This week was my Birthday. A few things happened to me surrounding my Birthday that were new. A new number (obviously), I am 28 now. That feels ancient. I remember when my oldest sister turned 28 and thinking "God she's getting so old". I also had some new thoughts and for lack of a better word behaviours. Let me explain.
I have never liked Birthdays. When I was younger and still having 'friend Birthday parties' i often found myself stressed about the day. Will my friends have fun? Will so and so get along? I mean my 'What If' list went on and on around those parties. Also I had some Birthday's that were shared with my sister Sarah. I think I hated that. I say "I think" because i can't actually bring up the feelings I had around that time, it is all from the perspective of looking back. So looking back I say I hated it. Then as I got older I came to downright dread Birthdays. I had some falling outs with friends through late junior high and High school. My social circle became more centred on my cattle friends (who were scattered all over) and my cousins (who are still my best friends). So Birthdays kind of became a day that just came and went. I tried to come off as someone who hates celebrating. Which really is not authentic to who I am. I wish I could be a person who says " A birthday is just another day, I hate celebrating them", but actually I like doing things for my Birthday. Granted I hate large parties, but I do like doing something out of the ordinary for the day.
So, in short I hated August 29th for quite a few years. Then I got married.
*Disclaimer for Mom and Dad- I will note my Mom and Dad always did a Birthday supper for me and still do to this day. I appreciate that and love that family time. I definitely do not discredit it.
Ben is a surprise guy. He loves to be surprised and he loves to surprise people. I love and hate this about him. I love it because he is just so damn enthusiastic. He wants to make everyone feel special, and loved. When he has a surprise for someone he is like a little kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. I hate it because he likes to surprise me.
Why do I hate that my husband loves going through great efforts to give me a surprise you ask? I'll tell you!
It's stressful. Stop rolling your eyes and scoffing at me and hear me out.
I in general don't like being the centre of attention. Ben loves being the centre of attention (don't lie Hon you do). So every time christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc. come around I fear a surprise. Because what if he does it publicly? Or what if he has some sort of event where I am thrust into being the centre of attention. I love my husband to death…But…he even publicly proposed to me. I actually to this day don't think i said a word when he did it. A room full of people and he asked the big question…ack let's not talk about that. I so hate being at the centre I even made sure that our wedding showers could be unisex so that Ben had to be there.
So, after Ben came on the scene Birthdays changed for me. They became stressful instead of hateful. LOL. OK I didn't lie awake at night hating or stressing it was just a general feeling around the occasion. But as occasion came and went Ben and I found our groove, and I slowly started to really look forward to special occasions with him. This year was really different. I was excited for my Birthday! Like more excited than I was to watch Aubs open her presents at Christmas, kind of excited! Ben had some surprise up his sleeve, but we also had just planned a really great evening in. Nice supper with the girls, get kids to bed at 7:30, chocolate fondue and a movie for the two of us after. I mean who wouldn't be excited about chocolate?!
I really embraced my Birthday this year. I spent the day with Elise in Camrose just doing minor things, groceries, lunch with my sister, coffee. Just really relaxed. Actually I was sitting at the drive-thru waiting to pay for my coffee and I got the urge to pay for the customer behind me. I have never done that, but I did that day and it was so much fun. I never expected that I would love doing it so much. As I was driving home I wondered to myself why it felt so different this year. And I think I have a few answers to that.
I am more settled. I love being with my girls, I love Ben, and now with writing and photography I finally have something that is more my own. I should say too that the course I took in Calgary a few weeks ago has had a huge impact. It has forever changed me. I spent so many years wrapped up in thinking I had nothing. Thinking I wasn't passionate about anything, had no interests, and then in later years thinking "will I forever just be a mom?". Now I see myself so differently. I am a Mom ( a pretty decent one too), A wife (not a house one I hate housewifedom), a writer (you poor saps who have to read my ramblings make me feel like a real one), a photographer (i love being out doing it, I find it therapeutic). I also see more of my good qualities, I can see that I am giving, thoughtful, compassionate, funny (come on you had to of laughed at a few of my posts), loving. Honestly I think at one point, ok a lot of points, I would have said I really did not care for myself. Through the fogs I could not see that any good layed within me, or that any real great potential did. At one time i think I even thought being a Mom was about all I could achieve. Sad, but true. Now my doors are so wide open to so many things that the draft is making me a little chilly. Seriously my feet are freezing right now :)
P.S. Ben's surprise for me was a brand new 27" iMac computer, then he set up a little office for me along with printed pictures I took on canvas! The canvas pictures were actually from my Mom and Dad though!