Monday, July 9, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Just a warning - I had a wicked fun day yesterday which I'll post about, and likely celebrate my birthday sometime this week, but this post will not be all birthday goodness. I do love that "mayasmom" remembered and all the shout-outs I got there - thanks. I have to admit I keep forgetting it's actually my birthday. For some reason I thought it was Tuesday, but that's probably my subconscious trying to avoid adding another year to my life. I know 39 is not that old, but to me it's like way up there but without the excitement of the "big 4-0." Although my MIL did remind me that 39 is the age everyone seems to remain for the later half of their life :)

I had lots of fun birthdays as a kid thanks mostly to good friends, but my family didn't make a huge deal out of them. As adults we forget each others birthdays all the time, but are there for each other when we really need it and that's just what is important to us. For a while I just didn't want to celebrate birthdays, especially when my life just seemed to be moving along with not much excitement or momentum. Even with my beautiful kids and sweet husband I've felt a bit like that this past year.

And I'm not always comfortable with all the attention and how to show appropriate appreciation. I remember many, many years ago a surprise birthday lunch was planned at work. Then a guy I had a crush on invited me for dinner and I was so excited. Turns out it was just a ploy to get me out for another surprise. It all became too much and by about the 4th drink I was in tears, too much in one day. I think that's when I stopped celebrating for a while. Another year a friend who was pregnant invited me to help her shop for the baby. It was my birthday, and I was still childless (but married) so it seemed a really obvious set up, but then we actually went shopping. I kept waiting for the surprise that never came, and then sure enough a bunch of people were at my house when she drove me home. I know I should not complain with all the love people have shown, but enough with the surprises already. Maybe I've just been invited to too many "birthday dinners" for friends which I could not really afford.

For my husband, birthdays are like Christmas. He needs great gifts and lots of acknowledgement. And also like Christmas now, it becomes a source of anxiety for me. Will I do enough for him? Will I even remember? Maybe that's why I don't need or want much. I'm not taking the day off of work, although in my defense I've taken over two weeks off since summer started so it's not like I'm overworked.

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