Birthdays in my childhood were always such a happy time. Even having a shared birthday party with my brother was still fun since we not only had birthdays close together but are the same age. I have one photo of us with all the neighborhood kids when we were about 7 that reminds me of those happy birthdays. Today is E's birthday and instead of having a birthday dinner or a birthday party, we've taken a job catering tonight. How birthdays have changed.
She and I have actually talked more about birthdays than I usually do with people. I feel so blessed to have someone in my life with whom I can share those things that I'm not always proud of, one of which is my feeling about birthdays: I find birthdays in general to be a disappointment. Every year as my birthday approaches, I am filled with a sense of impending doom. What if people forget? What if I don't get a gift? What if I don't matter? Every year, people remember; every year, I get a gift. I matter.
But birthdays still bring out the worst of my insecurities. Last year I had a small party which we camouflaged as a house warming instead of admitting it was my birthday party. This was sandwiched between friends' birthday parties for which spaces were rented, 100+ attended and/or they were billed as "the biggest birthday bash EVER!" I decided after the disappointment of my birthday last year (which was actually quite nice), that I would spend my next birthday taking care of myself - a day at the spa (really, I fantasize about these things, but have no idea how that would even look!), eating delicious food, browsing the bookstore (in which I still don't know my favorite section) and meditating on life. Turns out I'll be on a cruise with my friends up in Canada. Maybe I'll blow some candles out tonight myself and borrow some of E's birthday luck to wish for respite from the birthday blues this year.