I turned 47 the week before last.  Every year, like I did the year before on the same day, I contemplate finishing another year of living.  I evaluate, mull over, delve into the past year a bit mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  One re-occurring theme from year to year is this internal dialogue I have... [47.  How did I get here?  Seriously it seems I stayed in my 20's for far more than a decade. But somehow it seems I turned 40 yesterday and now I am 47.  What have I done with these years?  How will I ever accomplish all I hope to in life if it goes this fast?  How the hell did I get to be 47!]

Truly I believe everyone deserves one day to stop the carnival ride of life, the routines that weigh us down, the monotony of responsibilities and get to just be on the day commemorating our birth.  Life is full of demands, have to's, deadlines and musts.  One day out of the year we need to stop the madness, toss those things aside and do the things that bring us delight.  It's the day when time can sort of stand still.

Some people try to convince themselves that with each passing year birthdays take on less meaning.  They are the same ones who say things like, "It's just another day.  Nothing special."  I want to slug that contingency of pooh pooh heads! 

Life is hard to be deliberate at much of the time.  It can easily sweep us merrily along, sometimes even doing good and meaningful things. Birthdays though are designed for a day of being deliberate.  They are ordained as the day new life began. That shouldn't just be a day like all the other days of the year. I think it should begin anew on that anniversary of our human birth.  Our birthday should refresh us, revive us, make us feel alive!

To be honest, I was not a happy camper on my 47th birthday.  Though not one to need much in terms of "stuff", I had expectations for the day.  Those unmet expectations shot out of me like a cannon by the time I walked into the kitchen after work.  That was my number one unmet expectation - I was used to getting the day off for my birthday.  Call it spoiled, pampered by bosses in my past but, it was an indulgence that I had come to love.

There really wasn't anything I had in mind to occupy my day off from work, had I gotten it.  The only thing I wanted to fill the day with was anything that was not having to do with going to work.  I wanted a day of nobody's requirements of my time but my own.  I wanted to simply do nothing.

If I wanted to run at 8 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m., then I wanted to do that.  If I wanted to drink 4 cups of coffee on the back patio, then I wanted to do that.  If I wanted to sit in the sun and soak up the Arizona sun, with maybe even a bit of Mardi Gras toplessness, then I wanted to do that.  If I wanted to write a blog post with a non-tired mind and body without trying to do it after work, then I wanted to do that.  I just wanted a day of quiet.  A day NOT at work.

Doug sent me roses at work.  They were beautiful.  He gave me a beautiful card with one page written by him.  It made me cry.  When I got home, I melted down and threw my lunch bag into the closet and sobbed.  It felt like a wasted day to me.  A day I didn't get to think, contemplate, and just be for one day out of the year.  Those blasted unmet expectations are hard to emotionally reconcile.

There was a big part of me that felt selfish for feeling that way and like a spoiled brat for melting down over it all.  I tried to quell it.  I tried to keep it in all day, but it bubbled out like lava and worked its way out of me.  Maybe it was tiredness, unmet expectations of a day I desperately wanted, too much activity in the past 6 months, missing my family and again the realization that life was moving faster than I wanted it to! 

There stood Doug, my favorite lemon cake in hand, a basket of wonderful surprises and his open arms.  I loved him for the sweet things he had done. I loved him for saying that if he controlled the world I would have had the day off.

This year my birthday really was just another day.   That is not my stance on birthdays and what they are designed for.  Since I didn't get to indulge my selfish side on that day, I shouldn't be able to gain another year in age either. 

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