The Day After.

In my opinion the day after one’s birthday is not the best.

No longer is one receiving 123 Facebook notifications (and counting) saying someone has posted on your wall for your birthday, nor are they receiving birthday high fives from friends walking by which leads to more high fives from random strangers who happened to have overheard. It’s that lack of attention that one adores during their special day that one misses the day after their birthday. At least that’s the way it is for me.

A birthday is your day to feel extra special, to have extra attention, and birthdays should always, always be celebrated. Always.

My birthday is April 3rd. What a good day to have a birthday! April 3rd falls on a Tuesday this year and because I’m a grownup I had to go to work on my birthday; This is completely fine with me. The morning started around 8:30 with me and my friend Renae going to the coffee place in town to grab breakfast; it is also her birthday. After 45 minutes of us singing happy birthday to ourselves, blowing out candles placed lovingly on the whip cream of our drinks by our baristas, and eating toasted bagels with heaps of cream cheese, I had to go into work to prepare for the work day. My schedule at work was packed with back-to-back-to-back interviews for students applying for alternative housing. I had the privilege of hosting the interviews, listening to the students and their proposals, and asking them questions about their desires for alternative housing. These interviews kept me busy and definitely made the day go by quickly.

During the breaks I had from the interviews, I received countless high fives, “happy birthdays,” and smiles. Lots and lots of smiles. For lunch my department took me out to the Chinese restaurant in town where we spent about an hour chatting of past birthdays, engagement proposal stories, and times we tried new foods. We returned to the office to have red velvet cupcakes that one of my coworkers made for me. For a gift, they got me a key ring of sorts that attaches to my purse so I can know exactly where to find my keys and won’t have to scour my purse for them.

Each time I returned to my desk from interviews I was greeted by an assortment of gifts: two different paintings from a friend and her daughter, peanut M&Ms, notes from people saying they stopped by, a strawberry banana smoothie, emails from my office mate telling me such and such a person stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and wanted me to pass the message along, and an orange plant which was probably my favorite. Not only was the plant orange but I came to find out that it is an African plant of some sorts. Orange and African? That is winning all around.

Work ended around 5:30 and Matt took me out to eat at another restaurant in town. (I’d like to point out that I ate out for all three of my meals today.) We returned to my apartment and Matt gave me a present of making me chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from scratch which was really from a box. The smiles and adventure that resulted from that were amazing. After consuming two pieces of the cake, which turned out really well, we went to spend more time with Renae and other friends at her place. We played games and ate more cake (yikes!) before returning back to my apartment and vegg-ing.

I have been glancing over at my clock every now and then and I’m now being told that 10 minutes remain before April 4th arrives. I can gratefully say that it was a good, good day. I appreciated everything: waking up early, a candle in the whip cream of my coffee, work, cupcakes, food, smiles, phone calls, birthday greetings, cake, Facebook messages, the seven other people I crossed paths with who had birthdays today – everything. So many blessings.

The first few hours of April 4th may not be the best time for me as I long for the attention from the day before but alas only 364 days until I get to turn one more year older. What I appreciate about April 4th though is that it will bring with it the realization that it is in fact not about me at all. And that’s a good day-after-your-birthday gift.

Until next April 3rd I think I will make it a point to greet people the day after their birthday, helping them transition back to normality.

"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."

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