Today is my birthday. Woo-hoo! As such I am entitled to the following perks;
dinner at Benihana if I so choose (a $30 value with the purchase of a regularly priced dinner entrée), an Urban Decay eye shadow in “Midnight Cowboy” from Ulta, a mini Marc Jacobs beauty set from Sephora and a pastry of my choice from Panera bread, like a rock star. There are multiple companies that offer discounts and buy one get one deals for the birthday queen or king if you’ll join their rewards club, mailing list or give the company a shout out on social media. The gifts are a fun little reward for surviving the other 364 days of the year; well done!
I look forward to talking to my family and friends when they call or text or add to my Facebook wall with well wishes and we connect again to fill the gaps (if there are any) left from the time we last reunited. The mail comes in steady with September issues, the looks for fall spilling from each page, occasionally accompanied by a birthday card. It’s all awesome. My favorite part of birthdays is undoubtedly blowing out the candles and making a wish. The same one wish I have squeezed my eyes tight and silently asked for on the close of the past sixteen birthdays.
I have had some fantastic celebrations. My twenty-first may have been one of the most memorable, as it saw me less than two weeks into our engagement, with a bottle of vintage pink champagne gifted to me from my pal Jimmy Weeks and preparing for a hurricane to make landfall soon over the state of Florida, where we live. My newly crowned fiancée took me to Tiffany’s to pick out a charm bracelet which at the time held a single charm and now tells the story of woman who has lived.
There is something magical about celebrating your birthday. Even when you are spending it alone, there is an unmistakable inhabiting of the day – a claiming that it belongs mostly to you. I hope that feeling never fades.
This morning I celebrated by running out to Walmart and then the grocery store; another year, another possible hurricane or tropical storm at least. But there were hugs from the kids as soon as they opened their eyes and a hummed version of The Beatles “Birthday Song” from these same sweet souls who aren’t tall enough to play it on the stereo in the living room like Daddy does for them. I had a party themed streamer maze awaiting on the front entrance capped off my two balloons and a fruit salad made with careful consideration by an eight year old boy who took the time to liven it up with lime zest and a basil leaf. There were lovely phone conversations, texts sent to me and the smile in his eyes when my husband came home from work and pulled me close to him and reminded me that he loved me.
Tonight we will sit down to dinner and I won’t have to cook or clean. Before we have cake, we will pull out the well-worn plastic bag that holds the numbered birthday candles we reuse (wondering aloud again why we have three of some number but seem to always be missing one of another). Then the ice cream makes an appearance – piled atop the thick slice of cake for some of us and eaten separately for me. There is so much comfort in this pattern that no matter what happens, August 25 always rolls along pretty easily into my court.
My husband readied himself to start his school work – classes began again yesterday and he’s got his work cut out for him – while I set out to write this post. “Did you change the background to the laptop” he asked. I wondered why anyone would want a screen saver that looked like the screen had a large, vertical crack all the way down the lower right side…only it wasn’t a screen saver. Little sister had a rough time getting going again this morning although each day it’s getting just a tiny bit easier. Life isn’t perfect and it doesn’t keep the bad stuff at bay for birthdays. Still, there is beauty in tucking another year into my memory bank and starting on a fresh new chapter.
The process can seem daunting yet I am thrilled to find that little sparks of ideas are developing into more structured projects, first in my head and next onto paper. The practice of writing daily with no excuses for a year (three hundred and four more to go after today!) has opened my eyes to how much possibility there really is for me to have the time and the space to do meaningful, creative work. I am getting a more defined picture of what I do have control over and what I never had control over as this next year comes into focus. I appreciate your support of me as it all gets clearer; thank you so much.