Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

It's my birthday. I never know what to do or feel on "the day". Celebrations are awkward at best in my family and I suck at being the center of attention. I'll go to Mom's for lunch-it's bean day, and I just asked for beans so as not to disrupt anyone's eating schedule. I like beans, and can eat them scheduled or unscheduled.

I really am 48 now-I always think of my age as whatever the ending digit of the current year is, so by the time it actually arrives, I'm pretty used to the number. Maybe I'll suspend that at 50 and spend a good long time at 49. Or not. The closer it gets, the less it bothers me. 40 was a huge disappointment-I woke up expecting to feel "different" and.......nothing. Same old me, new day.

I've been married, raised a child, so I don't have any of those female deadlines hovering over me. Pretty much all that's left is just to die, and I think I'll take my time on that one. I tell friends that have either not been married or raised children that they haven't missed a lot, but they don't believe me. I think we all need things to define ourselves, and one of those things is "what we didn't get." That's pretty sad when you think about it.

Maybe we should define ourselves by what we got, or what we are going to do, or what color your coffee was this morning-anything but the empty spaces. Definition by emptiness just doesn't compute, does it? Maybe that's why we get so bogged down in it-defining emptiness is a pretty endless process. It's pretty futile too.

I think that's how clutter happens-we try to fill the empty spaces with things. The things become "ours, us" and we don't see beyond them. Then we sit, surrounded by things we don't see, and stare at that empty space-and never see the bright and beautiful world beyond.

Fortunately (geeze, I can't end with a downer on my birthday)....the bright and beautiful world remains, waiting only for a change of perspective. In my case, that usually comes in the undeniable truth of a parrot who loves to make farting noises. The truth is, none of this matters much, and Oliver toots often and loud to remind me of that. Crass, yes, but the truth will set you free.


marianne said...

Hi Debra!
Happy birthday and Happy Cactus Monday!

What pondering for your birthday........I´m 47 myself can relate to these kind of thoughts......
Hope you will have a happy day

soulbrush said...

for she's a jolly good fella, gor she's a jolly good fella....
and so say all of us. many happy returns old girl!

yup i was told that 'life begins at 40'...what a crock a shite that was.
the fifties were far far better than the forties ever were.
and yes i tell people to not bother to have kids or get married either, and they look at me like i've just landed from mars!!!

enjoy the beans and may you fart the night away!! toot toot oliver to you too.
hugs and wfs my pal!

MuseSwings said...

Happy birthday!

And the 60's aren't so bad either. I turned my life around many years ago to see the beauty and wonder of life and find God's gifts each day. I used to sound a lot like you. And I didn't have a parrot to make farting noises to cheer me up in the meantime. 'course if I had to eat beans for my birthday lunch....why you'll be sounding just like your little birdy buddy later today! Kind of a concert, as it were. Open a window, and enjoy! Hugs!

BTW -Come on over after lunch - we're in Rome today!

Debra Kay said...

I decided to clean out the freezer (pre holiday) and I cooked up a loaf of ground turkey for the dogs-they'll have a birthday/T-giving feast since many will be at the kennel on the day. (When feasting with dogs, it's far better to let them feast mid day, rest a bit and then run outside a lot-otherwise the morning mess can be disheartening to say the least.)
You know what- piss on it-we'll feast and I'm cancelling that kennel appointment (heaven help us all). My brother's grandkids can either not chase the dogs or stay the hell out of the dog room.

The truth is, my dogs enjoy well behaved kids and if the little girls can behave, they can have a great time playing dress up with the dogs. If they can't behave, why should I pay a couple of hundred dollars to avoid telling them NO? And, if the weather is nice, leashing up the pack and sending the kids out to walk the dogs is a great thing to do.

Also, another truth is, I've never found those kids to be awful around me-most kids behave around me because I just tell them what I want them to do and they do it. Hmmmm.

I already feel less pissy about the whole thing. Maybe the fault was mine-trying too hard to adapt to what other people may or may not need, even before they ask me to.

So, I've got the WII hooked up (with games appropriate for everyone from Grandpa to the smallest frye), the dogs on board for well behaved children, a snake show (when the grands aren't around-anyone who doesn't like snakes can go down to grandma's) and photography set up so the kids can have their picture taken with the snakes...and if the weather is nice we can troop down to our (mine and bill's) old grade school to play on the Monkey Bars. Oh, a Rattatoulie (movie) on Blue Screen. Surely that will keep a handful of munchkins busy?

studio lolo said...

