Actually, my birthday was yesterday, but I was busy enjoying it! I'd been feeling a little gloomy about it - not the fact that I'm fast approaching a new decade, but rather that for the past few years, I've ended up feeling disappointed at the end of the day. I did a Friday Five on birthdays just a week or so ago, and since then I'd been trying to figure out how let some of my negativity go. I guess I succeeded! My biggest complaint about my birthday celebrations has been that celebrating a birthday just doesn't mean a lot to my husband. He was an only child, with few relatives, and his family didn't do anything too special. He rarely had birthday cake, he didn't get birthday presents, etc. etc. so when he married me, he was in for a bit of a culture shock. As our kids grew up we made big deals of their birthdays, and I always made a big deal of my husband's day. The kids would cajole their father into making my day a big deal. Since they've flown the nest, all of the celebrating energy has to come from me. Don't get me wrong. I always get a great gift from my husband, but there's none of the hoopla or ritual. So this year, I decided to embrace the low-key celebration. I even told my husband not to buy a grocery store cake which is his usual practice -- I don't really like them. I said I'd wait until the next time we went to a favorite restaurant that serves an amazingly delicious lemony layer cake, and I'd have that for dinner!
So yesterday dawned really early. I supposed it didn't really dawn --- I was awakened at 3:30 am by a very loud thunderstorm with vivid lightning, and I fell back to sleep just in time for the alarm to go off at 4:45. I was surprised at school by this gorgeous gift from my sons
My classes were relatively well-behaved for a change, and miracle of miracles, we didn't have the usual Tuesday staff meeting. I decided to give myself a gift: I left work at 2:43, one minute past our "contract" time and went home. I can't remember the last time I pulled out of the parking lot that early. It's usually 4:30 or later. When I got home, I decided to bake myself a cake from scratch. I haven't done that in ages. I also threw a meatloaf in the oven for dinner and we had a very nice meal. (I know, but homemade meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas is a comfort meal for me!). I got 2 very nice gifts from my husband - a set of folk CD's I wanted, and really gorgeous heart necklace. And lots of phone calls from friends and both my sons. What more could I ask for? It was one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time. I