LaToya, It’s Your Birthday

Well, it’s my birthday for another 45 minutes. On my Asana list for today was not only to attend a meeting, the first time I can recall ever working on my birthday, as well as blogging. All in all it’s been a great and relaxing day. As has become our tradition, we combined my birthday celebration with my sister-in-law’s whose birthday was on the 20th. I don’t recall ever having such a chill day with my immediate family.

Because the weather was dreary we stayed in at the hotel. The kids went to the pool with my brother while the rest of us, my mom, dad, husband and sister-in-law hung out in our connecting hotel room. We chatted, watched television, we did what I enjoyed most, simply being together as a family. The morning started off with me being awakened after what only seemed like a handful of hours sleep. After all, I had spent the past several days in a deep Netflix binge fest. On Friday I watched the entire first season of True Detective (on the advice of one of my first cousins) and then, since his other suggesting Fargo wasn’t available on Netflix, I started watching a recommendation of my brother, Arrow. So, in about three days I also finished the 55 hour-long episodes and am now completely caught up with the entire series. Okay, so maybe they were more like 40 minutes or so a piece since all but the last few episodes of the current season were watched commercial-free.

I was awakened by the normal chatter that comes from having adjoining rooms and having everyone else be morning people. I hesitated, wanting to claim another hour or so of sleep but, it was my birthday after all and why should I sleep the day away?! My sister-in-law was kind enough to go out in the dismal weather and bring back a hearty Panera breakfast for us all. Bagels, yum. I’ve been trying to be a bit more diligent in how much I consume so I gladly ate one bagel, slurped a vanilla bean frap from Starbucks and was content until dinner.

Every year it’s always a bit comical as we decide on where to eat. Over the years I’d get on to my mom for wanting to police or dictate fun. That’s just her way, and to be honest, I’m a lot like her. However, with the exception of us doing nothing all day, she did originally state where we’d have my birthday dinner. Every year it’s the same thing, I always say that I want Red Lobster and every year it’s like pulling teeth. “Mom, it’s my birthday,” I’d often complain. However, I chose to be different this year. Rather than be the bratty oldest child (who was turning 34 and not 10), I told her “okay” when she said we’d go to Chili’s. I’d forgotten that we’d done so last year. Granted that my excitement dipped a little at the thought of doing Chili’s for my birthday but I wasn’t going to complain. I was appreciative of spending two nights at a hotel with the family and with not having any expenses for its duration.

During the course of conversation the topic of Maggiano’s came up. We’d celebrated our birthdays there two years ago and I’d secretly hoped that we’d do so again this year. And that we did. In the end we had a wonderful family dinner at the Italian restaurant. Granted, we have family dinner every week, but it’s not often that we go out for a deletable restaurant dinner. Sure, the weather was nasty and sure, by the end of the night I’d told my hubby that I wouldn’t be speaking to him for the remainder of the night, but in its entirety it was wonderful. A wonderful day with the people I love.

For years I disliked having my birthday being so close to Christmas. So many combination gifts or forgotten birthday gifts, but in my adulthood it has turned into a fun-filled two or even three-day celebration that involves my immediate family. I am so blessed to have a family core that I actually enjoy spending time with. I know that not everyone has that and so I am consciously appreciative of what we have. Most weeks we see each other for dinner at least once and I often speak to my mom multiple times per week.

And so as I enjoy the twilight of my early 30s I wonder what the next year and few years will bring. I have a number of hopes and dreams but for now I’m living in the moment. I’m 34 years old and I have a lot to be thankful for. And quite fittingly here is the last of my finished poems, New Beginnings.

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