Today is my birthday and I am one of those people who loves to celebrate it! This is not to be confused with making other people make a big deal of it (I am just having some dinner and a truckload and a half of ice cream later today with the fam) though I am not opposed at all to people who like to do it up like that! My point is, for me and my personal history, this is a big day and I like to acknowledge it. The rest of the world spins on, as this is not a major day to anyone else and this is as it should be. But for me, it’s a good time for reflection, to take stock and to eat a ton of ice cream!
And that is exactly what I did on my morning run (minus the ice cream – that would have been ill-advised in this humidity but otherwise a good idea that I am tucking away from a later date). I got up pre-dawn to beat the heat, and the early hour combined with the cloudy conditions made for an almost pleasant run (still VERY sticky!). I started with the idea of doing 10 miles, but tacked on an extra for good luck (this is the runner’s version of birthday candles). As the miles clicked off, I reviewed my life at 34…
And it was a doozy! Gonna be hard to top this one, 35 may have be what sports folks call a “rebuilding year”. As a 34 year old, these things happened to me:
1. Bachelorette party, such a fun time.
2. Moved to Cape May, leaving my home of 10 years, Ocean City
3. Got married and was overcome with more love than I thought possible!
4. Went on a spectacular honeymoon to New Zealand
5. Celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary!
4. Ate at Per Se, thanks to running husband’s business relationship with them!
4. Went on a running road trip to New England
5. Completed my first 50-miler
6. Got to hold a plover!!!!
7. Went on an incredible trip to Brazil with my sister -in-law
And that does not even count all the little stuff – the great meals with friends and family, the holidays, the evening walks GD and I take around our neighborhood, watching lil sis get into grad school and start the New Deal, seeing two of my best friends continue on their path of mommyhood with ease and beauty. It was such a good, golden year.
So what of 35? We learned a few days ago that GD was laid off his job. While we knew this was coming (the work he was doing was starting to dry up) it is still a bit of a shock. Normally, this type of thing would throw me for a spin – I love routine, knowing what to expect, etc. But this has had almost the opposite effect on me. Instead of stressing about it, I feel like it is reaffirming what I felt on our wedding day (9 months ago today!) – that we are a team and come what may, we are going to be just fine because we’ll take it on together. You hear so many jokes about the ennui that marriage evokes, the drudgery, the staleness of years together. And after 9 short months, I am hardly one to comment, but I have been around for three and half decades and I can honestly say that making my vows to him was, and continues to be, one of the most satisfying life experiences. I ran past our ceremony and reception sites this morning and was filled with that same joy I was overflowing with last October. I jumped in the ocean after, floating on my back in an endless sea of calm, grateful for everything I have in my life and looking forward to whatever comes next. And you just can’t ask for more than that, can you?
So bring it, 35! I’m ready!
How do you celebrate your birthday?
Do you ever run to mark the occasion?
Favorite birthday indulgence?