I used to really look forward to my birthday, but the past few years have been different. I guess the biggest change is the fact that I have two small children that take up pretty much every piece of my time and energy. The other factor is that as you settle in to family life, your priorities change and so does your social life. Happy hours are no more and weekends are planned around a trip to the zoo, and that's ok. In fact, it's wonderful.
I don't know if it was the number I got hung up on or all of the "I thought my life/career/whatever would be different" thoughts that seem to appear around this time, but I was sort of dreading this birthday. Last year I was still in my early 30s. Now, I am entering my late to middles. I get called "ma'am" a lot more than I used to and no one asks for my ID when I get a drink. There is no use pretending that I am young. Now, I'm "relatively young".
The day itself was a total bust. The company I work for was processing employees who were being laid off, so it was a very somber day in HR. Along with my employer, some of the biggest space program contractors were laying off in the hundreds. Everyone had their head down the whole week as the sadness of what is being done to our human space flight program started to hit home. I was not surprised when my boss and co-worker both forgot my birthday. I was actually kind of glad. How can you have cake and balloons as you tell someone how to apply for unemployment?
Thankfully, it got better. M was given two tickets to see the Astros vs Cubs (my favorite team) and the seats were very fancy at club level. He also booked a night at The Inn at the Ballpark, which is directly across from Minute Maid Park and very nice. We could practically touch the stadium from our window.
Everything at the hotel was baseball themed, including the coasters!
The seats weren't so bad, either.
It was a beautiful night and watching my Cubbies win with the roof open made for a perfect evening.
My parents came to town and watched the kids overnight so we could stay and we both woke up feeling a little less stressed and a lot more relaxed. It's amazing how just one night away can give you the breather you need. We needed that time for us.
The next day we went to our friend Dom's house who, as usual, cooked all day and roasted two turkeys.
One was smoked with pear stuffing
The other was oven roasted and chili rubbed. Yes, it was amazing.
There are certainly things I wish were different in my life. I wish I was done with grad school and I wish I had time to really unpack and get the house in order. Hell, I wish I weighed ten pounds less than I do. What if I got all of those things? Would I just wish for more? The present is where I should try to spend most of my time. There will be days that utterly suck, but there will always be joys within those days. I will still have hugs and kisses from my kids, laughter with M, and white wine in the fridge. I can watch TV on command for heaven's sake. How bad can life be?
Not bad. Not bad at all.
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