I have issues with my birthday. They’re usually pretty sucktastic through nobody’s fault but my own. Another year brings to sharp focus that which I haven’t achieved, what I haven’t done, where I’m not in my life. I throw myself a pity party of such epic proportions that it usually takes me a few weeks to dig myself back out. Not my most attractive quality, but there you have it.
Last year given my limited funds and anticipating the Pity Party of Woe I decided to take the week of my birthday off. I stayed in town, unable to afford to go anywhere. I had lunch with some friends, I treated myself to a massage and manicure and pedicure, but mainly? Mainly I sulked in the Apartminium watching tv, eating crap food and feeling sorry for myself.
This year with the same limited funds and anticipatory feeling I took the week of my birthday off again. But I didn’t stay at home feeling sorry for myself. I decided about a week ago that I would actively fight off the Pity Party of Woe. So, Monday afternoon I piled myself (and my BRAND. NEW. CAMERA!) into the car with a babbling toddler “MOMMOMMOMMOOOOOM! A moo! A moo!” (where do two year olds get the energy for all the exclamation points?) and a dear friend and we headed to Crawfordsville to visit my little, little Lindsay and her 3 month old. The baby cried. The toddler cried.
I cried. The baby whined. The toddler whined. I drank a lot of wine. I slept on a rock pretending to be a mattress. In a room with one blind missing. It gets bright EARLY y’all. In a room I shared with the babbling toddler who babbles even when it’s time to sleep. In a room, on a rock with the babbling toddler’s mother who apparently is prone to moments of surprise! spooning. I painted the kitchen.* I ironed curtains. I hung curtains.
This was not the vacation I had planned. (Please proceed with caution as the following statements contain excessive amounts of cheese. You’ve been warned.)
It was better.
The baby smiled. A lot.
And sometimes he didn’t.
I made S’mores Brownies.
I played Wii, got my friends addicted to Make It or Break It, wrote, annoyed my friends with my BRAND. NEW. CAMERA!, snuggled the baby, cuddled the toddler, cuddled my friends, gave a new mom a break from her colicky baby when she needed it. I spoiled the ending of the Jessica Darling series for the baby when I read him my favorite parts on the swing on the front porch. I danced on demand. “Sheeeeen! DANCE! DANCE!” I stayed up late giggling and talking trash and felt like I was 16 again at a sleep over.
I didn’t sleep in or well, for that matter. I didn’t shower for a day. I forgot to pack underwear. I didn’t lay around all day and watch tv and play on the interwebs. I got behind on Twitter, my reader reached a breaking point. But it didn’t matter. There is an ease that comes with being friends for almost 18 years. I’ve known them longer than I haven’t. And for me, someone who is constantly internalizing everything, analyzing every statement and movement and worried that I’ve hurt someone with my words, or my lack of words, or that I’ve done something wrong. For me that ease is priceless. They are already accustomed to my brand of crazy.
It was the best way I could have spent the first three days of my vacation.
Tomorrow at 2:59 pm I will officially be 27. This year I won’t be turning off my phone and unplugging the computer and hiding away into myself. And that’s in large part due to a vacation that hasn’t turned out at all like I had planned.
*If by painting you mean brushed approximately 4 strokes, gripped my crippled hand crying “It hurts!” and went to watch Aladdin with the toddler, then yes. I TOTALLY painted the kitchen.