

Just under 45 minutes of your birthday left…but since it’s Friday, you technically have a birthday weekend. So I hope it’s a great weekend for you!

Comment by mishlamanda

Girlfriend! You are awesome, and every year you get older, the awesomeness just grows, so a big hug for your b-day and what a great way to celebrate. And give your Mom a hug too 🙂


Comment by Suzy Tonini

Hello, I web-surfed my way to your blog and your post hit home for me. My mother also has fibromyalgia and it has been extremely hard to watch her go from the energetic wonder woman to a sloth like lady. Thank you so much for what you are doing and HAPPY 30th birthday!
– Jenny

Comment by Jenny

Happy Birthday! Life gets even better once you get past the 20’s as you have more perspective. I pray that God will bless you for your generosity. Well wishes to your mother, I am sure she is very proud of you.

Comment by iEmelem

what an awesome way to start your 30’s. happy bday once again!

Comment by jessica lee

Couldn’t let this one slip by. Happy Birthday! Amazing what you’re doing!

Comment by jaywalk1

Fantastic initiative, wishing you great success and of course a Happy Birthday 😉

Comment by Jean-Philippe

That’s really great of you to do for your Mom. I have a parent who suffers from some pretty major joint issues – it’s been a journey!

Good luck with this effort and Happy Birthday!


Comment by The Red Recruiter

Happy Birthday!

Comment by D.G. Hollums

Thanks for sharing your story. I also have Fibromyalgia. Thanks for what you are doing.

Comment by joanne

Happy Birthday! Kudos for spending it the right way, by helping others! Thanks! Kathleen

Comment by Kathleen Gandarillas

Happy Birthday. Thanks for sharing your story and for your donation to help find a cure for Fibromyalgia. I have a friend with this disease and am praying for a cure!

Comment by Beth

Happy 30th Birthday, Easter (or Passover), Jackie Robinson, and Tax Day

Comment by Tracy Tran

I hope you had a great birthday, Amybeth!

If you don’t remember me, I was the lone ODU student at the table with you and the OU folks at the PRSA Luncheon with Brian Solis.

One of my dearest friend’s sister suffers from this condition and she is just 18 years old. To help raise awareness about this painful condition, we started the Walk of FAME at Ohio Dominican University. This year will be our second year putting on this event and we are so excited to help raise funds and awareness about the condition. Thank you for such a wonderful blog post and your donations to this association. If you’re around Columbus on May 9, we would love to see you at the walk!

All the best.

Comment by Erin

Your birthday party was great – thanks for including me and I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet your mom. Good thing it was a Friday night so you had the rest of the weekend to recover.

Comment by Christi O


May be , its too late now to wish you a Birthday but still i would like to wish you a belated Happy B’day .

Altough i haven’t seen your Mom , but she must be as beautiful as i have .
Go for it , for a cause you are willing to , It’ll reflect in someone else’s mother .

Keep it Up.


Comment by Jeff Taylor

Amybeth – first I have to say I am sorry I missed your b-day! I hope it was the best 30th ever!

Second – thank you for sharing a little bit about your mom and her Fibromyalgia I have a friend that also has this disease.

Congrats to your mom for having such a great daughter and congrats to the Fibroyalgia group for all you are doing to shine light on the issue with your donations!

I hope to connect again soon.

Comment by Vicki Z Lauter

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