Monday, April 18, 2011

Learning to Celebrate

I love birthdays. I love finding the perfect gift for someone and writing them a mushy birthday card. I love birthday parties, birthday cakes, birthday lunch dates, birthday tea parties, and oh yes, birthday drinks. But here's the thing, I've never made a big deal about my own birthday. It has nothing to do with age or getting older - that stuff doesn't bother me much. Maybe I just don't like the fuss. Maybe I don't want to have expectations. Maybe I just don't know how to celebrate myself. Whatever the reason, and I'm sure some of my psychologist friends have an explanation for this, I'm just kind of a lame birthday girl.

When I was in the hospital and things weren't looking good I thought about my birthday indifference all these years and it made me sad. If there's ever a reason to celebrate it's another year well-lived. The bottom line: I can't wait until September. That's right, you heard me. My birthday is in September. Mark it on your calendars! :)

The problem is, September is 5 months away and I sort of wanted to celebrate already. So here's what I did. I wrote a list of 35 things I want to do, see or try while I'm still 35. Believe it or not it wasn't that easy. I found myself writing down tasks in typical to-do list fashion. But I didn't want this to be a to-do list. Yes, I want to organize the garage, paint my daughter's room and tear out the 1970s wallpaper in my bathroom, but this list is about LIVING, not just doing. So I crumbled up the list and started again, and again, and well, I'm at number 31 right now. I also had to be realistic about what I'll be able to do in the next 5 months. While I'm hopeful that we'll have a diagnosis soon and start some meaningful treatment, I don't think I'll be running my first marathon just yet. But I can sleep under the stars, learn how to make pad thai, go vegan for a week, make my own blueberry jam and dance at an outdoor concert. Doesn't that sound like fun! Who said we can only celebrate one day a year?

Happy 35!!


  1. " A very HAPPY Unbirthday, to you, to me!"

  2. love it! the idea is so refreshing - beyond the daily tasks - love it -

  3. Hey, all 3 of us are September babies! A very happy unbirthday to us! :)