Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Doin' Fine

So yesterday was my birthday. I have to admit, I was not too excited about it. The past 3 birthdays have been rather, um, well, dramatic and disappointing to say the least. This year I really just tried to treat it like any other day, and harbor no expectations for it being anything special. It's sad really, birthdays should be so much more than that. I had a friend in Phoenix that never celebrated his birthday and I always thought it was such a shame. He had a rough childhood and I guess his parents forgot his birthday enough times that as an adult he just didn't really see the need to acknowledge it either. But after having a few bombs myself, I kind of understand now where he was coming from.

Birthday celebrations can be the ultimate in ego boosters. I mean, what other occasion has the potential for all of your friends and family to do something just for you? Sure, at Christmas and other holidays there might be presents and words of appreciation and love, but on your birthday people celebrate the fact that you came into the world and you are still here and isn't that great?! Um yeah.

So anyway, this year I turned 33. It's amazing to me how over the years our views of birthdays evolve. I mean from about 12 to twenty-something all I wanted to do was get older. I couldn't wait to be 16 and 21 and 25; and each year was a huge accomplishment. Each year afforded me new luxuries, new privileges, and new experiences. Then as I approached 30 I began to realize I was getting older (duh) and it wasn't so great. I mean, I don't think 30 is that bad, but in society we focus on the young. Sure, celebrities can say 40 is the new 25, but come on, who are we kidding? A forty something actress is not going to get a lead role in the hottest new teen drama, unless she is playing a mom. At 25 I could pretty much go out and get any job I wanted. In my thirties - eh, not so much. I have baggage now. I have to deal with childcare and being married is not as attractive to potential employers. I have mature thoughts and probably won't put up with working nights and weekends and 15 hour days like I used to. I am not afraid to stand up for myself and my family and I won't be pushed around. Well, not as much anyway.

I'm not looking for a job or anything, it's just the principle of it all. At this point, I don't like getting older. There is nothing to look forward to anymore; at least not for a while anyway. Eventually I will have retirement and senior discounts, but that's a ways off. Eventually my kid(s) will be grown and I will be entering a new phase, and new chapter of my life that will be totally different, and satisfying in a completely new way.

But back to birthdays; I used to love them! In junior high and high school I had a birthday sleep over every year. The same set of friends would come over and we'd watch movies and eat pizza and stay up late - we all looked forward to it every year. The last couple of years I had the party even though I thought I was too old for it, just because my friends requested it. It was always fun, and every year for one day I actually felt like I belonged - unlike the rest of my school days. It was nice to not feel invisible one day a year.

College age birthdays were a bit different because all these people would come to the party - not for me, but for whatever booze decided to show up. It's amazing how many friends one suddenly has when there is the potential for alcohol. ugh.

But I guess the change really happened beginning on my 30th birthday. I was actually looking forward to it. I was pregnant with my first child and everything was going well. Then 3 days before my birthday I got fired from my job. It sent my life into a tailspin as we scrambled to get things together and figure out how we were going to afford a baby on one income. No one would hire me because I was starting to show, and even a cruddy $6.00/hour retail place wouldn't give me a chance. My birthday came and went without fanfare and thus began my thirties. 31 wasn't much better; I had planned to have my friends all meet me at a favorite restaurant in Houston (3 hours from my home, just so key people could be there) and only one couple showed up (they also happened to live 3 hours away). The local folks couldn't make it. Everyone had good excuses, but still I was pretty hurt. 32 brought a huge fight with my parents and Hubby. It was not pretty and for a couple of weeks I really didn't know what was happening with my life. So one can see why this year I really wanted to just climb under the covers and not come out until next week.

