Except, then again, I'm dedicating a whole blog post to the subject, so I guess I'm old and a liar today.
You see the last three birthdays have been steeped in suckitude. In fact, they've been so crappy that they may have aged me more than a day, which defeats celebration of life that is suppose to be a birthday. And so given that trend I just want to sit back and ride this one out. Anyway, after the age of 21, if your birthday doesn't end in a "0" or a "5" it's not considered momentous. Look it up.
Two years ago, we had just arrived in Kenya by my birthday. I didn't know anyone, my husband worked the whole day so I was home alone with a two year old, failing to cope with jetlag, nothing to do and noway to get anywhere. My husband got me flowers, but I'm pretty sure I cooked dinner. I may have cried.
Last year, we were more fully part of the community and I had friends. And (or But?) my parents were in town for their big visit to East Africa. So, there was a lot of excitement about our travel and safari plans, and my birthday got swept under the rug of planning and anticipation. Still, I baked myself a cake, found some candles and made my family sing to me. Then I cried.
This year, I'm relatively new in Kisumu town, but have made some good friends. Still, I'm not the type to throw myself a party or organize an outing. Good news: If anyone has the motivation to plan something special it is a man who has watched his wife cry on her last several birthdays. So, I was really planning on cashing in on that chip this year. But unfortunately, yet again, my husband also has to work. On another continent. So, unless we can get that space-time travel thing worked out, I'm out of luck.
So, my plan this year is to ignore. ignore. ignore. It's just another day. It doesn't have to mean anything. It doesn't have to become a symbol of the joy that you are capable of and the love that you are surrounded by, and then fail to live up to some ideal. No one has to know.
Except for the fact that I'm a triplet. So, I have two of the people I love the most in this world to wish a Happy Birthday to and to receive one back, on the day I'm trying to ignore it. And I also get to hear how they spent their day (surrounded by loved ones who've made efforts to make it special) which will outshine mine in spades. So, I guess I'll throw myself a pity party. With cake.
Here's the thing: I love living abroad. I love the adventure. I love learning about another culture, being challenged and in a constant state of discovery. But every year on my birthday, it hits home. That I'm not home.
The people who know me best and will most sincerely celebrate my life with me are oceans away. And it's lonely.
Update: I wrote the above last night (Birthday Eve), and I guess it's true what they say about writing being cathartic, because I woke up today with a much different perspective. I canceled my pity party. I have a lot to feel grateful for.
I have two of the cutest, funniest most huggable children any two people have ever created. So, I started my birthday relishing in a snuggle and tickle party with the two loves of my life until I couldn't take it anymore.
I live in a part of the world in which most days are mid-80s and soaked in sun. So, I went, without children, to the one resort in Kisumu, right on the lake, to luxuriate in the equatorial sun, read books with actual pages and have someone else bring me food and clean up my mess. It was the first time I've been able to do something like that without being interrupted by progeny in 4 years. It was heaven.
|Bonus, no one was there when I got there so it was like my own private spa retreat!|
|Susan is as beautiful inside as she is outside. (Those of your read my last post may notice I "stepped it up" with the dangly earnings for my big foray out of the house...)|