NYE was pretty chill. The following photo-blog describes are morning, afternoon and evening. Happy New Year – may we all have a safe and prosperous 2017!
As mentioned during my birthday re-do, on day 3 I had a lazy day ending with a pedicure. Yesterday, day 4, Doug took me to McEwan‘s for some brie cheese with truffle and P.E.I. grass-fed rib eye steaks – both had for dinner. We also bought other types of cheese (they have a wonderful selection) including two of my faves – Backburn and Grey Owl. We made Caesar salad dressing from scratch – first time. And now probably the only way I’ll ever want to have it!
And today? Well, today is NYE. It is day 5 of my birthday celebration because I wanted to stretch my birthday out to the end of the year.
The thing is, nothing big or extravagant was done on each of the days I prolonged my 44th. Nothing special happened really on any of those days.
Except one thing – to indulge in the peaceful quietness with back and forth moments of solitude and being with my family. That’s all I ever wanted. For this and past birthdays.
In fact, if Doug is able to take time off work, I am hoping we go away next year for my birthday and NYE. I have asked Doug if there’s a chance we can rent something in Collingwood so we can ski, board and snowshoe. I want to be even further away from the noise of the city. I want to be surrounded by a true winter wonderland where the snow muffles the outside noise. I want to snuggle up to the fireplace, with Hobbes lying next to me, and lose myself in a good book.
That is my hope.
As mentioned, I needed a birthday redo. And so, I did just that yesterday.
It was exactly the perfect birthday I wanted this year.
I had my birthday brunch, did my 90 minutes yoga and got a lot of chance to read while snuggling under my new faux-fur throw my PIL got for my birthday (of which the dog has now taken over):
That ended though when my family came up, my dog ran upstairs to show his concern that I was in a tub of water which separates his ability to be close to me and my daughter barging in asking if she could play Sims 3 on the PS3 in our bedroom.
I was pretty much at the end of my soak anyway.
Today, I will continue with part 3 of my birthday redo. I’m calling it a lazy day where I will end with a spa pedicure.
Will tomorrow be part 4 of my birthday redo? I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.
My 44th birthday was not what I imagined it to be. And I’m not picky. Believe me! I’m the less-is-more type of person. Some birthday wishes from good friends through whatever means they prefer (Facebook, email, text, etc.) puts a smile to my face. A quiet day where I can have my own loose schedule – allowing time to read, go to the gym, do yoga and then chill out in front of our Christmas tree listening to more Xmas tunes as a way to preserve and lengthen Christmas which comes and goes faster and faster each year for just little longer. Ending the day with dinner with my extended family is somewhat of a “requirement” but if it’s like the take-out sushi we had yesterday at home I can be okay with that.
Except that on the way home from the gym, a man cut-me off and then at the right lights, came out of his car and started yelling at me for having my left signal on all the way he was behind me on the highway. Of course, it wasn’t me. I know which driver was doing that because I was behind the guilty driver. Point is even if it were me, I had every right to honk at this road-rage-of-an-asshole because I had to break in order to avoid him colliding his car into mind. And he had no right to yell at me and then hit my side-rear mirror with his hand. Hello? Who was pulling the illegal move? That’s called assault. If I had recorded it all with my phone I’d have a solid report at the police station right now.
He was also driving like a maniac on the highway. At one point he rolled down his window and waved what looked like an alt-right support flag at me (I could be wrong but I am certain it was definitely not a ‘lets be friends’ flag). Older, middle-aged, white-haired man, with a white beard, black rim-glasses, short (of course) and I would say in his late 50’s to mid 60’s. He’s not the first that fits under that description to target me (and probably many other women like me). I suppose they feel justified in trying to make up for their small penises in whatever way they can.
Anyway – after that scare, I felt my birthday could not get any worse.
Until… my parents, aunt and uncle arrived.
I spent the evening hosting people on my birthday who just wanted to monopolize the conversation with how horrible their 2016 has been… and about who is dying. Or who has died. Or one negative shit after another.
The only one who didn’t grade on my nerves with my father who at one point between all his napping said, “It could have been worse.”
I love my family. But I didn’t need that. Not on my birthday. Not on my time off. As I said, I’m a simple person. If all I had was a quiet evening with my husband and daughter, either doing something like watching a new Blu-ray I received for my birthday or just doing a whole bunch of nothing together, I would have gone to bed content.
