Normally that brings about very mixed emotions from me. I love and hate it at the same time. I am usually very concerned about having some type of celebration, and I usually also make a pretty huge stink about counting down for weeks leading up to it. Mostly this is because I have a real thing about being forgotten. I have had several experiences in my history when I have been forgotten by people - physically forgotten, stranded. And it has created in me a genuine subconscious, ever-present fear of being forgotten.
So I spends weeks, sometimes even more then a month counting down to my birthday, planning a party or parties, etc... to ensure that I am not forgotten, and am celebrated. (sounds kinda narcissistic when I put it down on paper like this)
I also tend to get pretty depressed around my birthday. I have blogged about this before. I start to examine and evaluate my life, and always come up short on my own expectations.
This year has been different. I am not sure what elicited the change. I considered having a birthday party, but everyone's schedules (my own included) are so packed this time of year, it felt like I might be able to get something going in April! And I didn't really do the countdown. I haven't been secretive or hiding the date or anything, just wasn't a walking billboard for weeks.
And while I have stumbled into thought pockets of "what do I have to show for myself" they have been fewer then usual, and I have had some good metaphorical face slapping from good friends to snap me out if it quickly.
And most amazingly of all, without any prompting from me, people have been celebrating with me, and sending me their good wishes. And it feels so much more powerful this year, because it wasn't elicited.
I feel genuinely loved (or positively esteemed), by an entire slew of people. It is awesome!
And it's all in the little things. The colleagues who treated me to lunch today; the serenade of Happy Birthday I got when I came into the office; the cake Danielle made me (in my favourite colour) & having SWAT sing for me; the well wishes on my wall on Facebook; the text messages and phone calls; being called "birthday girl" all day (even when the whole sentence was "the birthday girl needs to get her ass in gear"); Steve's admonition of (and well wishes on) being one year closer to death.
It is all wonderful! and I think my face might actually be sore tomorrow form just how much smiling I am doing today, and how happy I feel.
I feel like the grinch when his heart grew.