Monday, April 23, 2012

Birthday #28

I'll be honest, I did not have high hopes for this one.  I've been frustrated with work, specifically the lack of flexibility that I had with my former job.  The perks of not traveling anymore and not working an insane amount of hours are wonderful, but I miss the flexibility of being able to take off from the office midday and make up the hours at 2 a.m. if I so choose, which I often did.

My boss got married a week from last Saturday and he was still on his honeymoon, and since one of us always has to be here, I couldn't take the day off.  That wasn't too big of a deal, I've definitely had rougher work days on birthdays past.  But having him gone a week and half had left a heavy load on my plate.  I had to finalize the bank loan negotiations that I hadn't been involved in at all, dealing with the owners, banks and attorneys.  I was successful, but exhausted.

But trying to figure out what a birthday means in my late 20's when I'm single can be awkward.  In a romantic relationship, you have someone to rationalize making a big deal of it.  How much can you expect of your friends for joining you in celebration?

My mom was actually going to come up for my birthday so we could hang out.  I hadn't seen her since my visit down south in mid-February.  Even though I stayed with my parents during my whirlwind trip in March for my high school reunion, she was working during the brief windows that I was at the house.  Mom and I have always clicked, and she's also been helping me brush up on my memorization of Philippians to recite it in my adult Sunday School class next week.

It turns out that I have awesome friends.  My friends Amy and Stephanie volunteered to host and cook dinner for me and some friends.  I decided to defer my mom's visit.  Even though I knew she'd love my friends up here, if we did that, she and I wouldn't get time to really spend together.  And this also gives her a little more time to recover from tax season.  She was grateful for that.

We mainly invited church friends, particularly families I had been adopted into because of having their kids in Sunday School.  The kids, my friend Bryan and I were the only ones who were adventurous (crazy?) to go swimming.  The weekend had spiked probably 20 degrees in temperature, but that heat was gone by Monday evening, and the pool water was cold.  But it felt so good to be back in the water again.  I'm too cheap to stomach a gym membership, so I actually have something to look forward to in the heat of summer.

Amy had barbecued tri-tip, and Stephanie brought a triple-chocolate cake from Costco, and everyone else brought side dishes.  The food was all delicious, and the perk of it all was that Amy made double the amount of tri-tip she ended up needing, so I took home a lot of leftovers.

As we were cutting the cake, I was struck with how profoundly blessed I am.  I may not have my own family yet, but I am surrounded by friends who share their awesome and adorable kids with me so I never feel unloved.

The families with kids left after cake (some crazy line about bedtimes).  So Amy, Christine, Stephanie and I broke out the cards and started playing Nertz.  Amy's older two boys joined us for a couple rounds after homework but before bed.  Usually I dominate at Nertz with this group because I was raised on games more than any of them were, but Stephanie was pulling out way more wins than I.  Amy usually likes keeping score, but I don't, and she didn't even bring it up.  It was nice not even bothering to count cards afterward.  We just separated them, shuffled and played round after round.  That's what makes it fun for me.

We finally all went home around 11:30.  I sat down and read all the comments that had been posted on Facebook throughout the day.  It was a great capstone to an awesome day.

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