In 4 weeks - 28 days - I will be 50 years old. That's how my day started. Seriously! I woke up thinking that. I guess I had birthday on the brain because today is my friend Bonnie Howard's birthday - and yesterday I was trying to think up cheap fun ways to celebrate my half century mark. But do I really have to wake up with this thought on my mind??
I know that birthdays are supposed to be celebrated and though the years I've had a few awesome ones. But the percentage isn't great. I didn't have birthday parties as a kid ( okay everyone...big awwww...) I know it was tough on my parents. I was the 7th child. The end of the line. And everyone else was 8 to 19 years older than I was. Throwing parties was something they were pretty tired of. I'm sure I had those cute little parties when I was very small, but once my sisters were grown up and gone, I didn't have parties. Maybe a cake with my family. Presents sure. But I was actually sent to my room once on my birthday because I cried when I got a new winter coat for my birthday and my mom didn't have time to make me a cake. Jeez..I was 8 years old! I wanted to feel special and instead I felt like one more thing to deal with.
My 13th was pretty sweet. My best friend was invited to spend the day with us and we went to see Nicolas and Alexandra at the new cinema in Medford and then went to pizza. My parents never ate pizza. (Now don't go looking up N&A in the IMDB. I know it says 1971 release. But I grew up in Grants Pass Oregon - long before VCRs and DVDs. It was an Oscar movie - which means it didn't really get released until Dec. 1971 and then didn't make it to Medford until Fall of 1972)
My 15th, my sister Nancy gave a surprise party for me - but it was still just family. 18th, my parents and I were driving from GP to Newberg where they would leave me for my first year in College. We had ice cream in Rice Hill. 21, I had just moved to Portland to go to PSU. I left behind my first love and everyone else I knew. So I went and bought a bottle of wine and toasted myself. David sent me a plant for my apartment. I had that plant for almost 15 years before it finally gave up. 30 - I threw myself a party. One year my co-workers at PSU gave me a sweet tea party. I still have the tea pot from that one. 40 - my cube got decked in black. 44 - I knew my marriage was well and truly over. I got drunk and contemplated suicide. 45 - my first one on my own. All the guys at work took me to lunch and I felt pretty loved. 47 - my last one with Bridgete. She cooked me spaghetti lobster and we watch a movie together at her little house. 48 - I tried to forget being without B and my recent bad chocolate cake experience by having a bash with co-workers at my favorite wine bar. My horrible luck with parties continued when exactly 4 people came. We had a great time...but I kind of swore off parties after that. Last year, I went to the beach with my friend Bert. That was perfect. Sunny, Sylvia Beach Hotel, great dinner, great wine, great company.
So now I'm looking at one of the MILESTONES. THE BIG FIVE-O! And part of me wants to simply ignore it. But most of me really wants to CELEBRATE! BIG PARTY CELEBRATE. And I'm broke. I have some savings, but my car is being temperamental and I have to buy a plane ticket for Boston for Christmas and I can't drain that to nothing. I'd really just like to find a nice place that is not to expensive, invite everyone I know and hope someone shows up. I can't host the party so wherever I choose has to be cool with however many people show and whether they order food or not, drinks or not, and not charge me extra for servers or a back room or whatever. I'm still thinking Beth and Everyday Wine are the way to go. Beth is totally cool and I love her. But part of me wants a full bar like this place- Night Light Lounge.
And Bert is coming again....and she and I talked about going to the beach again...and right now I don't even trust my car to make it there....
Can you tell I'm struggling right now? I'm standing on the edge looking down there into that pit and wondering if just a little wallow wouldn't be such a bad idea. This weekend is a three day one and I'm going to do a little purging. Cleaning out my closets. Letting go of those old hurts that are keeping me tied to my pain. And seriously thinking about my next 50 years and what I want those to look like. My little calendar this morning told me that "It's never too late - in fiction or in life - to revise." Time for a re-vision, a fresh look with softer, gentler eyes, a blank canvas that can be whatever I want it to be.
So let's start with some celebration. What do you say??
Be sure to check other Broken Thoughts from Ginger, Kate, Bridgete and Jenn.