Today is my 39th birthday. It seems silly to care or to mark the day at all. But it’s my birthday, so I can’t help but take note.
I am not the luckiest of people when it comes to my birthday. It has been forgotten on more than one occasion by the people I love the most in the world. (Not because I don’t matter to them, but because they all have other things to think about than my birthday.) On occasions when it has been remembered, it seems that the day is marred by disappointment and bad luck more often than not. And so, I quite often try to downplay the day. After all, if your expectations start low, you’re less likely to be disappointed.
Not every birthday has been doom-and-gloom though. The years I spent with Paul were the best birthdays I’ve ever had—even the one when we had a massive fight ended up being a wonderful day. Birthdays spent with Paul included cards and presents and nice dinners. But, most importantly, they included a reminder that my birth was one of the most important events in someone’s life—even though it happened nearly 28 years before we met!
It seems that recent birthdays, however, lack the enthusiasm they had when Paul was alive. It is, after all, once again a day of little importance to anyone other than me. It’s not that my family and friends don’t care, it’s just that the day is merely another day to them; it’s not important to them. Not in the way it’s important to me, or in the way that it was important to Paul.
I had big hopes to spend my birthday celebrating in some way, but it would seem that there’s not much to celebrate just now—nor was there anyone to celebrate with. Which is OK, since I’m a big girl now. I mean, I’m 39, not nine. It’s just that it’s yet another reminder that Paul isn’t here to shower me with love and attention—and that I haven’t found anyone else to do that, either. (Not that I’ve really been looking.)
I’ve been showered with loads of Facebook and text messages though, and even got a couple of cards and a wee present through the post over the last couple of days. So it’s not that I’m feeling forgotten or unwanted, I’m just realising that there is a great lack of true celebration. But at least since I’m alone on my birthday it means I get to sit around in my pyjamas eating pizza, drinking beer, and watching The Godfather. So that’s awesome ... And I’ve been promised a proper Ryan Family bash for my 40th next year. And who can turn down an offer like that?
[That’s a photo of what Just Frances looks like as a 39-year-old woman. Not bad, considering I’m a woman of a certain age who doesn’t wear makeup!]