Sunday, March 30, 2008

Da Na Na Na Na Na, You Say It's Your Birthday

I'm 36 today. And believe me, you won't ever get me to complain about getting old. I love birthdays, especially when you consider the alternative to having them. As you'll recall, my 35th birthday party was cancelled the morning of, on account of me being about to go Tits Up for want of some functioning bone marrow. This year there is also no party, but I'm still happy enough to have a birthday to not be having a party for. Sure, it would be more fun if my current GI issues didn't preclude me from eating cake or anything with sugar. Or anything with fiber. Or dairy. Or anything with fruit or nuts or coconut. Or anything beyond all the foods that are now supposedly so verboten by the diet police (of which I am a former sergeant): white rice, white bread, and white flour.

But still, birthdays are always a time for contemplation of where you are and where you're going. I'm not loving where I am (as you can imagine), and some days I'm not too sure where all of this is going to end up; all of which can create a definite lack of birthday joy. So what I'm doing this year is working on enjoying it for what it is, enjoying seeing Bambina eat cake, enjoying hanging out with the BBDD, enjoying that I am here to actually have a birthday, which is no small blessing (at least in my own mind)! And, most of all, remembering that perhaps the nicest birthday gift you can give yourself is a big fat break from all your old expectations, from everyone else's expectations, and from all those things you say to yourself when you're not being careful what you say to yourself.

For all the ways today could be better, it's still a day I'm glad to have. With any luck, I'll be able to eat cake on my Rebirthday on May 29th (the day my donor hath made). Until then I just keep reminding myself of what I said last May: "From here on out, for the rest of my life, there's no such thing as a bad day."

Amen to that.


I am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what I said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

--lucille clifton, From Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980

3 comments:

Average Jane said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you enjoy 36 as much as I did. :)

Vigilante said...

HAP-E-B-DAY, E!

Andrew said...

Happy Birthday!