Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It bums me out that I'm no longer excited about my birthday. It was obviously a big deal as a kid. And as a teen. I remember being super-psyched about turning 16, and 17 and 18.

21 was fun because my sorority sisters and I went up to DC from Charlottesville and we all went out in Old Town Alexandria and they made me wear a big sign around my neck that said "Kiss Me I'm 21" or some such nonsense.

At 25 my roomies in Atlanta threw me a big surprise party. I was surprised and touched and we went out dancing until the wee hours at some club in Buckhead.

At 30 I threw myself a big party in my new house. I was playing a lot of bluegrass music then, so I had all my friends and bluegrass buddies and we hung out and played music and drank bourbon. I got kind of shitty drunk but two guys I was good friends with closed up the house, blew out the candles, and took my boots off of my feet before tucking me into bed.

34 was a good one. I was in Costa Rica visiting Jason, and he surprised me with a cake that he had made by some local lady in Tamarindo. He had to bicycle down this big hill holding the cake and trying not to bust ass all over the road.

Then I turned 40 this past Monday. And I seriously could not have been less interested.

It's not an "oh, woe is me, I'm so old" kind of feeling. Just a complete and utter indifference.

Which makes me sad.

I know it's a product of how crazy and exhausting life is right now. I got a Wii for my birthday -- including the balance board and fitness stuff -- which is so cool. But except for trying it out for about 15 minutes the night I opened the package, I haven't had time to use it. The house is a disaster. The baby has been sick. Jason has been working overtime, so he hasn't been home.

Wah wah.

A couple of weeks ago I checked into a local hotel on a Saturday night. By myself. I did nothing but lie on the bed and read magazines and watch trashy TV (including my first exposure to Jersey Shore -- oy vey). I had the bed to myself, and nobody was touching me or crawling on me or spitting up on me or crying or asking me to find their toy or make them food.

The next morning, I felt incredibly refreshed. I went home happy and smiling, and was delighted to see my children. I even took Zeke with me to the grocery store, which I ordinarily wouldn't do in a million years.

That feeling lasted about a day. Now I'm thinking that I'm going to need a night like that every week, just to feel human.


  1. It is really not easy this business of kids, job, house, marriage. I think we're quite insane that we think we can do it all. I have to tell you, being laid off has been a dream. I now have 2.5 jobs instead of 3 or 4 jobs. I have the house, the kids and the writing. The job search is about .5 of a job.

    If you can take a day off a week, damn, do it! Down the road, you may find that it was the single best thing you did during this time while your kids are so little. Seriously.

    And happy belated birthday, you young thing.

  2. When I was growing up, my mom (along with all of the other rules) had two hard and fast ones:
    --Every single day, no matter way, we each had to go into our rooms for an hour. (the same hour) She didn't care what we did, just that we were quiet and out of her hair for one hour.
    --One day a month, she put full care of us to someone else and she would go into her room. No matter what she was not to be disturbed and even my dad could not come in.

    I think it's necessary to get some quiet time, so do what you need to do to keep your sanity.

    And as for birthdays, I'm kind of thinking they are 'eh' too. As long as you have one, that's good, though!


  3. Lisa - thank you! And you're right - we can't have/do it all, and I think our generation, which was raised to believe that we could and we must, was sold a bill of goods that wasn't worth the effort. As for being young, you're only a couple of years older than I am, so back at ya.

    Elizabeth - your mom is a wise woman. And I know I owe you a phone call, will give you a buzz this weekend. xoxo

  4. Oh man - I took a mini staycation like that in Old Town Alexandria last year, where I basically did nothing but read US and People and ate chocolate chip cookies with milk. I'm happy you took the opportunity to do it for yourself!

    And of course, happy belated birthday :)