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Another Year Down

Well hello there, birthday. Has it been a year again already? It seems like it was only yesterday that my big birthday plans went south at that last minute when Simon and I both got sick.

The calendar tells me I am, indeed, 39 today, but the plans are pretty small this year. To be honest, we only have plans at all because the Whitworths called yesterday afternoon and offered to babysit. I think they thought my planned birthday event-nothing-was insupportably lame.

Under normal circumstances, I’d agree. But I have to say that this year, for the first time in my life ever, I’m not feeling it. Typically, to quote Matt, you do not mess with my birthday. I like birthdays: I like to go out for them, I like to have parties for them, and I like getting presents on them. Unlike so many adults I know, I never outgrew birthday excitement.

This year, though, I would be perfectly happy to sit on my duff, finish organizing my newly painted and spruced up basement office/playroom, and dine on tofu, clear broth, and green tea. So far today I have worked, done two loads of laundry, and made Simon his morning pancakes.

My birthday ennui is not a result of my age, though I gotta say that turning 39 is an eye-opener. When I was a teen, I really liked Thirtysomething. Those people all seemed so impossibly grown up with their babies and businesses and tenure struggles. That I now only just barely qualify as a thirtysomething is alarming.

But that’s not it. So long as I can wear my Lucky jeans and screen-printed tees without being laughed at, and so long as I can do regular push-ups without being hospitalized, I can deal with the march of time. Heck, if I live to be as old as my great Uncle Dave, I’ve got 11 years left before I even hit middle age.

I think the issue is that I have been a holiday glutton. I have gone to holiday parties, hosted holiday parties, shopped for more people than ever before, and received some splendid gifts myself. I am half-sick from too much fried stuff, too much cheesy stuff, too much butter, and too many sweets. My body wasn’t made for holidays; my body was built to be a Buddhist monk from what I can tell.

I am also half-broke and fully cash poor from all the gift giving, end-of-year charitable contributions, and self-indulging. You know the old saying that the cook never goes hungry? Well, the designated shopper never goes without, either. At least, not when the designated shopper is me.

So honestly, I am stuffed to the gills, surrounded by all I could want or think to want (we are all well beyond need), and ready and eager for some long winter months of ascetic living. But we are going out anyway, because it was too, too kind of the Whitworths to offer and because at Osaka I can get great broth and green tea.  But you know, after two weeks of non-stop scurrying, I also plan to be home in time to tuck Simon into bed. Turns out a return to my regular life is treat enough this year.

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