Happy 55th Birthday!

Mighty nice day on my birthday, even though I spent it largely alone and it rained off and on for most of the day.  I turned 55 (as did my twin brother), or as one of my friends pointed out, the average highway speed limit.  I received Facebook posts, calls from my family and friends and even a birthday song call from my husband (a first!) not to mention the most adorable birthday song video from my four-year-old nephew Alexandre (also a first!).  So cute it was that I showed the video clip to my friend Beth over lunch and she ooo’d and awwe’d over his spiky hair and his all-over cuteness.  Naturally, I beamed with pride.  Sis sent me a “Life is Good” coffee mug and really...life is good.  She also sent my hubby some chocolate candy (oh dear, I must confess…I just couldn’t resist so I owe hubby a Three Musketeer’s Bar) and poodle “puppy” Brando will be positively stylin’ this football season in his very own football jersey dog shirt.  Don’t I have THE best sister in the world!?

Hubby is feeling a bit bad that he did not get me a birthday card (another first in our nearly 15 years together).  I pointed out that I do have a lovely new iMAC to play with so not to fret.  Well, almost, truth be told.  He is away on business travel again, all week. So I had him promise a scrumptious chocolate cupcake for his “Queen” upon his return.  After all, what’s a birthday week without cake?

My new Alabama friend Beth took me to lunch at a nice mexican restaurant in the one upscale shopping area in town.  I was a good girl and ordered a salmon dish and tried not to go face-down in their delicious table-side prepared guacamole dip (mostly, I succeeded….mostly).  Beth even had a card from Buddy, her son’s Bassett Hound “attack” dog (I’ve nicknamed him “Cujo”); The card had me cracking up; Buddy was asking for forgiveness and hoping that a $35 gift card for Dick’s Sporting Goods would be just the ticket to replace the shirt he nearly ripped from my body during the attack.  Well, it’s a fine start, I say!

After lunch and a hug from Beth as she returned to work,  I treated myself to several hours of perusing through Barnes and Noble.  Fresh from unpacking box after box of books from our move to “middle earth” I broke my vow to not buy any books. Yikes…I can’t believe I bought books….It’s like an addiction!  I reasoned that one of the books was to be a Christmas gift.  So there I sat on my birthday afternoon….at a small table in the corner of the coffee shop section with a stack of interesting books to flip thru, a grande non-fat latte and a large almond biscotti….really, I was in heaven.

I did miss not having a call from my children, one I expected….the other not.  My daughter did call late the next day; she’s on the mend from a sinus infection.  My son, it pains me greatly to say remains estranged from me, the last communication from him over a year ago, and that wasn’t so pretty either.  A heavy-hearted sigh escapes me even as I write this….I continue to remain hopeful that he will someday open his eyes and his heart and realize how much he is loved and that his family is waiting for him with open arms…..(but still, with house rules!)

As I get older with way less years in front of me than behind me (where did the time go?) I’m finding that I am growing more and more sentimental.  I get teary-eyed in an instant and over the most ridiculous things, it seems.  I cannot pass a soccer field with kids in their soccer attire running up and down the field after the ball without tears welling up in my eyes.  The image of my little girl scoring a goal or giving a high-five to her team mates is as vivid today as it was some 12 or more years ago.  It just that the little things in life aren’t so little anymore; a phone call….a simple card….a birthday song…a hug….they are all BIG things….significant and hugely important as time marches on.  Most likely our youth of today will roll their eyes at this sentiment…I’m nearly certain my children would.  I’m sure they are thinking ‘what’s the big deal’ if I don’t send a card or pick up the phone, or call just to say “I love you mom.”’

I suppose their defense is that they are young and certainly are not thinking of mortality… and yes, there is absolutely something to be said for that.  Though in “my moment” I may think it is borderline disrespectful or perhaps selfish I know it would be better for me to view such slights as just their version of living in the moment.  I am trying to be better, more understanding… really.  I know it is just negative energy and feeling sorry for myself doesn’t do anyone any good, most of all me.  But I am only human and I do have my “bad” days.  Still….maybe it is paying off to a small extent; my daughter does call more often…touching base with me at least several times a month.  When I hear her voice, even for a short call, my heart is filled with relief….I know that my baby is OK and in that moment for me everything is right with the world.

Yes, time is moving faster than I’d like it to… so I’m thinking I must try harder to do one new thing each week and along the way keep at the more familiar things that I love and enjoy…

And Oh, Cristina, how about not beating yourself up if you don’t meet that “new thing” goal!

While we’re at it…I’ll keep up with my yoga practice that is sort of in a yo-yo state at the moment….and, I vow to
….try to read more pages each day
…. say “I Love you” more than once a day
….try not to fret about the pounds creeping up or the wrinkles that pop up overnight.
….try not to get my knickers in a twist if I don’t hear from my children….

The best I can do is try….that’s something… and who knows what possibilities will spring from all this trying?

I’m drinking to that.  🙂