So, today is my birthday, and I’m pretty much not doing anything.
I hadn’t really planned much for the day anyway – Wednesday is a pretty weird day to celebrate as it is. I did try getting together friends for something on the weekend instead, but one friend has a new romantic entanglement they’ve been swept up in, and everyone else is going out of town; money’s a bit tight right now, so I planned a nice hike for myself this weekend instead. And as for today, I was just going to go to work like normal, and maybe stop off somewhere for a drink on the way home, but that’s it.
However – every so often I get hit with insomnia out of nowhere. And – last night was no exception. I lay there as midnight rolled over into my birthday, and then watched as 1 am and 2 and then 3 rolled by. Trying everything I could in the interim – getting up and watching something inane on television, reading, having a big drink of water, cat videos on YouTube. No dice. It was 3:15 when I finally dropped off – only to wake up at 6:30 when my alarm went off.
Fortunately it was an easy day at work, and I could “maintain” through the day. I’d hinted subtly to a couple people that today was my birthday, so I had half an eye out for some kind of surprise cake – but nothing. Instead, there were a couple of ridiculous problems to sort out with a faulty printer and packing for an office move, and that took enough out of me that when I was done I just retreated to my corner to monitor email and stave off the fatigue; by the end of the day, the idea of doing anything but going straight home made me itch.
So. Home I went, feeling ancient. All I wanted to do was reheat some leftovers, get into cozy jammies and watch inane TV until I passed out. Still, I came through my door feeling like I was somehow letting myself down – it was my birthday, after all. I should be doing something to Mark The Occasion.
But then I thought of something.
Forty-five years ago – on my actual birthday – I was probably not in much mood to socialize that evening either. I’d probably not got much sleep – I was born at night, so my mother was probably well into labor in the wee hours of the morning, which no doubt was keeping me awake. I was being kicked out of the only existence I’d ever known, which probably felt chaotic and ridiculous, and I was even having to relocate. And probably on top of all that, when I finally got into my new digs I was probably spanked a couple times, then stuck with a couple needles, had ink smeared on my foot and a weird plastic thing put on my wrist – not to mention also clothes, for the first time ever – and thrust into the middle of a room full of total strangers. If I’d been verbal by that point, I probably would have wanted to flee to a quiet corner, telling everyone to “leave me the everloving hell alone”.
So this is perfect – I’m not having a lackluster birthday, I am observing it in the way I did for the very first time.