Saturday, August 29, 2009

50th Birthday

I turned 50 on Thursday and here is a rendition of that day because it turned out pretty well, considering. I don't normally pay a lot of attention to birthdays but felt that this day deserved some, especially because of all that has happened in the past years. The mere fact that I have gotten through some pretty trying life experiences deserves some recognition. I do want to add to this celebration by doing some activities for myself when time and money permit. I've been composing a list of 50 Things to Give Myself, which include activities like treating myself to a movie out (or even a video at home), going bowling, etc. I'll devote more time to that after the sale of the house and move.

Thursday -
Since I worked until closing at the store and didn't get home until 11:30 on Wednesday and then to bed at 2:00 in the morning, after getting the boys off to school I allowed myself to go back to bed and awakened at 10:00. Now sleeping in is such a rare treat that it felt very luxurious to do so! Then I showered and dressed in a nice outfit from my less financially strained days - an outfit from Talbot's of cotton madras casual blazer with denim walking shorts. I wanted to look nice on this day and dressing up a bit did that for me.

I hit our cute, quaint downtown to visit two shopkeepers I've befriended over the years. I haven't seen them all summer and had to catch up with them about selling the house, moving and all. It was also nice to browse at the Yarn Shop and Antiques Store. Another customer at the yarn shop (it was her 30th b-day) exclaimed that I do not look 50, which is true. I've held up pretty well physically - something I find amazing because there has been a lot of stress in the years since my husband's death. My oldest shared at his school lunch table that I was 50 and his friends said, "No way, she only looks 38!" At least I have that going for me!

I dropped off some bags at the local resale shop and also checked out their merchandise. Then I went for a browse at JoAnn's and Michael's. Didn't buy anything but got the free project sheets and an idea to make a blanket out of scarves. I then browsed at the Used Bookstore and did put out 50 cents for a back issue of Country Living Magazine, the big purchase of the day!

I did some grocery shopping to tide us over the weekend and included in the cart a variety of cupcakes. I hesitated on a cake. The cupcakes would be easier to share with my girlfriend and her family at dinner. Some of the cakes looked so tasty though. Maybe I will get one after we've moved and are settled a bit. That will be cause for another celebration.

My girlfriend picked the boys and I up at six and took us out for dinner along with her three kids. She was very insistent in wanting to treat all of us together since she and I frequently go out on our own. The kids all wanted to go to Chili's but it was very crowed as were all the restaurants around the mall area. We couldn't get over how jammed the parking lots were. But as I've noted before, in this town there just doesn't seem to be a recession or people hurting financially!

We ended up at a Mexican Restaurant, not my first choice but as my oldest consoled, "Mom, you'll get a drink so it'll be okay." And it was. Everyone had plenty to eat and we indulged in the chips and salsa asking for seconds. I was given a big desert on the house, which I shared around the table. My girlfriend gave me a lovely card and a gift certificate for $50.00 from Kohl's. She said she hoped I'd buy some clothing for myself. We laughed about both of us needing new bras. I've gone a year with really only one good one. She did the same the past year with two pretty old ones until her daughter saw them and insisted she get new ones at Victoria's Secret.

When I thanked my friend for her kindness and generosity, she reminded me of everything I've done over the past years for her and others. She said I am one of the most generous people she knows and I deserved her gift. It was nice to hear those words and to be reminded of things I've done in the past that have been forgotten.

After dinner, it was funny when the time came to pass around the cupcakes and I discoved that the kids had already eaten the cookie and cream ones while we paid the bill at the restaurant!

I am embarrassed to admit that throughout the day I harbored hopes that my ex-husband would send good wishes of some kind. He is the kind of guy who would have presented me with 50 roses in a bouquet. The last email correspondence I had from him was on July 23rd. There was no contact which was bittersweet for me. I know for me that it is personally agonizing to say goodbye to anything - be it a relationhip or possession. I have difficulty throwing newspapers out if I haven't yet read them! And my therapist and I have discussed how the issues of my second marriage and ex-husband tie in so closely with my family-of-origin background that I still struggle with. Wrapped up in all of this is the fact that my ex-husband and I never spoke until recently about the divorce. He filed for divorce without telling me (I had to find out by calling the court house in his county). He also never said goodbye to my sons. So on one hand he would have given me an extravagant 50th birthday gift, but is unable to communicate which is of course far better to have in a relationship than any object.

But I guess the point of my honest admission here is that despite my trying to make the best of the day, there were still some ghosts from the past haunting me. Yet, I was able to put them aside and fashion out a day that was significant and meaningful, plus fun on this milestone birthday. I should add that my brother called me and left a voice message on my cell phone when I was out and about. I did not hear it ring or would have spoken with him. My sister had sent me a birthday card the day before.

The memories of Thursday continue to glow in my heart so in the end no roses were necessary.

Today I am grateful:

1. That the boys seem to have settled back into school successfully.
2. That the appraisal and survey have been completed and all is on track for the house closing.
3. For the new front of cooler weather we're having - thank goodness this summer was a cooler one. (I prefer colder weather but NOT the SNOW).
4. For the rainy day on my birthday. The rain just has a beauty of its own.
5. For all that my friend did for me to celebrate a milestone birthday.


  1. Happy 5oth!! Definitely a milestone and something that should be celebrated. I'm so glad you had a great day despite any past haunts. Its a wonderful thing to have such a friend as you described here. Glad she was there for you (as you have obviously been for her in the past). If I were there I would have shared a drink and toast with you. Cheers! :-)

  2. Happy 50th birthday!!!!!!!!!!! Your post brought tears to my eyes. I know you had a lovely day but at the same time I can feel your hurt that is was not what you had ever imagined such a birthday to be like. You have endured so much... You are such a strong person... I just know that life will come full circle for you and before you know it you will be celebrating your birthday and all of your current hurt will be a distant memory. Regards, Bec.

  3. Your good wishes are greatly appreciated! For fun I looked up my horoscope for the year ahead and it said, "This year something new and fresh will happen because you're beginning a new cycle. Open any door!" Sounds pretty good to me!

  4. Happy birthday to you! I'm glad it turned out to be a good one.

  5. Happy Birthday--I remember my 50th--everyone forgot about it! I was married to a not very nice man and my kids hated him (with good reason) so they didn't have a party for me--which from the time I was 40 they said they planned on a big 50th bash, but.....

    I think 50 is a great age--I finally stopped trying to please everyone when I turned that age--I wanted to just be me--which I found out isn't easy when you don't know who the heck you are...HA.

    I am much happier now than I was then and you will be too--you have years and years for happiness to come along and it will.

    50 is a great age to be--enjoy it to the fullest!!!

  6. happy birthday. i think we will always have "ghosts" from our past. we've lived. but you have a wonderful friend that you celebrated with, you have your list of things you're thankful for, you're have a foundation on which to stand. keep looking forward towards your hopes and dreams.

  7. Thank you for the additional good wishes. I believe that I have finally reached a point where I can be more true to myself but boy, did it take a long time to get here!

    I have no qualms about being this age - it is the start of my second half of life and that is pretty exciting. Thank goodness for hair coloring and all that new stuff on the market to fight aging. We are all looking so much better now at mid-life.

  8. A belated happy birthday to you.
    J xxx