Confessions of a Former Addict

birthday cakeI admit it. I’m a junkie. Not on drugs or alcohol nor really anything that’s bad for me (unless you consider aging and self-indulgence vices). I’m addicted to birthdays. And not just anyone’s birthdays…MY birthdays.

I don’t doubt that there are people out there who suffer this addiction far worse than I—in fact, I’m sure Pintrist will prove me right—but hey, I’m a Scorpio and my kind are notorious for basking in the limelight. Just ask any of the former Scorpio Fest members from the late ‘90s (Dani Ghiradella, Ari Kambas, you know who you are).

But you don’t need to worry about me, I’m in recovery.

Fourteen years ago, when I met my husband, I considered my birthday such a major event I spent the whole beginning of November anticipating it. Next to Thanksgiving (which is my favorite holiday), my birthday was my favorite day of the year. Arrogant? Yes. Self-centric? Yes. Despicable? I hope not.

But over the years, especially since the birth of my own kids, my birthday has been slipping farther and farther down the value scale. Aside from my 38th birthday—when DH had a crazy busy travel schedule and my kids were younger and more draining so I got extra special treatment—and, OK, also my 40th birthday—which justifiably took a whole year to celebrate, from a surprise party in 2012, culminating a year later in Puerto Rico with a few of my dearest high school pals—I have treated the rest of my birthdays  more like their namesakes: birth-days.

OK, some of you may be thinking, “uh, in what way have your birthday celebrations slipped? You’re still a total diva about them.” but believe me, compared to how I used to obsess, things have changed!

First, I no longer track a countdown until my birthday. I also no longer refer to November as my “birth-month,” (I’ve passed this job along to my nearest and dearest). But perhaps my biggest improvement: I try not to fault people for treating me as a mere commoner during my actual birth-week.

Believe me, these are all parts of the 12-step program.

So when I turned the light out last night at 11:56, I didn’t wait the extra 4 minutes just so my DH could wish me a happy birthday like I used to.

When I got up this morning, I didn’t immediately log in to Facebook to read all of the birthday greetings from “friends” (in fact, I haven’t logged into Facebook much at all in the past 8 months; but that’s another blog post).

And I didn’t despair when my mom waited until 8:45 this morning to call with this year’s fabulous birthday song (sung to Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken).

No, I think I’m finally growing up.

Now my birthday is just, well, a day…albeit a very fabulous, labor and worry free day, filled with little pamperings and lots of birthday love.

I definitely still milk the day for all I can but I try not to be too extreme about it. No I’ve also passed that genetic trait along to the Muses, who start planning and dreaming about their own birthdays nearly a year in advance.

Bird asks about once a week how many more days there are until his February birthday. He started asking in July. And I already know that Queenie wants a Harry Potter themed party, complete with magician and a Hogwarts shaped cake (wish me luck!).

Ah, birthdays,indeed glorious things of thee are spoken but I think I’m finally happy with just my day.

Give me some quality time with friends, hugs from my family, a few good laughs, a nice meal, a phone call or two, minor pampering; I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I’ll leave it up to the  Muses to do all the planning, dreaming and hoping. Afterall, theirs are really my birth-days.

Lets blow out the candles.

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