So I woke up this morning with a plan. I told my husband and daughter that I’m asking for a birthday re-do. I would very much like, I asked them both, for a birthday brunch. With coconut waffles and a birthday candle in the middle of my waffle. And then later, after digesting with my current fabulous read I intend to finish soon – “Life After Life” – I will do 90 minutes of yoga as my only workout today. And then who knows what else – maybe something, maybe nothing. So long as I don’t have to see anyone outside my own household, I will be happy.
Fuck having to celebrate one’s birthday just on one’s birthday!
Past Christmas to New Year’s week use to be a swarm of activities. I used to have a packed schedule, usually with family plus in between visits with friends.
I also used to email with my girlfriend almost every single year, both of us with one vent – the same vent year after year – “Why can’t we just be left alone to relax?”
Obligations – we were continuously planning our schedule to make everyone else happy.
This year, the same thing happens. I’m working myself hard at work while preparing for our holiday festivities to the point where I’m burnt out, exhausted beyond hope and eventually, finding myself with a very uncomfortable cold. The bug bit down on me overnight from December 23rd to Christmas Eve morning. As if to say, Well, now that you’re done working 60 hours a week, cramming the last bit of crap in the office, it’s time for you the pay for what you’ve done to your body!
I’ve gotten better, of course. My family always thinks, year after year, that just because I take the whole week off, I’m available to meet up with them 5 times for lunch, get-togethers, dinners, etc. The truth is, I’m not the social butterfly I use to be in my 20’s. Even that was short-lived. The honest to God truth is that I need a lot of downtime now to recharge myself for the next social gathering.
So, this year, I limited the celebrations to Christmas dinner at my aunt’s place (on Christmas Eve), my birthday, and my mom’s birthday at the very end of the week. It’s down to 3 times with family, no visits with friends and staying home as much as I can with just my family in between. Including New Year’s Eve – a holiday my husband and I don’t really care for anyway. And I wonder why we pushed ourselves to do it every year when truth be told, we’re so tired by NYE that I’m literally looking at the time every 10 minutes or so starting 9pm until midnight, praying time will go faster so I can just go home and go to bed!
And the family is getting better at understanding how tired I am and the amount of rest I need. I use to get awful backlash for not being as available as they want me to be. Finally, in the past few years I have been brutally honest – that I just want to be left alone, left to have NO SCHEDULE and just time to unwind. That’s basically it. Call me anti-social but that’s the only way I’ll be happy.
Still, it’s a hard habit to kick. When it came to my birthday, without realizing it, I was even planning the day to make everyone else happy. My husband and daughter really wanted to see Star Wars – Rogue One, and I knew my parents wanted to see it as well. To minimize having to go a different day and therefore, having to see them again (because you see, it’s not just going to a movie but there will be an expected dinner afterwards with the whole family) I planned on the day we were to have my birthday dinner at our house (take-out sushi). See how that works? I had to squeeze in the movie the same day just so I could free up the following days.
After getting sick, we called off the movie and possibly the sushi dinner as well, but as soon as I started to feel better, the dinner was back on (which I didn’t mind since it’s sushi and at our place), my husband started to get all excited that the movie was back on too.
I told him, “Hold it. I didn’t say the movie was back on.”
He said, “But don’t you want to see it?”
“I do. But I’m not in as much of a rush to see it as you.”
“So we see it later in the week?”
“No – because that means I’ll have to see my family. Again!”
“So why don’t the 3 of us see it and then see it again with your parents?”
“I don’t have the time or energy to do that! The movie will still be around the following weekend.”
“Look – it’s too much for me. Go see it with C. If it’s that good you can see it again with me. Or not and I’ll go on my own.” (Truth be told I use to love seeing movies on my own!)
He was disappointed but also realized that the plans I had to see Star Wars was more for everyone else and not really for myself. As much as I hate to disappoint him, and there’s this small voice in my head that is nagging me to just do it – get it over with and make everyone happy about seeing the movie on my birthday – I just know I’ll feel worn out and this cold may never truly go away in time for me to enjoy the rest of my holiday.
People get use to the “reliable” you when you are always the one that makes everyone else happy. And it’s really about striking that balance to keep them happy and keep myself happy. I love my family, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy getting together with them for Christmas, birthdays and just family time every now and then.
But I can’t see them so often that it feels that they are getting their way, and not giving me what I need – solitude. It’s nothing personal.It’s not that I love them any less. But I love solitude. I love having free time to do as I please because I rarely get that anymore.
Like my dog in the above photo, I’m just so… exhausted.