Posted on | April 10, 2014 | 4 Comments
All good things must come to an end. Although in March I try to hold on them for as long as possible. March is my birthday month and, accordingly, I celebrate all month long. There is much discussion in our household about why I an entitled to a month long birthday celebration. Honestly, I don’t understand the controversy.
I have explained to the kids that their lifestyle of free housekeeping, a personal chef, and chauffeur service means pretty much everyday is their birthday. The Other Half is one of those bizarre people that actually wants the day to pass without a lot of recognition or ceremony. I don’t understand those people, but who am I to argue? Especially when I can use that time to plan my own festivities.
This March I started early with a Day of Practice at a beautiful nearby community retreat center. On March 1st me and 4 of my friends gathered with others for 6 hours of mindfulness and mediation. (Of course I invited my friends. All public events can be hijacked to serve my birthday purposes during Birthday Month. Just because it’s your retreat center doesn’t mean I can’t make it into my birthday celebration. Just watch me.)
There was some controversy about this, too. One of my friends called The Other Half ahead of time.
“I’m not sure she knows what she’s getting into,” she told him. “Does she know there’s no talking? No talking!’”
The Other Half was nonplussed. He had no idea what a Day of Practice was or that I had any plans to attend such an event. Generally, he has no idea what I am up to on the days that he is at work. Which makes for an eventful dinner discussion when he arrives home for the evening. I believe this is called “adding spice to your marriage” and it is highly recommended by marital therapists.
For the record, I am quite capable of sitting still and being quiet. When I’m reading. Or sleeping. Or….., um….huh. That might be it. I’d say I’m quiet when I’m working in the barn and garden, but really, there’s always someone following me around to talk to.
In any case, we had an incredibly lovely spring day….
and the meditation included both yoga and mindful walking in the relaxing practice space.
There was also “aimless wandering” around the bucolic property.
Plus, we only had to sit completely still and focused for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. So I had an enjoyable and relaxing day despite the large amount of silence and the “essential speech only” lunch. (Shudder. I’m pretty sure it is “essential” to the discuss the delicious cookies and the seasoning in the carrot soup with your friends during lunch. Also, that silent lunch is just supposed to be for the bad kids misbehaving in the cafeteria.) Besides, I might have cheated a little bit by chatting with some friends during the aimless wandering. But that was also “essential”. Because as one of my friends pointed out gently, as we exited the practice room,
“Are you OK? I can actually feel you not talking.”
It’s so lovely to have that friends that really get you.
After all that mindfulness, it was important to check back in with the busyness and boisterous reality of everyday life. So when a friend invited me to her theatre group’s fundraising event at a local bar I made sure I was there to check it out. Remember every event is really about me during the Birthday Month. We noshed on Mexican food, sampled a few spirits,
and then went to pick her daughter up from dance class. Because you can run from your chauffeur duties during Birthday Month but you really can’t hide. Sigh.
Soon after that it was time for the peak of Birthday Month revelry. The annual and much-anticipated Beach Weekend.
For moms only. No kids, no husbands. No finding the empty roll of toilet paper still on the holder. Just sun, sand,….
and an oceanfront hut tub.
Oh, and massages for all. Plus, a day at the nail salon.
Even at the beach they were celebrating my birthday.
Or St. Patrick’s Day. Same difference.
Regardless, there was funnel cake and even a petting zoo. Best hijacked-event-for-my-birthday ever.
Of course, it wasn’t all about the parties. There were lots of awesome gifts during the month.
I got these socks from a friend at the mediation retreat. Which I immediately wanted to put on and wear around the practice room. Except it seemed a little off-message.
The kids got me an American beauty berry bush which I requested because I must, must, must have those branches of berries to add to winter wreaths and Christmas decor.
I bought myself an emergency digital television with a gift card from my brother. So that we’re never stuck without local news during an emergency again. As long as we all sit quietly and listen to it. Because we’re sure as heck not going to be able to see anything on the 3.5″ screen.
There were intangibles, too. My parents watched the kids for me on the Day of Practice. And took me to breakfast at my favorite diner on my birthday. Because the free range eggs at my house are good, but they don’t come with cheese and hashbrowns all folded into a scrumptious omelet with pancakes on the side. I don’t know why the people at Grill Worx don’t realize that pancakes are a whole other breakfast, not a side item, but please, nobody tell them!
The next day the schools were canceled due to inclement weather. Since the roads were completely clear (go figure), we spent the day at the mall. The kids spent their Christmas gift cards at the stores and I used my Red Robin gift card to buy us all lunch afterwards. Which means we successfully traded in a cold drizzly day at home, with the kids begging to play Wii, for a day of shopping and lunch. Without even spending a dime. Oh, is there no end to Birthday Month goodness???!!!
On the random occasions when school was in session I also caught a few breaks. For example, Little was Johnny Appleseed in the annual Wax Museum. Johnny Appleseed! After years of borrowing or building astronaut costumes, hunting for acceptable cowboy attire, or tracking down prairie dresses, I was rewarded with the simplest get up of all: a flannel shirt, rolled up jeans, an apple, and a pot for his head. I had all of those things on hand, in the house, with about 3 minutes of preparation the night before Wax Museum. And now that Little is done, we’ll never have to do Wax Museum again. Happy Birthday to me!
To wrap up the Birthday Month we all went to one of my favorite places on March 31st. The zoo.
Which all means that for me, March came in like a lamb….
and went out like a lion.
Just about right.
All in all, it was a good run. Too bad all the good times are over until next year.
Or are they?