Monday, August 29, 2011

Golden reflections

**This was written yesterday**

My mother always hyped up the “golden birthday” my entire childhood. (For those who may not understand the expression, it means that you’re turning the age of the date. So today is the 28th of August, that means I’m turning 28 on my golden birthday.) I had dreams and aspirations that it would be some grand party, akin to a wedding or another huge life event kind of day.

As I grew older, birthdays seemed to lose more and more importance. (I think there’s a surplus of birthdays, just ask aging women.) The summer before I turned 21 I was working at a local radio station (where I also met my now husband.) Many friends said they were going to take me out to do different things and I was very excited. The week before, I was eagerly anticipating all these different fun things that were supposed to occur, and was waiting to hear from friends who had offered to take me out to party my socks (and sobriety) off…like literally bouncing in my seat with anticipation excitedly waiting…

… and waiting… and waiting…

The day of, and I still had no plans. No body answered my phone calls. No body made any real plans. I was heartbroken. This was supposed to be one of those birthdays that everyone talks about for years afterwards about how great it was and it’ll never be like that again… and I had nothing planned.

I called up my best friend, and he was having a house party and said I should come down to see him. I drove there, and what happened? What usually happens at a house party in Wisconsin when I’m there and the most responsible one… I bought a drink at a bar for myself and someone else, where usually it’s other people buying *you* drinks, and I ended up driving all the underage stupid drunk kids home because I was the only sober one.

Yeah… it was epic…

After that, birthdays had much less expectations and ended up being very nice. I would have dinner with family and friends, maybe go out a little bit, and go home. As I got older, it was less of a “go out and celebrate by getting wasted” and more of a “let’s go hang out together and have a nice time” and I’m okay with that.

I must admit, there was still a bit of expectation when it came to my “golden” birthday, and I didn’t want to be disappointed by expecting other people to plan something for me instead of taking control of my life and deciding what I wanted to do instead.

I talked with my husband a few weeks ago and decided to be out of town this weekend. That way, he would get some work done on the land he and his family hunt on, we could traipse about in the woods for a while, relax, and I wouldn’t be disappointed by anything/anyone.

Last week, I got some phone calls from family and friends asking what I was doing for my birthday. I told them I had plans. They were disappointed.

Really? REALLY?? I mean, you wait this long to ask if I even had plans, then you’re disappointed when I *do* with my husband? I think that’s just naive and silly. I know my mother wasn’t too happy about it, but we’re still doing something later today anyhow, so hopefully that at least assuages her for the time being.

So now we’re home from our mini-adventure. I have some things to do: laundry, leisure reading while I still can, perhaps a walk on the beach, and fun roaming the internet to see what I missed over the last few days. I’m glad I decided to make my own plans instead of waiting for others to decide for me. If that makes them upset, that’s fine. I can handle that.

The moral of the story is: set your expectations aside and take hold of your own destiny. Only you can control your happiness - the only question is will you?

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