Photo: front cover of birthday card from my beloved friend Michelle Arlotta.
Thanks to everyone for the happy birthday wishes— although I’ve been going through what seems like a never-ending rough patch for the last few years, this past year has been filled with many (and often sudden) changes, challenges, and major life events for me and my family, not to mention my many friends and loved ones who I hold just as close to me. Still, compared to this time last year (and at least the year before that too) and despite my current less than ideal circumstances, I must admit that I am living day to day much happier and healthier— mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Right now, I’m still somewhat heads down working through the most recent monkey wrench thrown in the works, navigating through the practical ins and outs of everyday life while also keeping my eye on the short, medium, long-term and every step in between vision for and direction of my life.
Well, I don’t have the answer to all or maybe even any of that yet (okay, well, I do have SOME ideas…), but what I do know is that if I have nothing else, I have the support of my family and friends, amazing people who would do— and have done— practically anything in their power to help me in whatever way. As someone who is so fiercely independent and usually tries to solve any and all problems on my own, simply knowing that I have options and that there are those who will step up when I need it is an extraordinary comfort. In fact, in many ways, it is a luxury , of which I am of course extremely grateful.
I suppose birthdays are supposed to be about the person actually celebrating his/her birthday, but on top of the fact that I stopped making any kind of deal about my birthday a long time ago, I’m also the kind of person who will only accept the free birthday dessert at restaurants if and only if they agree NOT to sing and/or make some kind of attention- grabbing celebratory scene . So, in this case and most likely every year going forward, I turn the focus back to those around me and celebrate their generosity of spirit. They may be celebrating my birth-day and entry into this world, but I celebrate them for making that life that much better. So again…
- Luxury: There are many people facing many more challenges than I am and many of them don’t have any supportive family members and/or the type of friends who will support you without question and without judgment. So, having any of that? Luxury. ‘Nuff said.
- Restaurant Birthday Songs: Let’s be honest— the happy birthday song and dance is one of the most obnoxious things restaurants do. Aside from the fact that some less than ideal substitute is sung (since Warner Bros. still owns the copyright, a royalty fee is required for public performances), I’m pretty sure most of the wait staff could live without having to all get together and sing to some strangers (unless that’s your thing), sometimes multiple times during a given shift. Most of the other restaurant patrons don’t really care, so they look over for a second and then it just becomes disruptive. And of course, the birthday guy/gal becomes the center of attention— briefly, but long enough to ensure at least a bit of embarrassment and/or more likely a ton of awkwardness.
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