But, thankfully Hubby was on top of his game this year. He brought me my favorite doughnuts on Sunday morning and we went to church. He even gave me the whole afternoon to run around by myself and just be "me" for a while, without having to worry about him or our Kiddo. I came home in a much better frame of mind. It is amazing how a little time away makes you appreciate time together that much more. Then yesterday, the big day, I was trying to lay low. It started out great, my mom called and the wonderful ladies over at bbc remembered. My friend M sent me a cute message and wished me well on the mom's group board. But, Kiddo was an absolute holy terror. All day he yelled at me and hit and kicked and threw fits. Nothing made him happy and by 3:00 I really thought the best thing would be to trash the whole day and stay in, even though we had dinner plans. After a phone call from my best friend, I decided to go ahead and at least try to get out to dinner. Kiddo was a nightmare all the way to the restaurant; it wasn't looking good. But when we got there something changed. He was so good and sweet and well behaved and dinner was such a pleasure because of it. He got a huge kick out of the servers singing Happy Birthday to almost every table in the place, and when they got to our table (yes, Hubby ratted me out!) he was practically singing along. He helped me blow out my candle and ate up all the dessert for me (it was a few Andie's mints in a cup of whipped cream). He was awesome all the way home.

When we got home there were two messages on my answering machine. One was the inlaws singing Happy Birthday and the other was my friend's hubby and one of her twins singing the same song. I think I might keep that tape forever. It was just the sweetest thing.

One of my dearest friends also sent me a cd of Anne Murray songs. It was so thoughtful and unexpected and meaningful in regards to our friendship - I couldn't have asked for a better present. I haven't seen her in years and rarely talk to her on the phone, but I still value our friendship so much and wish we could be closer. I want to call her, but I'm not even sure I have her number! How sad is that?

And Hubby got me a cute little mp3 player; exactly what I wanted. I love it and can't wait to get all my music on it.

So overall it was an awesome birthday - soooooooo much better than I expected and soooooo much more than I deserved. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life. There may be hope for birthdays yet.

So here is the face of 33.

Ok, so it is really half of a face and with all of the airbrushing I did it's more like the face of 25. Whatever. It's my birthday - I'll make myself look like I want.

And for fun, here is the face of almost 3.

No airbrushing here. He just looks that way naturally. ;)

D :)


Heather said...

Yeah, I feel the same way about my birthday these days - and I'm "only" turning 26. I'm glad your day turned out well!

Luckily my momma lives near and bakes me a cake and makes me dinner on or near the day. DH got me a movie, a movie from a promotion so we could get another free ticket to see "300" (it was a promotion they were running at Best Buy). I only know this because he came home with two of the promotion tickets but only one movie in the bag. I don't know what movie it is but for once I'd like to get something NOT related to electronics...sigh...

Carrie said...

Glad you had a good bday!!! Very glad you liked the CD :) I know what you mean about birthdays. I try not to have much expectation anymore. Most of the time I don't even know what I'm hoping for, so how could anyone meet that expectation? I think it IS the aging thing. It's adjusting to a new season in life that we aren't yet comfortable with. We just need to have a slumber party again!!! They were a lot of fun. Your poor parents! How they could agree to that every year.... We've had one sleepover (6 kids total) so far and I don't think I've recovered yet :)
BTW- home: 615-834-6487
cell- 615-715-6374

Jennifer said...

I am glad it all turned out good in the end for you! Oh and your Anne Murray friend, made me think of my friend. That was sweet though!

Oh, The Joys said...

33 looks pretty good! Happy Birthday!

Julia said...

Happy birthday Dawn!

Kat said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Glad it turned out well. My dh plays down holidays because of childhood disappointments so it took me several years to get him into the idea that whether or not he wanted to celebrate I did.

As far as getting older, I'm now 41 and 33 is getting farther in my review mirror. I find I don't really mind it. I like where I am and other than the new chronic middle aged health issues, I am not too bothered by aging.

Rachel Anne said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Dawn!! I'm glad it was a good day for you. I was going to say WOW, no wrinkles until you mentioned airbrushing....but I'll bet there aren't many to erase yet. You are a beautiful 33 year old! Hope it's a great year.

ImBlessed2x said...

I always always have that birthday letdown. I think I keep secretly hoping that someone will give me something really really cool or throw me a surprise party or something. I start out saying 'what if". Then I realize that it never happens. Then I start hoping that my assuming it won't happen will jinx it into actually happening.... ramblings, I know. I'm glad you ended up with a +attitude that day! Happy Happy from me :)

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