I just recently turned 32. Wow. When I look at the numbers it just seems so…up there. I feel like now I’m fully committed to my 30’s. There’s no going back. 31 didn’t really seem that bad, kinda flirting with the thirties. I have always LOVED my birthday, my own day where I felt special and unique. In the past, I’ve always made a big deal of my birthday, insisting on celebrating for a full week, a “tradition” I blame solely on my mother, who incidentally had a birthday month. I used to go and get my hair cut at a fancy salon (my mom has always cut my hair so this was always a big deal) and spend the day downtown shopping and feeling special. The haircuts stopped a few years ago when I went to one very well known and pricey salon with specific requests (that were realistic) and came out traumatized with a haircut that made me look like Rosie O’Donnell. And I paid for it. But later on, they did too.
One of my dreams was to have my friends throw me a surprise party. A few years ago I subtly suggested to my friends how much I’d love one…little did I know that it was a serious faux pas to request a surprise party. They all promised never to throw me a surprise party…so that backfired on me big time. All I wanted was for them to know that I wasn’t one of those people who were opposed to surprises!!
Nowadays my birthdays have become quieter affairs. Every year we go out for a fancy dinner with some close friends, my dear M will pick the place (he’s got GREAT taste in restaurants). The kind of dinner that you spend 3-4 hours just sitting, chatting and enjoying amazing food and great friends. I love it.
This year was quite different. M had planned a fun dinner with a few close friends, it was mostly a secret and so just that little bit of surprise was exciting for me. The day of my birthday ended up being the worst day ever for almost 100,000 Calgarians. The Big Alberta Flood of 2013 happened on my birthday. Awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. No one here will forget that day anytime soon. We were fortunate to escape any damage as we don’t live near the river. But we were glued to the tv like many others, watching the devastation take place. The weird thing is that I wasn’t even really aware that something really bad was happening on Thursday morning until just before lunch when Facebook virtually exploded with videos and pictures from Canmore and the raging Cougar Creek.
So the birthday dinner was cancelled, the restaurant we were to go to was definitely in one of the zones near the river, and likely underwater. My friends were trapped in their various areas as the city scrambled to help the displaced people and stem the tide of water. Who could celebrate with all that going on anyways.
I’ve found that as I age there’s so much less emphasis on the birthday week, even the birthday day. Its probably the combination of the maturing I’ve done every year as a person, the becoming a parent and having to worry about if my kid is going to nap so we have a good day so I can go out, and that I’m just so tired. I was thinking about it the other day and it occurred to me that I’m right in the thick of adulthood. And maybe that’s the difference. I’m in the middle of that stage that you dream about when you’re 16. Married, kid, house, dog, job, vacations, debt, cars, responsibility. Wondering what you’ll be like when you hit those stages. Who will you marry, what will your kids look like, what kind of parent will you be?
Being here at this stage, I’m sure its not exactly like how I imagined it would be at 16. But its still pretty awesome. I started my birthday morning with these two vying for my cuddles. And that’s not too shabby.