Birthdays have never been a big deal to me. Maybe it's because I am a product of Summer Birthday Syndrome. You know, the kids who have summer birthdays so they don't really get celebrated and recognized during the school year. I know times have changed and birthdays are celebrated equally now but "back when I was a kid", no such luck. I was lucky if I could scrounge up a few friends for a party. Ok, it wasn't that bad. I normally picked a family vacation over a party. Well, I don't know if I picked it or that's just what was planned for me, but my birthday memories revolve around my immediate family with maybe a grandparent or two sprinkled in. That's it. No hoopla. No big deal. And I was ok with that. My golden birthday on the other hand was a big deal. I had been looking forward to this birthday for many years. My brother's golden birthday happened when he turned eight. I was 11 at the time. I remember going to a "fun" hotel and his godparents and our cousins came too. It was the biggest celebration that I remember either of us having because it was made so special. I had to wait for my golden birthday until I was 25. I had to wait 14 years to get the big party with my family. But at the end of my golden birthday, I broke down sobbing.
My golden birthday was my first birthday without my mom. Of course. The birthday I had literally waited my entire life for was the hardest one I'd ever celebrate. Looking back, I know everyone around me tried, but I don't know if they ever really knew how hard it was. My family and friends tried to make it the best. Oh gosh, I think there was even a mini party at work. We never had mini parties for anyone but we did that day. People were definitely there for me. I went out with co-workers for lunch and friends and family for dinner. There were balloons and cake. There was silly drunkenness between my dearest friends that night. But when my husband and I got home at the end of it and were getting ready for bed, it all came to the surface. I walked into the bedroom and cried. I had waited all this time for my special day with my family and mom wasn't there. It just wasn't fair.
Since that birthday, I have celebrated like usual. No hoopla. No big deal. Even last year for my 30th birthday, it was just me and my hubby and this beautiful cake that he made for me. You would have thought 30 would have been hard. It was 30 after all. It was also four days after we miscarried our little summer surprise last year. I guess that was part of the reason there was no party. It was a rough week a year ago. But this year? Well I guess that's the beauty of birthdays. It's like your own personal New Year's. A time to reset.
For my birthday this year, I am going to celebrate. I am going to celebrate a person who tries to motivate and inspire people to be better. I am going to celebrate someone who is real, who has eating and exercise battles to deal with daily. I am going to celebrate someone who tries to find the humor in things even when life doesn't feel very funny. I am going to celebrate someone who has made some changes in her life and is healthier because of it. I am going to celebrate someone who is bringing that passion for health to others through an amazing business. I am going to celebrate someone who has passively sat on the sidelines every July. This year, I am going to say it. I am going to celebrate me.