It’s my birthday. I have hung on to this planet as it has hurtled through space, around the sun, whilst spinning on its axis at breakneck speeds, forty-seven times.
I hang on, still, and wait for my insides to stop churning. Sometimes, it’s exhilarating, or awesome (as in, full of awe, or inspiring awe – not as in I went to the mall today and found a twenty dollar bill in the ladies. It was awesome). I look forward to those moments. Many times, I have lived them and noticed. Yes.
Sometimes, those moments have slipped by without my engagement, or acknowledgement. I don’t always feel them nourishing me and giving me strength. I don’t always feel the way that they make this crazy ride bearable, fun, joyful.
And when I miss those moments, when I don’t notice them, it leaves a yearning I can’t satisfy…
…or shut up about.
I am not a silent, noble sufferer. Never have been.
This very moment, I realize something else. I have been withstanding the constant tug at my body and soul between overwhelming gravitational and centrifugal forces for forty-seven years. Straight.
I’m a goddam super hero!
Realizing that everyone else on the planet is equally extraordinary by withstanding the same oppositional forces does not stick a pin in my balloon at all.
No. It amazes me, how we cling to this bit of rock and water and what have you, and we just keep going.
I wasted a lot of my birthday today. I can blame it on the fact that I ran out of my Dexedrine prescription yesterday, but it’s more than that. Something gets a hold of me, and days like today become scary – overwhelming. I don’t think I fear aging. I don’t think so.
All I know is that I looked forward to today so I could spend time with my girls, and with Lawrence.
Lawrence’s mom made me a birthday cake. We were supposed to have it on the weekend, at a party for me. But we had to postpone the party. We started the cake Sunday night for snack. I promised everyone “Cake for breakfast!”. I was the best mom, ever.
Then, come morning, I crawled under the covers and hid, in the usual fashion – in a fitful, guilty sleep (my CPAP needs fixing, so I snore horribly, and I suffer sleep apnea. Also, lately, I have nightmares). Hide. I felt scared to get up.
(Lawrence kept the cake for brekkie promise.)
I got up, eventually, and Lawrence took me and my girls out for lunch. A splurge, but it’s my birthday.
The girls fought most of the way to the restaurant. I thought about jumping out of the van at the next red light and telling them all I’d see them at home, “whenever”. But they are my girls. And that’s my Lawrence. And it’s my birthday. Miraculously, they settled, albeit grudgingly, and we ordered milkshakes. Spirits rose.
The rest of the day was pretty calm. “Chill”, they say. Okay, I say that, too. It’s a great expression.
At bedtime, the girls gave me their gifts. Beautiful. They are so amazing. I felt that happiness, that excited joy children spread of building up to a special day, then sharing their efforts and gifts. I have a new tea mug, and specialty tea. And body lotion. And chocolates. Some of my favourite things. Perfect.
And the mint tea tonight settled my old tum. The churning in my innards has turned to butterflies that tickle. This is the part of the ride that makes people run back to the queue and get on again. And again.
And I think I can hang on forever like this.