Birthday Party…For One?

Yesterday was my 41st birthday. And it was a wonderful day.

What did I do?

Nothing.

Who did I spend it with?

Myself.

And, no. I am not a complete loser. (Or at least I don’t think I am…)

But I am completely fine when left to my own devices. I am comfortable in my own company.

Holidays, birthdays and other special occasions can foster anxiety, tension and/or unrealistic expectations. Many times, the celebration cannot possibly live up and what started with good intentions ends up a mess of hurt feelings, disappointments and arguments.

As my birthday approached, I wasn’t dreading it—nor was I overly excited. It was just another day.

My father and his wife ended up out-of-town on my birthday weekend. They attended a child’s birthday party—I told my Dad I’d had plenty of birthday’s and to please go celebrate the child’s birthday. That we would get together soon.

Aunt Kate lives in Virginia and often comes up to Ohio for my birthday. This year, she will be coming to town the week after my birthday. It just worked out that way.

My kids? It was their father’s weekend…

I had a weekend to myself, so I embraced it!

I slept in. I lounged on the couch, until I felt the urge to move. I ate birthday cake for breakfast–from what was left of the cake that I ran to the store and bought the night before. Because it was my cake, I had a slice when I got it home. And a little more after midnight with a glass of milk–to mark my ‘official’ birthday. Why not? My cake. My birthday.

As the phone rang, I caught up with friends and family who called to offer birthday wishes. Some of the calls were completely unexpected. Some were more typical. In my family, we have this habit of calling to sing Happy Birthday to each other. And I am going to tell you—we CANNOT sing. And yet, we try.

I put the message from my Dad and his wife on speaker phone, so that my dogs could enjoy the song with me. And the dogs LOVED it!! Not sure what that says about Dad and Jannie’s rendition of Happy Birthday…

My daughter and son stopped by for a visit. We grabbed lunch and chatted about their weekend and such. Had a few laughs. Then visited our favorite vintage store just around the corner, before the kids headed back to their Dad’s house. It was more of a ‘mini-visit’ and it was just fine.

I was footloose and fancy free again. I decided to do a little shopping…for me!! Something I don’t often get to do. The best part? There was no plan. No timetable. No place to be. I wasn’t looking for anything specific. And I got to stop wherever I wanted to stop and stay as long as I wanted to stay.

Next? Home for a late afternoon nap. In a silent and CLEAN house. 

For dinner? Popcorn. Because that is what I felt like eating. Or at least, what I felt like cooking…

I could have gone out that evening…and yet, I was very happy lounging on my couch in my comfy fleece pants, fuzzy socks and soft cotton shirt. My dogs were happy, too.

And so I read magazines. And then I watched a movie, curled up on my huge sectional in a blanket—flanked by my doggies. Grace snoozed at (actually on) my feet. And my Golden Retriever stretched out at my other side.

So I wasn’t ‘technically’ alone—because I had my dog ‘friends’ with me. They are great company, because they don’t expect conversation.

There were plenty of phone calls, texts, Facebook greetings, etc. to keep me feeling connected to family and friends.

Though one text read:

“Another year has disappeared, hope you enjoy today.”

Huh? Like, were they trying to inspire me to jump off a bridge?

Those particular birthday wishes could have been delivered via Eeyore. I got a giggle every time I thought about that text–all day long. (Still do…)

My family will gather for my birthday and my daughter’s birthday in a couple of weeks. Today, I got to go to lunch with a lovely friend. There will be an outlet-shopping trip with another group next weekend. And a trip downtown this week, among other things.

But the real birthday…no plans. And it was quite relaxing.

I am often on a tight schedule, rushing from one place to the next–which makes a day with no plan a treat.

Be honest. How many felt sorry for me in the first few lines?

Then ended up being a little jealous of my low-key birthday celebration by the time I finished describing it?

I’m sure that I wouldn’t want to fly solo every year on my birthday. But this year, it was just Perfect.

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About Amy Lauria

Artist. Writer. Single Parent of two college students. Beach Walker. Dog owner who walks outdoors to maintain sanity. Into shiny objects, vacations, glitter, cupcakes, sports, and my beloved sticks, stones and beach glass.
This entry was posted in Daily Life of a Single Parent, Post a Day 2011 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Birthday Party…For One?

  1. Kathy says:

    That birthday sounds wonderful. Next time, wash the birthday cake down with a glass of wine! Kathy

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