Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birthdays are strange things

Hello again, it's Hank the Cowdog.

Oops, not.  Sorry.  My brain is a little fried.  Which is probably why my approach to birthdays is a little wonked this year.  Or maybe just different and fine. 

Anyway, it's my 41st birthday.  Today I am continuing to weed the garden, do laundry, and clean up the house after the deluge of mess from 2 major trips.  I also hope to continue processing pictures from the trip and before (I owe someone pictures from the end of April...yikes!).  In other words, I guess I'm not really celebrating my birthday at all.

As those of you who've been reading here a while realize, this is a large departure from previous birthdays, which I began to note at the beginning of June (my birthday MONTH).  It's not necessarily that I am not acknowledging my birthday or that I want to forget it, it's just that, with the girls and Friend Husband gone, not much is happening, so it's probably best for my mental health to acknowledge it but not to expect anything from it at all. 

Yes, we will celebrate when Friend Husband returns and yes, I gave him full and complete amnesty from guilt about the whole thing.  He wasn't the one who scheduled singing school to coincide with my birthday, after all.  But it does make for a bummer of a June 17th, which has always been my favorite day of the year.

I'm trying to remember that there are people in the world who are dying of many different, horrible causes and that, in the long run, this is not that big of a deal.  I am happy to report that I am finally becoming mature enough to allow these reflections to change my feelings about things.  I'm trying to remember that, while I am trying to figure out what I want to eat for my "birthday meal", there are people around the world who have nothing to eat and no hope for any tomorrow.  Basically, I'm spoiled and I know that and I'm trying not to be bummed about being here alone (well, with the twins) on my birthday.  Actually, it would be more fun completely alone, but we all know that's not going to happen so we may as well move on.

As I was sorting through birthday Pieces of Flair on Facebook this morning, I came across one that said something like "29 and holding".  It reminded me so much of my mother, who maintained (to my little sister) that she was 21 until I was 21 and Kimberley asked her how it could be that we were both 21.  Then she maintained that she was 29 forever after.  I resonated with that idea and then renounced the resonation.  That is not a way in which I want to resemble my mother.  I'm trying to acknowledge my age and the changes it brings and deal with the whole thing gracefully.  After all, it keeps on going until you're dead so you may as well face up to it.  While my body is going to pot, I think I'm in a better place mentally.  As I expressed to my young friend Lexi yesterday, I'm much happier now than I was when I was a teenager.  (Man, if you think I'm bad now, it's a good thing you didn't know me at 17!)  I feel more confident in myself and I get more pleasure out of living and out of who I am than I did then.  I'm more comfortable in my skin.  I love that about this time in my life.  Now if I could just adjust to the fact that my 41-year-old face does not in many ways resemble my 21-year-old face, I'd be in fine fettle.  (We won't even think about the old bod.  I don't think I'll ever get over that.)

Today is also my brother's birthday.  Happy birthday to Robert!  I tried to catch him online today to sing the traditional "Happy Birthday" song to him but couldn't.  So I hope his family sees this and tells him I at least tried.  I think I've also come to terms with the fact that he came along when I was three and stole my birthday.    Now I'm just happy to be able to spend time with him.  It's another gift of growing older that we get along and enjoy each other's company.  Plus he gave me the amazing gift of a terrific sister-in-love and nieces (finally!) who are just so wonderful to know and to be with.

Anyway, I don't guess I've really conveyed why birthdays are weird.  I just feel weird today.  Sort of like I should be expecting great things but I know I'll just end up doing laundry and housework like every other day.  I will say that God sent a gorgeous day, low humidity and cool temps.  I plan to be outside as much as possible and soak it in.  That is a gift worth appreciating.

I do appreciate the people who've come by to say "happy birthday", here, on Blogspot, and on Facebook.  Man alive, y'all're great.  I hope all of you have a happy day, on me.

Now here are some more pictures from the trip.  This is a bunch from Friend Cherylyn's house. 


amy said...

hope you had a great day!

Gina said...

I didn't think you were back yet! Happy Birthday!!!!!!

acceptancewithjoy said...

Happy 21st birthday with 20 years of experience!