Well, I’m now officially thirty-nine (for the first time).
My birthday is always around Easter, so what I remember most about my early birthdays is chocolate. I loved those big Easter bunnies–solid ones you could gnaw on for ages and the hollow ones you could snap in seconds. I craved Cadbury’s creme eggs, and I loved the homemade baskets woven out of thick paper that my mom would make for us when she presented the treats. I can’t recall a single birthday present I got as a kid, and truth be told, there probably weren’t a lot, given our financial situation, but I always felt totally spoiled when I got chocolate and could indulge on my birthday. Today, birthdays for me are still about indulging.
Do you remind people your birthday is coming, or do you wait and see who remembers? The older I get, the more I find myself putting the word out. I don’t want to waste time or energy wondering if people will remember or how they will mark it. I love a good surprise, but I am also often overly sensitive, and I know well the intertwined dance of expectation and disappointment. This year, I knew I wanted to celebrate with my close friends and family, and I didn’t want to leave anything to chance or have to split my attention with everyone at once. So I took charge of setting up some dates ahead of time. I highly recommend it.
Here’s how it all played out. The night before my birthday, I met the girls (my besties from work) for sushi. On my birthday, Free and I went to Whole Foods for our 3rd annual cupcake extravaganza, followed by dinner out with Newman and his sons. Today, I surprised Free with tickets to the circus (a first for both of us!) and then met my sister and two close friends for shopping and dinner. Tomorrow evening, I will enjoy dinner out with my mother, who arrives to watch Free for the week while I am away on vacation.
Indulging is in full force. I’ve eaten far too much and bought myself way too much. My mother has encouraged me in past years to take a break from shopping during the month of May, and I swear I go along with it because I tend to go nuts in April. There’s something about Spring and my birthday and the influx of warm weather clothes in stores that makes me lose all sense of limits. Am I alone on this? I will rein it in soon, but once in a while, consumerism isn’t just good for the economy, it feeds my spirit too.
Believe me when I say that I have it good, and I know it. I have felt lots of love come my way these last few days. It makes me miss those I haven’t seen lately (like my old college roommate, for example), but I am especially blessed to have this blog to make me feel reconnected to her and to KHP, who is feeling more and more like my friend as well as Kristen’s. I am easing toward forty, and I feel so good knowing I am surrounded by strong supportive women.
Oh yeah, and there’s also that guy who went out and bought me exactly what I asked him to get me for my birthday–and bought flowers and dinner too. Newman is the kind of guy who will interrupt me in a conversation with a colleague at work to say “doesn’t she look beautiful today?” I’m pretty sure it drives my co-workers nuts, but I love him for it. Here’s what I requested for my birthday. Do you like them?
Finally, in the spirit of indulgence, I’m going to share seven things about myself and extend our celebration of our first blog awards!
- Like Kristen, I also hate melon. Blech! Right there with you, sister-friend.
- When I was around eleven, I won the “Superstar” award at school during our Field Day. I was able to do the most push-ups, sprint the fastest, and generally earn more overall points for the races and challenges. It was my first real taste of competition and standing out, and it hooked me on physical fitness–for life.
- I just recently discovered that I’m lactose intolerant. I still love milk chocolate. Now I also love lactaid.
- I was a vegetarian for over seven years. Then I got pregnant and went a little crazy.
- I drive a Ford Escape. I like it a lot, but I want a hybrid. Or a mini. Or a bug.
- My favorite color is red.
- I’m afraid of heights.