In defense of the boring birthday

Here’s the thing about grand life adventures, y’all.

If you approach them with the right attitude, they are awesome. They are exhilarating and challenging and bring the world into bright, vivid focus in a way that normal life makes tough to achieve.

They are also exhausting.

I have hit that point in this grand adventure I’m on. As the anniversary of a day that changed my life in major ways approaches, I find myself thinking of all that’s happened in the last year. I left a job. I founded a consulting company. I got rejected from jobs, more than once. I went to Tennessee and hiked the Smoky Mountains. I found a job. I became an aunt. I sold most of my stuff. I drove cross-country with my mom to Boston. I lived in a B&B for a month. I found an apartment. I moved into that apartment after a blizzard. I learned how to navigate Boston public transit. I bought a couch, then cancelled it. Then I bought another one. I went to Norfolk, and California, and Madison, and just last week, to DC. The couch arrived, as did the bed, the shelves, the dining room table, the rug…and they all required special delivery circumstances that taught me I will never get from work to home in less than 30 minutes on Boston public transit. I volunteered at a food pantry, walked dozens of miles in the Arboretum. Even in the last week I went to a young professional symphony concert (yes, at 38 I am still going to those), did a show with my company, scouted a comedy act for my old company and watched the Badgers make the Final Four.

Plus, there is the natural roller coaster of a new job; the highs of discovery and making impact, and the lows of realizing how much more I have to learn.

I guess it’s no surprise that I’m tired.

And so, here I am, on my birthday, and no, I am not out rollicking to Irish tunes in a local Boston pub. I’m home with the dog, replete on Thai takeout, admiring my flowers and gifts, and preparing for a little binge TV watching. And I am perfectly, wonderfully content.

FLowers and gifts

Facebook has been buzzing me all day with birthday messages, texts have come in, and I even got to facetime with my niece (sporting her new Badger shirt, of course). My new colleagues got me a bundt cake, and one of my old ones got me Ryan Gosling (hey girl). Google had a doodle just for me. Plus, I found out that Christopher Walken and I share a birthday with the Eiffel Tower. What more could a girl want?

So here’s a shout out to the low-key among you, the ones who are ok with a quiet birthday at home. Don’t feel bad that facebook is full of glamorous soirees and selfies of frolicking birthday partiers. You’re fine. I’m fine. Life is rich and full and sometimes tiring, so enjoy the luxury of curling up in a warm house with the knowledge that you completed another trip around the sun.

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