This is a very strange month for me, because I’m about to have a Very Significant Birthday.
I don’t think it’s the fact of turning 50 that worries me (though there is a fabulous article on the midlife crisis by Miranda Sawyer which I just read – about five years late!
For me, the sticky bit is the fact that my dad’s birthday is two days before mine. I always used to throw a family party for him; he was the centre of attention, and I was in the kitchen, making sure that everyone had enough to eat and drink. Birthday cake was his, not mine; and I made sure everyone sang to HIM, not to me. Sure, I got cards and birthday hugs, but I didn’t have to deal with the bits that make me uncomfortable.
The last birthday party I held for me was five years ago – six weeks after I buried my dad. I hated it. Everything felt wrong. I said afterwards that I would do parties for everyone else, but I wasn’t doing one for me EVER AGAIN. (And I’ve stuck to that. Out to dinner with DH and the kids and friends, sure. But no party. No cake. No fuss.)
But 50. It’s quite a big deal for me, actually. My mum made it to 41; my dad’s mum made it to 41; and my mum’s mum made it to 51. I should be celebrating the fact that I’ve got this far – especially as I had that cancer scare last year.
Plus it’ll be the last time my eldest is home for my birthday, because this time next year (grades permitting) he’ll be at uni. So I need to mark the occasion.
I thought about having a big party with a band. But my closest friends sat me down and pointed out that I’d still sneak off to the kitchen and I’d spend the whole evening making sure everyone was having a good time and had enough to eat and drink. Plus I wouldn’t get to spend quality time with everyone, and I wouldn’t be able to hear anyone properly.
So what I’m doing instead is having lots of little celebrations, so I get to spend proper time with people. I’m taking my closest family and best friends out for a posh lunch (and, hey, I’m even wearing a dress). The kids and DH have sorted out a cake (well, I did all the organising but the brief was in a sealed envelope!). And there will be bubbles 🙂 And we’re going to celebrate half a century.
Do any of you find birthdays difficult? What’s your trick to making everything go smoothly?
Kate’s latest releases are a Medical Romance, Her Playboy’s Proposal (definitely one for Poldark fans) and you can get an early copy of her Harlequin Romance/Cherish Billionaire…Boss…Bridegroom! from the Mills & Boon/Harlequin websites. You can find out more on Kate’s website (http://www.katehardy.com/) – or find her on Facebook