Sunday, March 13, 2011

Everyone's got one

My birthday always makes me restless, causes sadness, requires a hard look at the years already lived, and the dwindling number of years to come. I take inventory of my life every March 12th. This year, the numbers don't add up with the amount of goods left. This year, I am left knowing that there needs to be some rather serious readjusting. This year, March 12th really let me down.

Knowing that, and knowing what to do about that is not the same thing. For the majority of my years already past, there was little time to acknowledge that the tally sheets weren't matching up, let alone time to be able to do anything about it. But for the 51st year of my life, I am looking ahead at a picture of bleak winter scenes, not the images of spring or summer that I long for. Perhaps part of that is due to the general mood I find myself in recently. I have been fairly down and difficult to be around, even for myself--and if I can't stand being around my own self, then I can only imagine how fun I am to be around for everyone else. But I am at a serious crossroads here. If I don't find that thing I search for, then I know that I am destined to become one of "those" aging women. I don't like those women. I don't want to be one. But knowing and doing are so completely separate. And so I search. I have always believed that the life that we are meant to live happens while we are busy living, not noticing that we are being gently guided down the path of destiny. For various reasons, I am just not that busy living anymore. Choices, certainly. I still own a good mind and a partially working body. But it works well enough for me to get off the back side of it and do something about it. And that is where I am. The beginning of something, and while the action that I take most likely won't be the action that I am taken to, all things must begin with action. I do not want to live the next years like I have lived the last few. So I must act. It sounds so simple, but is so isn't.

And so today is Sunday. I am happy the birthday is behind me, as it wasn't a particularly good day. It wasn't necessarily a bad day, either. It was just a day, to quote my husband. Friday night was dinner with the family, my Janelle planned it and we went to a local restaurant and had a few laughs. And chocolate cake. (Heaven is chocolate cake.... just sayin') Mark and I went out for a bit afterwards, but he is sick and frankly, I just couldn't listen to the cough-cough-sneeze-cough-sniff-sniff-SNIFF-snort-hack any longer. I honestly do not mean that in an ugly way, even though I know how bad it sounds. Every year, he gets this "thing" that lasts for weeks. He is miserable, I can only imagine how miserable it must be for him. But for me, the one who is with him, listening any longer was going to make me start to pull out my eyelashes, one by one. So after we said our goodbyes, I sat up a long time, not able to sleep---which is so weird for me ----and had a really rough night. That left Saturday---my birthday---beginning in a really crappy way, as I felt the usual pain and problems but I was so damned tired, I was mostly unable to function. The day was long and lonely, I did the usual, the grocery shopping, a little cleaning, alone. Mark worked all day and the kids were otherwise engaged. My kitties were not at all interested that it was my birthday, so I was feeling a bit blue. By the time Mark got home from work, which was really late of course, I was tired and ready to call it a night. It was nearly seven when he got there, I sent him home to take care of himself, he looked awful. He was sick and tired literally, I was sick and tired on so many other levels. So that was the big day. Bleh. He did stop off at Walmart on his way home and bought me a digital camera, which was very sweet of him. However, it is the exact one I already have, which may or may not be working, it's been in the repair shop and I am not sure at this time. He knows how important a camera is to me so it was very sweet----but when it comes to gift giving, this man is clueless. I know how he struggles with it, so I do appreciate his effort. He has never understood the whole birthday thing that has been in my family for years---I grew up believing that the day means something, that birthdays require celebrations, you know--parades and marching bands, celebrations like that. He has always said they aren't important, just another day, everyone has one. (Kind of like that old assholes quote, you know?) After years of trying to give him the type of birthday that I was accustomed to, I gave up and adopted his attitude for his day. He just never enjoyed the home made dinners and cakes and candles and presents and family gathering thing. And so, I should not be disappointed every year on my birthday. But I am. When my mother died, so did the "special day" feeling.

Today will be better. I have a few things to do, otherwise I will be at the gym or glued to the Kindle. And I will be busy being fifty-one. Holy heavens, how can that be? Have a happy----I'm out. :)

10 comments:

Cheryl said...

You need a vacation, and it has to be in a place with sunshine and palm trees. Is there any way that could happen? I wish I could go with you. I wish I could have spent your birthday with you. For me, it really is another day, but that's just the way I was raised. The older I get, the more I want to ignore birthdays anyway. I wish your family had celebrated your birthday on your actual day. They know what it means to you. I hope that Sunday finds you happier.

C.A. said...

Dearest Jamie, in many ways we are living parallel lives. I wish I could have been there to take you for a day of girly- ness...pedicure, lunch, massage. I hate birthdays too. I'm thinking of you....

C.A.

kristi said...

OMG, my hubby gets the same stuff and he has it now. And ewwww I am so tired of hearing the snot and nose blowing and just ewwww.
But happy belated birthday! :)

Jules said...

You need a hot boyfriend and a few weeks of torrid sex. Let's get your ass on Match.com COMEON!!! It'll be fun!!

JTS said...

I was raised like you, Jamie - birthdays were a big deal, even if not a lot of money was spent to accomplish it. Streamers and balloons adorned the dining room, a collection of small gifts wrapped beautifully, dinner chosen by the guest of honor, amd a party if one wished for it, but always, always the feeling that it was a day to be celebrated. Now, for most of us as we grow older, it is more or less just another day, and a bit of a letdown because of that. During the harder years of my life, and even now I find cause to celebrate each year as a mark of survival, and not only surviviving but overcoming the odds and finding happiness at the old age of well over 50! Perhaps you, like me, feel restless with our physical limitations and the rudimentary requirements of earning a living in a way that wears us down, even if it is what we are capable of doing. I keep thinking... there must be another way! I hope you will find it as your life moves ahead into a new year. One thing we both know for sure... life is full of surprises!

Lena said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Sorry that you spent the day so down. Sounds like you were really missing your mom. Birthdays bring up so many emotions.

I hope u have a better day today!

Mems said...

Happy late birthday Aunt Jamie! (I think I know where Uncle Mark gets his gift giving skills...his brother got it too! ;) )

I hope today is better!!!

Love you bunches!!! HUGS!!!

Coffeypot said...

If I were close by I would invite you out for a few cups of coffee and make you laugh. You need some laughter in your life.

JY said...

Happy Birthday Jamie!
Just paying you back a visit now that we've found each other again. 51 ain't bad...and a whole lot better than what's going on here...though our area is not as affected. Thanks for finding my blog and for your caring message... you're the best!

Leann said...

My dearest friend, Happy Belated Birthday!!

I am truly sorry that you don't feel special on your birthday. You could make YOU feel special. Paint the town, or do something you've always wanted to do, or vacation, or call a friend and do something fun, or...You have a whole year to plan something, especially if you choose to go away for your birthday. Both Cheryl and Jules have awesome ideas :-)
So much of what you say is me. We too, live parallel lives. It is so easy to say and know intellectually what needs doing. It is a completely different thing to do. It sounds so simple yet isn't.