I had a fantastic birthday. Truly. I will admit to some measure of pre-birthday indifference (which is not my usual style); I didn't wallow, I just kind of *noticed* it and moved forward.
I went ahead and made chocolate cupcakes with Kahluha buttercream frosting, Ken took the day off from work, and Dean had a late-start school morning so we were able to ease into the proceedings.
We take all kinds of little back roads, and pass through several old town centers (the parts of some very historic towns -- you see lots of "Established 1698" signs and that sort of thing -- that are on what were once main roads but are now the backwaters) on our way to Dean's school every day, and my plan for my birthday was to do some exploring. We parked, got out of the car, and went into one-of-a-kind, local shops where the owners are there working behind the counter. We had lunch in a place that never was and never will be part of a chain (charmingly, while they do not accept credit cards, they just send cash-strapped customers down the street to the ATM -- "just go get some cash and then come back and pay your bill"). We whiled away the day and then picked Dean up at school and made a couple more stops before going to an exquisite Japanese restaurant for dinner.
I wish for their sake that the place had been crowded, but on the other hand it was a Tuesday, it was early, and the weather had turned less-than-pleasant (sleet) by that time. We will definitely go back, and swoon once again at the fresher-than-fresh sushi, and perfect miso soup, and kindly attentive service.
Middle age is an interesting territory. I get it now, why some people kind of flip out at this point. Suddenly age isn't *just* a number, it starts to give you some very definite physical reminders of its presence -- the kind that remind you that you aren't getting any younger. There's no way to avoid the drive to take stock, to think about being in the back half. I only wish it all didn't fly by so quickly. Really -- the ONLY thing that gives me pause about being 51 is that it feels completely impossible for that much time to have passed. Slippery. inevitable, fleeting time.
But I refuse to let that stop me from being delighted on my birthday, and celebrating.
Celebrate what you want to see more of. Aren't those words to live by?