Archives for posts with tag: happy birthday to me

I’m nearly at the end of an entire year here in this “home” place. My birthday passed gently, uneventfully, and infused with a certain chill bliss that I don’t think I can put into words – but it was everything I wanted for my birthday, and more (in a sense, by being less! lol). There are tomatoes growing in garden pots. Roses planted in the front landscaping, and nasturtiums sprouting in the flower bed under the kitchen window. The quieter environment that resulted from the acoustic treatments has eased so much tension day-to-day. The lighting changes my Traveling Partner made tend to ease my frequent headaches, and lighten my mood. Waking is easier without an alarm clock, and I’m pleased that I can rely on the changing light – a programmed sunrise – to wake me gently. I’m not cross with the world first thing in the mornings. It’s pleasant.

Time passes. Sometimes I notice. Mostly I don’t. It gets away from me. I don’t take that so personally lately. 🙂

Is there still a pandemic going on? Well…sure, there is; the world isn’t even 50% vaccinated yet. I’m okay with continuing to be cautious, personally, although I’m vaccinated myself. I admit; I really like not having a fucking head cold every other month. lol Still… things seem to be improving in our area, and more folks are out and about in the world, doing things, seeing people, shopping. I found myself “stuck in traffic” for the first time in this new community just yesterday.

…Is it still a “new community” if I’m nearly a year into living here? lol It still feels new; it’s been a year of staying home. Pandemics are weird.

I still have “ups and downs”. My Traveling Partner, too; he’s walking his own hard mile, as a human being. (Aren’t we all?) The pandemic was hard on us as lovers, we’re not alone in that experience – and frankly, I’m sure there were a lot of folks who had it much much worse. We’re fortunate that we really enjoy each other as human beings, and we’re friends. It gets us through some challenges, for sure. 🙂 I’m pretty fond of that human being living with me.

Here I am… 58. Doesn’t feel much different than, say, 47, or 35, or … yeah, even 27 doesn’t seem that different through the lens of remembered experiences. I feel like the same “self” – which is hilarious, considering how much I’ve changed. Would 27 year old me even like this woman I am now? Would she “get it”? Would she embrace the values I’ve embraced? Would she understand the changes I’ve chosen? The direction I’ve gone in life? Could we talk together as intimate friends about our journey, our choices, our changes? Would there be unresolved anger or “old business” that we’d need to work out? Would we even want to connect as individuals – or is there too much distance and time between us? Would she think me “old” or “out of touch”? Would I see her as young, ignorant, and foolish about taking risks? Are we really “the same person” at all? Probably not, in a great many very important ways, and still also entirely this one human being, living this one peculiarly complicated life, as the years roll by.

So, it’s time to turn the page on another year of living. I’m okay with that. It’s been a strangely eventful year, counting the days from one birthday to the next. Bought a house. Moved. Changed jobs. Discovered new places. Discovered new music. Discovered new depths to this love I share with my Traveling Partner. Healed some old wounds. Re-opened others. Walked new trails. Traveled roads I’d never traveled before. Found “my way” more often than I found myself lost.

I can say, comfortably and without hesitation these days, I like this woman I have become over time. That’s a pretty big deal… it has required quite a few beginnings to get to this place, and I’ve stumbled on my own baggage more times than I can count. It’s gotten to be pretty comfortable to pick myself back up, and simply begin again. It’s not personal; it’s my journey. 🙂 It could sure be worse.

My coffee is almost gone, and although my partner is no farther away that the other side of a closed door, I find myself missing him… it must be time to begin again. 🙂

In video games new levels sometimes look really different. Handy. It’s less obvious with birthdays. Sure, sure, I’m “a whole year older”, but that work is behind me now, and 55 is basically all but one day entirely ahead of me. Everything looks entirely the same. 🙂

Perspective on the day. A familiar view.

I had things planned that took me downtown in the morning. Those plans toppled like carefully arranged dominoes, but not soon enough to spare me the trip. lol My day was entirely spent indulging myself gently from there, gardening, reading, and generally delighted with the lovely day from moment-to-moment. I missed my Traveling Partner, and far more the person, himself, than the gift he’d sent (that he had alerted me would likely not arrive in time). (I do like presents, but missing him is not about material things.)

