I had the most amazing birthday weekend to kick of a celebratory birthday week! This year the focus is more on quiet intimacy. You have to really start to know yourself and what you want in order to celebrate in a way that is truly meaningful to you. The older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to paint that picture any way you want it, and not what others expect of you. Ask yourself….what do I want to do? How can I mark this milestone in a way that matters to me?
Since I’m heading out Friday night to celebrate another friend’s 40th birthday and celebrate life with her and her closest girlfriends…some who are good friends of mine…I decided this year I’d schedule one on one dates with my friends. Hence the birthday week, or month or really however long it takes to have weave girlfriend time into my life. As much fun as I had last year, it’s kind of fun to think about spreading it out a bit!
Saturday morning I was able to go kayaking with a close friend of mine. Tammy and I spent 3 1/2 hours out on the water. It was my first time going kayaking with a girlfriend….I’d only been with “boys” before (you know my hubby and my brother). And you know I had a great time with each of them, but this time there was no “pace” to keep. We developed our own rhythm, and explored at our own slower pace. We ventured to areas I had not been yet, and the wildlife was incredible….from schools of fish jumping out of the water, to birds diving into the water to catch fish, to pelicans gliding in hover fashion over the water and yes…..
we even saw a manatee!!!
At one point…in our last 45 minutes, we had our kayaks fashioned side by side and were just still, taking it all in and right in front of us by just a couple feet……we saw a snout rise up out of the water to take a breath. It was surreal. He was kind of noisy about it and just as soon as our eyes focused on him, and we emitted a quiet squeal of delight tapping each other to make sure the other one saw, and just like that he was back under water swimming past us.
Oh my…..we were stunned! I can’t explain the feelings of seeing a “sea creature” (another name for a manatee is a sea cow) out and about….you know since we weren’t on a whale watching expedition or a dolphin cruise. You know….we hadn’t paid a big chunk of cash and were out with a huge group of people. And if I hadn’t been sold on kayaking before (and you know I was!), then this just reeled me in….hook, line and sinker. I told Tammy, “kayaking is fishing for girls” cause you and I both know that fishing for boys is not just about the fish…it’s about the quiet morning on the water, the communing with nature, and the male bonding. Don’t forget the male bonding!
Yesterday…September 11th….my 41st birthday, after spending the morning at church with my family, and a quick trip to Costco we came home and I had a relaxing afternoon reading a good book (and napping a bit) after watching a few new 9/11 documentaries with my husband. We weren’t in the mood for “dinner out” so we had something at home and then ventured out alone. We are just on the cusp of starting to take advantage of the fact that our oldest daughter can babysit. It’s still new territory, but it’s awesome and I know opens up a whole new world to us!
We drove over to the beach to take a walk and mark the day as special…set it apart from the others. I hadn’t realized that the sun was quickly setting, and on the drive over I noticed the large full moon hanging in the sky. Oh my….what are the odds? My mom had just retold me my birth story in an email, and I was born on the night of a full moon….so again I say, what are the odds? How few birthdays will actually be on a “full moon” in my lifetime as it had been on the night I was born?
And because of this incredible timing and heading over to the beach alone (which we never do)….we caught the sunset off to one side and the moon rise over the ocean, and I got these beautiful pictures to mark another memorable birthday. Dinners out are over rated…sure I still enjoy them and we don’t do them often, but I’m so glad I’ve started thinking outside the box. So I say….what do YOU want to do for your birthday this year? What will set your birthday apart and make it special for you?
It’s only taken me half my lifetime to realize it’s okay to want to do something special for your special day. It’s okay to want to celebrate life with those special to you. It’s okay to come full circle and make a big deal of your birthday like you did when you were a kid. If my 8 year old spends half the year plotting and planning her special day….why can’t I?