Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It's My Birthday Tomorrow
I got an email recently that I think was attributed to George Carlin and I don't know if it was his stuff or not but the email asked me to forward to everyone I knew so I was thinking maybe he wasn't the originator, but anyways, it was about birthdays. And about how when we're young we are so excited about our birthday coming up and we count it in fractions. The we get older and we aren't so excited about it and then we get really old and we get excited and we count in fractions again.
My daughter's birthday is a week after mine. She has had her birthday planned for weeks. The guest list went out, I've booked the party space and the loot bags were ordered, and it's a happening. And then there's my birthday tomorrow. My mother asked me a week ago what I wanted for my birthday, but by now she's trained. I don't want anything, I'm not doing anything, it's not a big deal. And my friend Hans asked me days ago what kind of cake I wanted because he wanted to make me a cake for my birthday (he's a chef). I was almost mad at him. Did I want mousse cake or a flan or what did I want? "Cake. Cake is good. Okay if you're going to make me choose, how about something with layers and include chocolate? Writing on the top, jeez." He got right into it and apparently it's going to be Black Forest and it's beginning to be marinated in the morning, oh, and it's going to be big and I'm going to need to have people help me to eat it so I'd better call some people.
So while I was at the Children's Hospital today teaching yoga, I was aware that I was in the over-40 frame of mind but I was in the presence of the under-20s and that to them, for me to withhold that it was my birthday tomorrow would basically be rude, so I said, "tomorrow's my birthday." They were all audibly excited and one of the girls asked if was staying later to teach another class so she could make me a card. I tear up again just typing that. They were so happy and excited for me. Tomorrow's my birthday! Wow!
I picked my daughter up at school and she had something close to her chest. She said it was her homework and then presented me with a big card that said "Happy 43rd Birthday Mommy!" I loved the gesture, but it still looked to me like it was for someone else. "Surely that card from this lovely girl was not for me, because I'm hardly someone's mother let alone someone who's turning 43 years old!"
I'm not against growing older or even being 43. I don't dye my hair, I'm all about the natural process of things and still, 43 feels weird. 42 was at least the answer to life, the universe, and everything. But 43? What in the world is 43? Torsten mentioned that some driver's number is 43 in answer to my question. I'm still wondering, "what in the world is 43? Is it even a number?" And I got another message tonight, "43 may feel like nothing but it's something. Think back on everything you learned this past year. A lot. Not pleasant, a lot of it, I know. But, man, Really good." That struck me. I'm so me at this point in my life. I'm almost completely myself. I feel some of the constraints I'm in, but I'm really very close to me. And that makes it something.
So I celebrate tomorrow. Or as my good friend who thought today was my birthday saved the call, tonight's my Birthday Eve, we'll do it in the Jewish way. Whoopie! It's my birthday tomorrow! Yay! I'm going to be 43! Whoohoo!