It was a lovely day in the garden.

My mail carrier surprised me by being early. Packages. 😀 A gift from a friend, and a wee package from my Traveling Partner; his gift arrived on the very day. I eagerly opened them both. Earrings and a book. The earrings are lovely heart-shaped peridot earrings that sparkle in the sunshine, and go very nicely with my mop of messy layers and waves of colorful hair. The book is how I ended up spending much of the delightful day reading, trying in part to puzzle out why this book? A birthday mystery. lol

I did not end up reading this book, but this is the book I was gifted. 😀

I spent the day gently, enjoying my own company. Time well-spent. Facebook filled with birthday well-wishes over the course of the day. Each “happy birthday” made me smile, and take note of the good wishes of my friends in a bigger way. My Mom phoned. We talked for about half an hour, really taking time to catch up. It was a great start to a new year, a new level. By the end of the day, plans that had gone awry were no longer part of the experience, at all. 🙂 I spent the day very present, in my own experience, with myself. It was quite lovely. I find myself wondering how best to incorporate that into every day, into every experience with myself…? I’m betting there are verbs involved. lol No doubt it will require practice. 🙂 I’ll probably need to begin again… a bunch of times. I could probably get started on that now…

…”Now” is an excellent time for beginnings. 🙂

Numbers are funny things. I’m no math whiz, but I spend a lot of time with numbers. Numbers fascinate me. I’ve been thinking about 53 for days. Today is my 53rd birthday. It’s not a spectacular benchmark, as birthdays go, but I didn’t really expect to see this one as a younger woman. So. There’s that. 🙂

A new day. A new year. New choices. New opportunities.

A new day. A new year. New choices. New opportunities.

Fun facts about 53? It’s a prime number. I’m not sure I’m actually ‘in my prime’ though, some days. There are more facts about 53 readily at hand on Wikipedia, and elsewhere. In the meantime, aging is a thing. Real, and if one is fortunate, inevitable.

I have no elaborate birthday plans, no lengthy wish list for birthday gifts, no unmet need so specific that only cash exchanged for goods, wrapped in paper, and provided to me precisely between dinner and dessert will address it. I struggled to come up with something to want, beyond my traveling partner’s good company, and the well-wishes of friends.

53. 53? 53. Definitely 53. Tired more often than I’d like to be. In more pain some days than I can easily manage. I weigh a few pounds more than I’d like. Certain the career I had doesn’t suit me. Uncertain where my journey will take me next. Standing between what was and what will be, awake, aware, and content to continue the journey, mostly without a map. Wiser than at 23…but I thought so at 33 and 43 too, and I look back on those moments with a smile; I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, and wisdom was more of an idea, a hope, and a goal. I suspect that is still the case, at 53, and that I will be smiling at my idealistic foolishness, mistakes, and wrong-headedness, at 63, 73, 83… if I am around to test the theory, I’ll be grateful. I’m grateful to be here, now. Grateful that most of what isn’t ideal can be chosen differently.

What do I want for my birthday? Something intangible. Something I already have. Love. Contentment. The pleasure of my traveling partner’s companionship (although he is not in this room, now, we’ll spend much of the day together, later). I want to feel good. Enjoy the day. Sure, I want to be adored, it’s my birthday…enjoying the day is enough. Sometimes the unexpected, the unplanned, the unsought moment is what makes a day memorable; why chain myself down with plans and expectations today? It’s my birthday.  🙂

I am sipping my coffee and enjoying thoughts of love, Love, and lovers. I am smiling and thinking about my exceptionally pleasant day, yesterday. My traveling partner came around after work to take me to dinner. We walked to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal. We talked, laughed, hung out… it was an excellent day, generally, full of well-wishes from faraway friends, sunshine, and a sense of good-natured camaraderie in the office, and joy at home. It was, in all respects, quite an excellent birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

No huge party? Nope. No lavish frivolities wrapped in colorful paper? Nope. No exotic destination vacation or ludicrous expenditures of some sort? Nope, none of that either. I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday; a great day, filled with love and affection, and connected intimate time with my traveling partner. Love is wonderful stuff. I made sure to give generously in my own direction, too. Staying on top of small details of self-care, investing throughout the day in the evening that had not yet arrived (nothing messes with romance like being cranky over some bullshit that could have been skillfully managed earlier in the day). Indeed, generally speaking I treated myself quite well and with great affection all day – a practice I am working to maintain as a habit. 🙂

