I had a birthday this week. Yep. Turned another year older.
I got this idea in my head last week that I didn’t want my birthday to be a big deal. I just wanted the day to pass by under the radar without a big fuss. I’m not entirely sure now why I was feeling that way, but it seemed important at the time. I’m not comfortable being the center of attention. So I went to my FaceBook account and changed the privacy settings so that my birthday was no longer advertised there.
Monday morning arrived and as I was getting out of bed to greet the day, Mark was coming home from the night shift and heading to bed. Before he hit the sack, he wished me a quick happy birthday.
“Mmm,” I said.
“Mmm,” he asked? “What does that mean?”
“Eh,” I said.
When I arrived at work, I knew that there would be no hiding the fact that it was my birthday. Thanks to some of my favorite coworkers, festive decorations adorned every wall of my cubicle and hung from the ceiling above. I couldn’t help but smile. My cubicle is located in a high traffic area and all day long it seemed that every person who walked by made it a point to stop and wish me a happy day.
And not only had my coworkers remembered my birthday, my FaceBook friends had too, in spite of the fact that I’d tried to hide it from them. My email began to fill up with FaceBook notifications telling me that birthday greetings, a lot of them, were waiting for me when I chose to log in again.
My spirits were so uplifted! So many people took the time to stop and offer me birthday wishes. It felt great! I couldn’t remember why I wanted to let the day pass just like any other ordinary day. What was I thinking? In some ways, my day was just like any other. But sprinkled throughout my ordinary day were constant reminders of the fact that I am surrounded by wonderful people.
My coworker and friend, Lori gave me a gift. She said she didn’t mean to set a gift-giving precedent, “but sometimes you run across something that is just so perfect, you can’t pass it up.”
It’s a 2013 Blake Shelton Calendar! How great is that? It’s a true friend who appreciates your celebrity crush and buys you the calendar! Have I mentioned my crush on Blake Shelton? It’s become one of the office jokes. Whenever Blake Shelton’s name comes up, someone will be sure to point out that he is “Terri’s boyfriend.” I like him so much that Abby drew him at my request!
So there was Blake. And there was cake. Delicious, chocolate cake with whipped topping. We shared it during our lunch break and it was good!
My kids all sent birthday wishes via text message. My “little” brother sent one to0, saying “Happy Birthday, old lady!”
I sent one back saying, “Thanks! You just wish you looked this good even at your young age!” (Because this is the kind of thing you can get away with saying to your “little” brother whose beard is gray and yet he has the nerve to call me an old lady!)
And when I came home from work, there was a present waiting for me. Mark tried to act like nothing was up, when all the while, he was just waiting for me to discover his present. He put it on my bathroom vanity because he knew I’d go in there eventually, which I did because I do sometimes use the bathroom! The bathroom is a strange place to find a big box wrapped in shiny paper, by the way, but good one, Mark!
So I opened my big shiny present in the bathroom and discovered this:
Racquetball stuff! My very own racquet and safety goggles and pink balls! I actually squealed in delight. I did. I don’t make a habit of squealing much, but the situation called for it. This is a great gift! My hubby done good! I guess I have to get serious about this racquetball thing now and stop running into walls and bruising my forearm when I’m playing.
Later on at bowling, there were pumpkin bars in my honor, more birthday wishes, and I was even serenaded with the Birthday Song by the Who’s Up team.
By the time my day came to an end, I thought about what a wonderful, happy day it had been and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by good friends and loving family. And to think I was all too willing to say no thanks to such a day! A friend of mine left me a FaceBook message telling me, “Celebrate your life, Terri. It’s a beautiful thing.”
I think next year, assuming I’m lucky enough to welcome another birthday, I will take her advice. Willingly, this time.