Happy Birthday girlfriend! You have a lot to celebrate~you're the BEST pet mom, you're an amazing story teller, you've lost 91 pounds, you have friends all over the world, you have the gift of helping your uncle prepare to leave this world, and you have the amazing grace to embrace the bad with the good in your life and squeeze the lesson out of every moment. You have no idea how many days your posts have lifted me out of a slump.'s to YOU birthday girl! I'm proud to call you my friend (if I may). My life is richer for having crossed your path. Happy Birthday!

Teri C said...

Happy birthdya you youngster!! Have a wonderful day. And how exciting to have a birthday on Cactus Monday!

Happy everything to you.

kj said...

ditto to studio lolo! she knows what she's talking about, and she is right on with every word of support and praise she sends your way.

i hope you will do something wildly special for yourself today or tomorrow or soon. i know how hard it can be to push ahead when you'd rather withdraw, but you have the gift of appreciating good things when they find you or you find them.


Debra Kay said...

You guys are the best. We had a nice bowl of beans and the dogs are sleeping off their turkey feast.

The gift I am giving myself is to quit trying to make everyone happy-instead I'll just give people space who are unhappy to go off until they can get happy again.

Case in point-the kids are really excited about the snakes (for some reason little girls really like them, I dunno) and Mom and Dad are mortified. So I just nicely explained that they can stay in their own house while we play snakes.

There is a bit of generational jealousy going on-they are insisting I'm overplanning but I really think they don't want to be "upstaged". But I hate sitting around being bored shitless as much as the kids do-so this year I'm just going to do what I want to do. Hopefully, in everyone's mind the two houses will combine into a "compound" or something and the family will just remember a good time, not which house they had it in.

Last year's effort to please all and execute a perfect T-giving to Mom's specifications (which by definition is not perfect as there is no wine, no real butter, etc.) failed so awfully, that this year couldn't be any worse.

Omigod-I'm doing it again. I just keep climbing back up on that pony, don't I?

But really, my criteria for success is going to be much like my criteria for show ring success-if we have a good time, who care's what it looks like from the outside?

I even suggested to my bro we fire up the riding lawnmower and let the kids take it down the street......LOL I kind of hope we do.

My folks recipe is that we do everything just right, but not try too hard or look like we are putting on airs or even putting ourselves out to make anyone comfie. That has been a successful tactic with them-they will likely die with money in the bank and a roof over their head.

I'm just made of different stuff and frankly, I'd like to see some kids running up and down the street making noise and getting grass on the carpet.

We've already discussed the wine situation-I'm having a snort with my dinner. I can only drink one glass and I need other people around to polish off the bottle. Mom goes into a flap and I've asked her to can the flap-it hurt her feelings because she doesn't see that she does it-but maybe she'll think about it now and not do it.

I know she has been hurt by drinking in the past, but at 83 (next week) if Daddy has a snort and walks down and takes a little nap in his own bed, so WHAT. Hell, if he falls asleep on the couch, so what?

I wonder if that is my new function here-to challenge these past ideas and hurts that keep everyone so bogged down? At the very least, my function is NOT to perpetuate them by catering to them.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Happy Birthday to Yoooo....

Happy Cactus Monday too.

I hope that you and Oliver have a rootin tootin birthday bash together tonight.

Fern said...

happy day...I was thinking of you this morning for some reason and then later saw you online (Y!) gut said to say hello..just because, but I didn't.

so now I see why and happy birthday.

just happened on this 'by chance' and I think it's Deb worthy.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!!! 48....hmmmm...wish I could go back those few years and join ya!!! (I'm 52)!

Mim said...

First off - Happy Birthday a bit late. I have begun to hate birthdays simply because one is expected to act like a 10 year old all excited and waiting for presents and blah - it just comes and goes. But there is a little part of me that does enjoy the bit of attention - but only a little part. I like cards though - those are fun.
I haven't had children, so I get to imagine that if I did, they would be honest, well brought up, sensitive, contributing members of society - but with a streak of crazy - but just a streak. Imaginary kids are kinda fun. Marriage....well do we REALLY need to go into that? Glad I did it, love him blah blah blah....but whatever!
Now pets - THATS where you caught the gold ring. To me, a life spent taking care of animals is a life well spent. And you certainly have and are doing a terrific job with that. You love your animals, and they love you and you all need each other. A doggie kiss for a birthday present is just about the best you can get.

So I hope you got lots of doggie kisses and snake hugs and Oliver farts. That's a great set of birthday presents.

Happy Birthday Deb and I'm glad you are my friend!!!

Michele said...

Happy belated birthday to you. I wish I had a new snake picture to post as your present but we haven't seen any this year. I'll keep my eyes open though. Better late than never.