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

The air-conditioner sitting in my living space this morning will be installed later today. Quite an excellent birthday present – and an investment in longer term quality of life and well-being. My traveling partner really looks out for me, and managed to stay in the spirit of my birthday wish for “something for my home” – and taking that in a direction I hadn’t even contemplated. It is an extraordinary gesture of love and understanding of my needs; this little apartment is very near perfect for me in most respects, but it does get quite uncomfortably hot on a warm day when the sun is beating down on the roof in the afternoon, and the open windows let in spiders as well as breezes…and quite possible more of the spiders than the cooling breezes, honestly.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

Practical love. Romantic love. Passionate love. Platonic love. Familial love. I check off all the sorts of love I have known, myself, smiling because every sort of love I know how to feel (having felt them), I feel in the context of my relationship with my traveling partner. Every milestone I hit in life I find myself grateful to share so much of it with him. Lovers of such wit, tenderness, consideration and depth of character are not common in my experience… I find myself wondering where I fit, myself, on the spectrum of love and lovers; what will I do to return such skilled and extraordinary love in full measure? Learning to treat myself similarly well seems a good starting point – how better to understand treating someone else well, than to treat myself very well, without compromising kindness to others, consideration, respect, compassion or reciprocity? My traveling partner makes it look easy – I know better than to assume it is. There are verbs involved. Will. Choices. Commitment. Patience. Practice. Love, like life, is a journey – and it turns out that Love is one journey I can share – once I started down the path on my own.  Learning that I can’t love another any more skillfully than I love myself was a very big deal. There’s still so much to learn about Love.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Love? Yeah, that’s one amazing birthday present right there. I’ll have more please… 🙂

Well, or something like that; it’s my birthday. I make rather a big deal of some of them, less so of others, this one has been a strange wobbly roller coaster ride of achievement, change and the passage of time.  51 isn’t generally one of the ‘milestone birthdays’.  51 isn’t even cool enough to be a prime number birthday. It’s just… a year older than 50. 🙂

To be fair, 50 kicked ass in so many ways, how could 51 really challenge it on the very first day? So, we’ll keep things simple; dinner after I get home from work, a restaurant I like and consider a bit of a treat, and near enough to home that it won’t be a ludicrously late night. Sleep matters to my well-being and good cognition; 50 taught me a lot. I reached greedily for change, and learned a lot about choice, will, and love. I spent much of the year deeply invested in study and growth, and standing on the doorstep of 51, I feel a sense of purpose, and find that I have goals of my own that matter enough to build my life around them, to make my choices consistent with those desires on a daily basis, and to be willing to lean on those goals a little bit now and then and say ‘hey, I missed the mark here, I’d like to do this one differently…’. The occasional ‘course correction’ or adjustment in everyday trajectory feels less disruptive than it once did, generally. I am, overall, less stressed out, generally less confused, mostly more chill, and rarely deeply unhappy – only briefly, now and then.  It’s been a good year for change.

So…here I am. 51. As with most birthdays, it really doesn’t feel any different than 50 did, yesterday.  I’m okay with that.  Every day is a new experience, and it isn’t about age. Age and aging just don’t seem to be the Very Big Deal people so often make them out to be.  Yesterday I enjoyed a video that proves that point.  I’ve started hiking again, myself. I still work in my garden. I manage about 5 miles a day on foot during the week and yoga every day.  I feel pretty good, in spite of pain.  I feel strong and capable. Hell, I feel more beautiful at 51 than I felt at 20, and the photographs support that, mostly because the pained and tense, vaguely angry look on my face at 20 was off-putting, to say the least. At 51, I am smiling, joyful, and generally delighted with life and love. 51 is a very nice place to be in life.

Here’s to life and love and 51! Today is a good day to celebrate life. Today is a good day to enjoy love and work and growth and the small delights that keep things fun. Today is a good day to enjoy the world.

Where will my path take me?

Where will my path take me?