Lavender Roses
Let’s face it. Birthdays are hazardous to your health. Every birthday you have brings you one year closer to the grave.

They can also be stress inducers! Either we place lofty expectations on ourselves for the special day, or others put expectations on us: You have to have a party; you have to invite all your friends and family, even the people you don’t necessarily like; you have to go out and party; or, someone needs to take you out for a special dinner on the special day.

(Small rant is now over.)

This year I turned *gasp* 50! Yuppers! The big FIVE-OH! And you know what? I lived.

But I also worked…

Yeah, like most people do, I generally work on the day of my birthday and don’t take it as a vacation day. The reason why, is because it was never a very special day for me – just another day on the calendar. I can either take the day off and sit at home watching TV, or I can go to the office and get some work done. And I would always opt for the latter.

This year was different, though. And I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was cresting that proverbial hill of age 50 (the one that now classifies me as an official Old Fart who is now “over the hill”) which let me see life from a different perspective. From this point forward, I will forever take my birthday as a vacation day from work, and will make it as special as I want to do. Because (putting all expectations aside, whether mine or from others), if I don’t make the day special for myself, how will it ever be special?

Even though I worked through my birthday this year (like every other year), I did receive a fantastic surprise from Hubby – the most gorgeous lavender roses I’ve ever seen (Yes, that’s really a picture of them at the top!) – at work.

But starting next year, Hubby and I are both taking off and pampering each other. We’ve never been gift-givers to each other all the years we’ve been together. It wasn’t even something we discussed early in our lives together, we just fell into it from the beginning like a perfectly fitting jigsaw puzzle. We don’t buy gifts or cards for each other for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, certainly not Valentine’s Day, and not even Christmas.

The simple reason is because we’re constantly buying things for ourselves all year long. The complex reason is … (in a breathy voice) because we’re gift enough for each other…

Yeah, go ahead and barf!

But another thing we’ve always agreed on is that the most important thing to us is spending quality time with the people we love. And this year we are extending that to ourselves! No more working. Instead, we’re going to focus on fun, on enjoyment… and probably on a movie and a really good dinner, too.

So, Birthday Hazards be damned! No more will I be stressing out on my birthday. No longer will I be cussing like a sailor while trying to get to work: “GET THE F*CK OUT OF THE WAY! IT’S MY F*CKIN’ BIRTHDAY, YOU IDIOT!” No longer will I expect a cake or a card. None of it is necessary to make my day special. All I need is me.