23 July, 2007

Hitting an epiphany, ouch!

Returning, circling back, taking a step back, actually all of it and more are mere thoughts on reflecting. This past weekend, I "celebrated" a mild milestone birthday. It seems that my birthdays have turned out to be busts for quite some time. I guess my expectation around the "event", as if I was being turned out for something, are too high for those around me. Is it too much to want some pampering? Pampering, I am not talking about high dollar items, but small things, as in delicious food, cake or something decadent and unusual, cards, phone calls, and a special outing or plan. Now having a chef husband you would think that the eating part of my day would be covered. Phone calls or cards, come on is that asking too much? Did you see me mention any gifts? NO! I would rather enjoy those small little touches from those around me.

The biggest pet peeve around special days is the lack of planning. For some odd reason, I have to be the one who plans my mother's day, or my birthday. From the menu to the day's events to the gift. It is quite annoying and leaves me feeling taking for granted.

I take the extra time to plan a menu and the day's events. I take the time to select the right gift for that person, you know something they would like, not necessarily me. I take the time to coordinate the others invovled so there is cohesion throughout the day. I decorated my son's door, so when he woke up, he would see an extra special something.

A couple of my best birthdays, were spent with people who were just getting to know me. The first was in Italy whilst studying there for a summer. I awoke to a door full of well wishes, or Tanti Auguri. There was an elaborate plan to obtain a cake that arrived via a vespa and many close calls into some narrow streets. There were toasts of grappa and lots of birthday cheer. As I had no real idea on the eleborate plans, it was so refreshing and endearing to think these people really spent some time to make my birthday special. How blessed I was. I still maintain a dear friendship with one of the party coordinators.

Another birthday was spent in Mexico. I was staying with a family there one summer. They decided to share their version of birthday festivity and held one massive house party. Complete with cake, food and drink. I also learned that the honored one, typically had their face in the cake at some point after the traditional singing was over. I forgot to mention the days before that birthday, we spent out at a vacation resort enjoying the town and touring its famous history.

In stark contrast, when I turned 30, it was 2 weeks after I delivered my first child. 30 was a huge birthday for me and the fact I had crazed hormones rushing around while packing on the residual baby weight, didn't help me forget the fact I was turning 30! My husband didn't even bother to purchase me something momentous, I actually selected the item. We ordered take out Chinese, something we did frequently, so again, "not" special and sat in front of the TV. YIPPIE, I WAS 30!

This past birthday, there was an attempt by my husband to make the day special, but when he asked me what I wanted to do and then proceed to wait for me to decide, well this is where I get turned off. Additionally, my parent's offered to watch the boys for us, but didn't really say when they would watch them, or how it was to happen. Here I was the day after my birthday, making the plans and coordinating everyone into action.

For my big 40th, well I think it best, if I just do my own thing. This way, I will have it planned exactly as it needs to be so I am able to enjoy it. It seems those closest to me really don't pay that much attention to what I like or how I like it. Really is this too much to expect?

I am trying very hard to just move on and leave it in the past. Actually, when they say it is just another number, boy it truly feels that way. It is nothing special in the least. Is this why people say it is just another number? It very well could be that once you hit a certain age, you are not allowed to be treated special or to have too much fun on your birthday. Possibly, having door decorations is too much for a 47 year old? Well I say, phooey! All birthdays are special. This was the day we chose to embrace this existence and we all need to say, happy day to you!

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