I first wrote this back in 2007, but since today is my 39th birthday, I thought I’d share it with you.
Growing up, I loved having my birthday in the summer because it meant I didn’t have to go to school on my birthday. Sure, I missed out on cupcakes with the class, but I got fireworks. I think in that trade-off, I got the better deal, don’t you? A summer birthday meant that most people were more relaxed and ready to have fun.
My parents always made birthdays a big deal. Bigger than Christmas, because it was YOUR special day. My sister and I would get lots of presents, sure, but the best part about our birthdays was that the whole day felt like a huge celebration. The birthday girl got to decide what we had for dinner that night — whether it was a favorite recipe that Mom made or a restaurant you wanted to try out. Since my birthday fell in the summer, we usually took some kind of day trip for my birthday. We could go anywhere I wanted to — San Francisco, Santa Cruz, a movie at the mall, whatever. Birthdays are usually celebrations, but in my family, they were like our own special holiday.
When I got old enough to work, I always took my birthday off, because it was my special day. As a teenager, I’d usually do the family thing in the morning and earlier part of the day and then hang out with friends later. Or, we’d all go out to dinner, my parents’ treat.
In my late teens and early 20s boyfriends didn’t always understand why birthdays were such a big deal. (Probably because they didn’t grow up with my mom who got so excited when one of our birthdays was coming up). I’d try to explain, and they finally got the hint that if they were going to stick around for awhile they’d better get on the birthday bandwagon. Suddenly elaborate surprise dates were planned. It didn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but it did have to show care and concern.
One of the side benefits of being a teacher was that I was guaranteed to have my birthday off. I could do whatever I wanted to for the day. Plan a trip, go on a shopping spree, or simply stay home and relax. Whatever I had planned, it always involved family and friends and having fun.
That is, until I started working in the summer. You mean I have to WORK on my birthday? Wow. Weird concept. That kind of makes it like a normal day. A day like any other. Suddenly the “specialness” is gone, because I have to get up and commute in to work like everyone else. I hate that.
So, today I decided that I would work from home. Yes, I’ll have to get work done and can’t do whatever I want to, but at least I won’t have to fight the traffic and drive that crazy commute. And I can type this blog in my pjs!! It really doesn’t get any better than that. I’ll take the simple pleasures where I can get them, today.
I know this makes me sound like a “princess,” which I’m not. I’m not really that high maintenance at all — except on my birthday, I guess.
I’m so thankful that I stopped working in the summer and now I have 2 months of days off. Today’s plan is to lounge around until I feel like getting myself in gear and then heading to the pool to swim a bit and relax while reading in the sun. Then tonight, it’s dinner at a great seafood restaurant with my parents. Mellow and low key, but I guess that’s what it means when you’re 39.
Since this is the last year of my 30’s I’m DETERMINED to make it my best yet. No question. I have a bunch of things I want to do before I’m 40, and I’ll go into more detail about that tomorrow.