In one week from today I enter the realm of “closer to 40 than 30.” I made many jokes upon turning thirty that I felt closer to death than ever before but never really felt a sense of dread about my age. Now that I am able to see myself as I saw my mom when she was my age I am truly starting to fret about all that I have yet to accomplish. Mostly about travel, but also about arriving at an age where I am financially able but physically not to do so. Everything is always “later”. Later, when the kids are grown. Later, when our obligations are less. Later, when Honey is retired (which at this state of economy will be never!). When will later be now?
I have had two memorable birthdays since becoming an adult. The first is when I lived in Vista and was turning 25 or 26. I felt so down and depressed… we’d lived there for a year or more and I felt that I still had no close friends, or even marginal friends. I had many acquaintances, many of the ladies from church that I was friendly with, but no one (I felt) that would care or notice if I were to disappear (because I’m not at all dramatic, you know?). It was so frustrating for me because up until the time that I had moved away from Utah, I felt that I always had someone to call if I wanted to up and go to the mall or go out to lunch or the movies. Now here I was with a husband who worked all. The. Time. And two babies who do not make for good conversation or any kind of shopping. Since I didn’t work outside the home I felt I had nothing to offer of significance to anyone I knew that would cause them to include me in the activities I missed so much. Boy, was I wrong! Honey told me he wanted to take me to breakfast for my birthday and that Maria (my then visiting teacher) was going to come over and watch B for us. Only when Maria got to our apartment, it was she who was taking me to breakfast! It meant a lot to me that she would take time for me even though she had her own family to be worrying about in the morning. When we arrived at the IHOP and were waiting to be seated I noticed a couple of other ladies from church were there, too. I said: “Oh how funny! You guys are here at the same time we are!” At which point, a few more ladies that I knew came in, and it was then that I knew they were all there for me. They weren’t just some random ladies called upon to cheer a sister they barely know, these were all women I admired and considered myself friendly with (more like I desperately wanted to be their friend), and it meant so much to me that Maria had known who to call and that they all actually showed up! Breakfast was wonderful, I even had some gifts!, and more importantly I learned that often people think much better of us than we do ourselves.
Fast forward to my 30th birthday, that was one that required an amount of secret planning the likes of which I did not think Honey capable of. Not because he is without skill, but because I am so darn nosy that it is near impossible to pull of something of the magnitude that was achieved without me figuring it out. Not only did I not wheedle the details of it from him, but I had no clue there was anything to be figured!
I still don’t know the exactness of how it happened but Honey, Mom, and my sister E conspired to fly me from here to Salt Lake City for my 30th birthday weekend. Honey packed a bag of my clothing and other necessities, hid it in the car, blindfolded me and drove me to the airport one morning. When we arrived he told me all that had been arranged and I felt truly speechless. I flew in, I think my sister picked me up (I remember very little of the details), and for the whole weekend I was treated like a queen! I was taken to have my hair done, Mom took me on a shopping spree at the book store, and I nearly ruined a surprise dinner gathering of all my dear friends at a Chinese restaurant that I enjoyed when we lived in UT! Earlier in the afternoon it was suggested we go out for dinner at this place but I just wasn’t feeling it… I tend to swing towards Mexican most times when dining out. Though it was almost imperceptive when discussing where to go, I could tell that I needed to persuade myself to eat there that evening and how glad I was that I did!
Twice now I have been shown that I am cared for more than I allow myself to believe. It does not go unnoticed by me that these occasions were five years apart, and here again I find myself a little more than five years later than the last time I felt so adored, struggling with doubts about my worth in the eyes of those I call friend. This is of my own doing, it’s no one’s fault but my own (and bad genes) that bring me so low. But I find myself in need of another grand gesture to remind me that I am a person outside of the name “Mommmmm!” It is my hope that as I take time this week to appreciate you and all that I gain by our association I can fill this need on my own, but if a few cards find their way to my mailbox by next Saturday I’m sure it won’t hurt the process! 😉