Today, in the wee hours of the morning, I crossed the threshold to a new decade. The moment passed quietly, I may have stirred slightly at that witching hour, but other than that, no fanfare, no parade, just the passing of time…and I was quite alright with that. Yes, people, I have completed my 50th year on this planet, and today, I’ve quietly tread my first few steps into my 51st year. No epiphany, no rite of passage, just the ticking of the clock.
I’ve been asked if I had any big, crazy plans. People seem almost disappointed when I say that I did not. Even The Hubs asked me multiple times what I wanted to do and what I wanted for my birthday and couldn’t handle it when I told him I didn’t want a big fuss. In fact, what I tole him I wanted more than anything was for him and the kids to plan the meal, the dessert, the party that my oldest son and I share for just ONE year. This request was repeatedly met with the frightened and confused look of a man who had been asked to give up sex! (yeah, I said it!)
“No. What do you want me to GET you? What do you want?”, he would repeat slower, with pantomime, as if I didn’t get it the first time. Clearly someone wasn’t getting it.
Truth be told, having someone else in charge of the “plans” would have been the greatest gift of them all. For the last 29 years I have been blessed to share this special day with my oldest son and I’d never have it any other way, but that also means that for 29 years, I’ve planned the party, the activity, the menu and made sure that his likes and mine were represented. Just one year, I’d be oh, so happy to have someone else make a plan and do whatever was necessary to make it happen. Sweet surrender, it’s that simple. A little too simple perhaps.
Even though several times this weekend I’ve found myself wondering if I maybe should have made some plan to celebrate this half-century achievement, the whole idea of not going, not doing, not running around for ONE DAY is really all I wanted. Yesterday we celebrated with just our kids, grandkids and my parents. Just a simple dinner at home. We played games, I practiced my mixology (I make a pretty mean Margarita rocks FYI), we had Oreo Cake and Strawberry cake and we looked through old pictures. The best gifts were laughter and hugs!
Today, The Hubs took the day off. Originally we were going to go out and try to do 50 random acts of kindness in celebration of my birthday, but as this day approached, I found that I just wanted to do…nothing. I struggled for a while with a huge case of the I really should’s. I mean, I SHOULD go out and do good things for complete strangers, right? Just think of all of the people we could have made smile. I SHOULD take cookies to the nursery at the hospital where I was born, and surprise shoppers by handing out gift cards in the grocery store, or maybe buy someone’s dinner, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I just didn’t want to. Bad human! Right? Wrong! If my heart wasn’t in it, it would not have been genuine. It would have no meaning.
Still, isn’t there something about turning 50 that begs to be celebrated by some sort of grand gesture. Some commemoration? Shouldn’t I be doing something big to mark this passage of time? I surely can’t just pass this time quietly can I?
Turns out I can and I did! I talked The Hubs into staying home. He did some dishes and laundry and ran some errands for me. He also encountered a number of people who tried to convince him that he should whisk me off to some sort of big, romantic surprise. But he stuck to MY guns and just spent time with me, while I put my feet up and snuggled down in this great new sweat shirt that my Oldest Son gave me.
I used my birthday money to order a Le Creuset 12-qt. stock pot I’d been wanting for 2 years and downloaded the Cabaret soundtrack and a few other singles with one of the Amazon gift cards I received. I have a lovely pair of boots coming too and they are in MY SIZE (4.5) so I won’t have to wear a double pair of socks to make them fit! I played for a bit in the dirt too and started some Pansies and Zinnia’s that will bring me some spring-time joy.
I snuggled the dog, I listened to my music and discovered the fun that is shuffle mode and how it reveals my diverse tastes in music! The Hubs made dinner and we planned out the next steps for the kitchen remodel. He will be taking another 4-day weekend to get working on the kitchen too! We talked about yesterday and we thought about tomorrow. In short, I took care of ME and I don’t feel guilty about it…any more.
Because I took the time, I was able to genuinely receive the many beautiful birthday messages that were emailed to me and posted to my facebook page. I was able to take them in and think about the relationships I have with the people who sent them. Many of these messages touched my heart so deeply they brought tears to my eyes. I am grateful for their kind words.
Now I am rested and feel prepared to tackle the week ahead. By slowing down and truly taking a day off, I’ve had the opportunity to truly appreciate those I love and those who love me back! There’s something to be said for applying the brakes and taking in the seemingly mundane stuff of life. I’m so very glad I didn’t give into that occasional feeling that I should do something big or regret it later.
So, the 50th anniversary of my birth passed quietly, without a lot of fanfare. I am OK with it. Taking time to slow life down is not something everyone gets the chance to do. I am truly thankful to have received this gift today.