Well, another trip around the sun completed. Today, I embark on a new journey around that flaming ball of fire. I kinda hope she throws a big ass solar flare our way. I would love me some northern lights.
I have lived on this planet 44 years today. I know! Shocking, isn't it? Although the official time of my birth was just before noon, so as of this time, I have a few more hours at 43. Someday I really need to get an astrologer's take on my birth day and time. I bet that would be fascinating. Someday, I should probably act my age. Oh, wait. I do! Turns out one's 40's are quite silly. Just like my 30's and 20's and teens... Maybe it's just me.
My birthday used to be a day of great anticipation and excitement for me. I've been known to herald it's arrival for months in the past. I've done downright silly things that might have involved bubbles and a tiara, oh, and dancing around the back yard like a fool. Hell, I do that on non-birth day celebrations from time to time...
Now, it is a day of quiet acknowledgment. Perhaps because as I grew older, the family celebrations waned. Then, family moved away or got busy with their own kids. I had kids of my own. Life got busy. Priorities shifted. Work gets in the way. Gradually, the fanfare subsided. Other than the milestone decade birth days, it's really just another day. Not worthy of any sort of special celebration. Or is it?
I've mentioned before how MY birthday is a trigger day for my grief. I know it's coming. I am powerless to stop it. It's more anticipatory than anything, it impacts me more in the days before my birthday. It's about the sadness of the loss of a dream. Of expectations. Of my precious little girl. The hole in my heart is a bit bigger on this day and a wee bit leaky. I used to be baffled by the fact my birthday was so much of a trigger for my grief as it is. Of course the first years were the worst, but even now, 9 years later, it's still nothing like it used to be. I'm no longer blindsided by it, I know it's going to happen. It manifests as fatigue, apathy and a flat mood in the days before. I tend to want to withdraw and avoid it, yet I still want it to be acknowledged. A double-edged sword of sorts. It makes me not want to acknowledge the day, as if that somehow would dull the pain and sadness. I really want to hear that little, yet loud voice sing "Happy BIRD day" to me from my lap. On the other hand, I wish it were more of a celebration, like it used to be. I wish my boys chose to celebrate me, without nagging. I long for the simpler, innocent and care free days of my youth. When it was just one day, all about me, to do what I wanted, just for a day. A day I could freely sing and dance with a tiara, eat cake all day and have not a worry or care in the world.
Damn pitfalls of being an adult. A responsible one, at that. Today is just like any other day. I will go to work. I will be a soccer mom. I will make dinner (or more likely, pick up pizza). I will nag the boys to do their chores and homework. I even got to clean up cat puke this morning! Such a gift. Not. On the up side, I get to go to my favorite restaurant for my dinner! Yay!
Then again, birth days are really about two people. The child who was born and the mother who birthed them. As a mom, my children's birth days are a day for me to reminisce about their birth. To look at those old photos. To remember what it was like to be a new parent. To take inventory of the hopes, dreams and expectations I had then and where I/they are now. I wonder, am I anything like what my mother imagined I would be? I'm going to go with no. ;-) I wonder if my mom pauses today to remember the day I was born.
I am 44. Middle aged, officially. Holy crap. The thing is, it doesn't bother me. So far as I can tell, I'm still about 28, but waaaaay wiser than I was then. :-) I like the number 44. Rather angelic. An even number. I like even numbers. It's going to be a great year! I'm finally getting my s*it together! It finally feels like MY life. The rewards of the ups and downs the past 43 years have brought me are being realized, finally. I am happier and probably healthier than I've been in a long time. I have a plan. I like having a plan! In my 44th year I will accomplish new things. I will see the realization of a few goals and maybe a dream or two. I will run a half-marathon, although maybe that just confirms my crazy. I will continue to manifest an abundant and creative life. I will finish writing that book. Because saying it 'out loud' to you makes it so, right? I will honor Meg's memory in a whole new way, maybe in several ways. I will continue to mother my boys and God willing, help them become responsible and compassionate young adults. I will have an amazing, perhaps once in a lifetime, family vacation with my boys. A shift is in the works. I can feel it.
You know what the best part of my birthday is? Starting the day off right. With CAKE! Chocolate of course. Actually, Chocolate cake with raspberry chambord Italian cream from my favorite Italian bakery. For breakfast! :-) Have I mentioned I have the best husband ever?