Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You Say It's Your Birthday, da dum dum dum dee doooo....It's my birthday too!

So, it's my 46th birthday. Happy birthday to meeeeee......Happy birthday to meeee.......Happy birthday dear meeeeeeeee......Happy birthday to meeeeee...... I have to admit that I am a little tipsy as I write this. Thank you to my lovely blonde amazon friend, who took me out for a post-work glass of wine (or two -- I'll never tell) and a big birthday dose of healthy belly laughing (burns calories and lowers your body's production of cortisol). I decided that our waiter looked like he should be from Scotland, shared this piece of information with him, and he then did his darndest to speak in a Scottish brogue the whole time he served us. He even did a little semi-strip tease with his apron, as we chuckled about what he might wear under a kilt.... Lucky me, after this bout of friendship and laughter, I then came home to a family who covered me in hugs and kisses, a husband who handed me thai food and a glass of champagne, a tail-wagging doggy, and a shed that is NOT going to be worked on tonight, in spite of best intentions several hours ago at work, when I loudly proclaimed, "Even though it's my birthday, I'm going to work on building the shed tonight. Have to take advantage of the sunny weather, you know!" Whatever! Seemed reasonable at the time...

I sit, now, at my kitchen table, glass of champagne to my right (not too close to my laptop, brother mine, don't worry! I am aware of your rule: "NO FOOD OR DRINK NEAR THE NEW LAPTOP!"), looking out onto my back deck at the pieces of the shed we are constructing scattered throughout the backyard as if to say, accusingly, "Why haven't you painted me yet? Why haven't you put me together yet?", while the boys get ready for bed and hubby cleans up the dinner mess. (!) Just got off the phone with the most amazing Dad in the world, who never shies away from calling me out on my crap, but continues to love me unconditionally, in spite of my myriad flaws. Missing my Mom like crazy and wishing I could hold her hand and hear her laugh, but feeling incredibly lucky to be living the life I live. Did I mention that HUBBY is cleaning up the dinner mess??? Birthdays are great!

Seriously, birthdays ARE great! I have friends who hate birthdays, bemoan the passing years, lie about their ages, and just want to hide until the day is over. Not me, man! I say, "Bring it!" Most days, I embrace the philosophy that every single year we have is a gift. I'm not "46 years old." Instead, "I have the gift of 46 years!" Now, maybe I won't feel this way at 50, I dunno. And, there are times where I look in the mirror and feel a bit sad about the ravages of gravity.....But, I hope that I continue to view aging with an overarching attitude of gratitude. Maybe it's losing my Mom to cancer that has me feeling so appreciative of every year, maybe it's having little kids at my "Advanced Maternal Age" keeping me young, who knows?  (By the way, A.M.A is a real thing. When I was pregnant at the age of 37, my OBGYN said, "Do you know what A.M.A. stands for?" "American Medical Association?" I asked innocently. "No, Advanced Maternal Age." Seriously? How is that good for an expectant Mom to hear, I ask you? You're an old fart who shouldn't be having kids at your age???
That's helpful, doc. Anyway, I digress...and blame it on the champagne.)

Here's the thing, though. I embrace each year, because I have a wonderful life. I am the luckiest person I know! In spite of my frequent whining and complaining, I have a husband who happens to be my best friend, a genuinely nice person, and easy on the eyes, two fascinating little boys who keep me guessing and inspire me to be a better person, a career that fills me and feeds me and makes me feel like I'm giving back to the world, a small group of wonderful friends who keep me laughing through the tears, family members who'll be there for me in a pinch, a big brother who looks out for me and respects me and sees the best in me, and parents who taught me to be resilient and optimistic and fearless! Yes, I have strange health conditions that give life some extra challenges, but they also make me stronger. Yes, I lost my wonderful mother to that bitch, "Cancer", but how lucky I was to have been raised by someone so special. And, while my job sometimes makes me want to chuck it all and move to an island, especially this year, it helps me to make a difference in the world, and at least I'm not cleaning toilets for a living. My house is so small that the walls start to close in from time to time, but it's full of love and singing and giggles. And, yes, I would like to have buckets of money, but we have enough to keep a roof over our heads, pay the bills, go on dates from time-to-time, and even go on the occasional family vacation. That's more than most people have.

So, lucky, lucky, lucky 46-year-old me. Happy birthday to me, and may the rest of you have a year as full of love and laughter as I'm going to have...

Cheers!  Beth

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