When we first started hearing about COVID in February, I would have laughed at you if you’d said that we’d still be dealing with this come my birthday.
I remember trying to plan a birthday parade for my niece at the height of restrictions in Western Canada. ‘We can do this’, I thought to myself. People were going to buy into staying home. People were going to buy into wearing masks and we could contain COVID.
I was so naive.
There was 114 active cases in the province when I helped to plan the birthday parade for my niece. Today there are nearly 4,000 in the city that I live, nearly 8,000 in the province.
It’s my birthday. There’s a snowstorm outside and a deadly disease sweeping the city, province, country and world. There will be no parties, no going for drinks, no visiting with friends. I’m just hanging out here, being antisocial. Nobody’s going to get sick on my watch.
My family and friends have come through in droves to send me presents and cards, text messages and phone calls. I’ve received more cake than I could ever eat. (see below)
A beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered this morning. I also got a pair of Vessi shoes for my birthday. My brother even sent me some slippers from Denmark.
What a year it has been.
Who I was last year and who I am this year is two completely different people. I’m thankful for how far I’ve come and I can truly say I’m hopeful for what the future holds.
Here’s to another year and the adventures it has the possibility to bring. Hopefully it won’t all be spent in quarantine hiding from the world.
I’m not quite sure how I feel. I do know that I have been having quite the freak out the past few days leading up to it. I don’t know why I set these arbitrary deadlines for myself, but it’s almost like my brain cannot stop it.
The introvert in me wants to just read a good book, maybe go to the movie by myself tonight. Just spend the time by myself, doing what I please.
The reality of my life is that I’ve got six people coming over here tonight for dinner (that I didn’t invite and only found out about a half hour ago), so my mother is spending the day vacuuming and cleaning the floors with a carpet cleaner, so it looks like I’m in for a lot of noise the next few hours.
I’m trying to not let it get to m.
Wow, this post is sounding a lot more negative than I intended it to be.
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
I’m genuinely happy about that. I just wish people would let me spend it the way I wanted to.
Thank you, dearly, kindly, wonderfully to every beautiful soul who purchased one of the #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts. It means a great deal to me and I hope that when your shirts show up you love them as much as I love mine! Today is the last day the #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts will be listed on the TeeSpring store. The other shirts will stay up there for now because it’s an experiment for me to try and crack the Pinterest Alogirthm. But, the #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts will be disappearing as of midnight tonight. If you purchased one, thank you. If you’d still like to purchase one, they’ll be up until midnight PST.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your consistent support this year. Thank you for talking me down from my anxiety attacks and for supporting me at my lowest of lows and celebrating me at my highest of highs. For a bunch of strangers, you feel like a giant family to me, and that’s a pretty great feeling to have.
And, while I really, truly loved Las Vegas, the people that I went on the trip with were… less than stellar travel companions and it really took away from my trip. It really dragged me down. Here I was in one of the most exciting cities and I was dealing with two Debbie Downers who didn’t even really want to be there.
I really felt like I got robbed of the true experience, in a sense. And I’m not saying that for pity. I’m just saying that because… the trip, treating myself for my bithday, it was a big deal to me. I’d never done that before, so to have my first foray into Birthday travel be that crappy, I want a do-over.
I’m daydreaming right now. My birthday is coming up and I really don’t want to be here for it. I want to go somewhere. It doesn’t have to be far away. I just don’t want to be here. Where can I go, on a limited budget, that will allow me to enjoy myself and feel as though I’ve truly treated myself for my birthday? I know Vegas is out of contention for this year, but I’d love to just go somewhere. I just want to do something for me. I know that’s selfish, but that’s what I want.
My parents and brothers have been asking me what I want for my birthday and I’ve just been telling them money. I know you’re not supposed to request money from people, but honestly, even if they just gave me 20 bucks, that would be an extra 20 bucks I could put towards an adventure, right? They don’t understand why I want to go. I can’t understand why I’d want to stay. Alas, we’re at the crossroads that is myself and my family.
There’s a whole world out there… and I just want to see all of it. Right now, though? Daydreaming of an affordable Western Canada or Western USA destination that I could escape too for a weekend.
As she opened her birthday presents at the kitchen table, my mom broke down and cried this morning. They were both tears of happiness and tears of… something more. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but seemed almost like tears of nostalgia or thankfulness.
My brother bought her plane tickets to Denmark for her birthday. He sent them to her email this morning with a note that said ‘Happy Birthday, I’ll see you in two weeks”. The significance of this is that her granddaughter was born in May and she’s been itching to get over there to meet her grand-baby ever since. So now, the woman who thought she would never ever get to travel is off to Europe for the second time in two years. It’s safe to say that made her morning, and likely day/week/year.
The other presents we gave her were much smaller in comparison. Just little things that sort of fit into her world each day. A fishing pole for her days at the lake, a new summer outfit for if it EVER gets sunny around here, a rice cooker because she always complained of never having one but was too stubborn to go buy one.
After she’d opened the presents, though, she was still crying. After she’d seen her cake, she was still in tears. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I’d asked her what was wrong.
She quite literally broke down at the kitchen table this morning, right in front of me.
‘I’m remembering my bithday last year’, she said.
‘No doubt,’ I responded, thinking she was just reflecting on what has been a difficult year for her.
‘I was so sick last year. So very sick. And I was afraid to tell anyone and I was afraid to get checked out. I really should have gotten checked out in August and not in November when I did.”
I wrapped my arms around her as she sat in the chair and said ‘It’s okay, it all worked out okay’.
She went on to say ‘When they finally did give me my diagnosis, when I finally learned what was wrong, you know you go through that moment, that… ‘Am I going to make it to my next birthday’ frame of mind. And now I’m here and it’s so incredible and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself how incredible it feels and to tell myself it’s all going to be okay.’
See, she had never told anyone in my family that she was feeling sick until November. So this morning was a bit of a revelation for us. We may not always get along (rarely, actually) and we definitely don’t ever see eye to eye, but I’ve got an immense amount of pride in my heart for the woman. My mother is the strongest woman that I know. She started down cancer and she won. Now she’s here to celebrate a birthday, but also conquering the past twelve months.
And honestly, this birthday, I’m reminded how grateful I am that she’s still here, too. Now I’ve got to teach her how to pack for two weeks in Europe in only a carry-on bag. Send help! lol
Happy Birthday, Mom. (I know she doesn’t know about this blog, so writing that on here is more for sentiment than anything else, but I wanted it to be said) Here’s to many more bithdays ahead.
You can go to her page and leave a comment on her last post. Though she hasn’t made a blog post in a while, I know she reads everything and she’s been on here. She’s just been on holiday! haha! Leave her a happy birthday note, I bet she’ll love it and it’ll bring smiles to her face.
Happy Birthday, Hilary.
To a wonderful, diligent and insightful soul, I’m wshing you the happiest of birthdays. Thank you for your kindness, for your open-mindedness and your friendship. Wishing you and the fam safe flights home!