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10.25.2012

My Milestone Celebration


For my birthday this year I decided to throw myself a birthday party. I don't often do this, you know, throw myself a party. I feel a little silly about doing it. I did it for my golden birthday when I turned 25, but other than that, I've had pretty low key birthdays. I guess I don't like all the attention. Or, maybe, I don't mind attention that makes me feel loved, but it also makes me feel awkward when people turn their attention towards me. My neck gets blotchy. So I usually avoid attention. That being said, I usually avoid throwing parties where I am the center of attention.

But this year, I decided to go ahead and throw myself a party.

This birthday is a milestone year for me, even though it was last year I turned forty.

As I approached forty, I would read statuses of my Facebook friends as they came to their milestone day. Some of them marked it with an epic bash. I wanted to have an epic bash with friends and then post photos of us smiling together. See, I have friends.

I read a local newspaper columnist's account of her fortieth birthday party, a huge affair in which she was amazed by how many wonderful friends she had. I wanted that. Friends, mostly, but a bash too. I imagined that I, too, could have a milestone day involving lots of laughter. And possibly skydiving and feather boas.

The closer I got to forty, though, the sadder I felt. I felt alone. My fortieth birthday marked the one year anniversary of one of the hardest, most difficult times of my life.

For the entire year before I turned forty I was in quite a bit of pain. Actually I'd been in pain for several years, but this particular pain was not easily covered up. That in itself was painful. Shameful. That year I had to dig deep to uncover the pain that I'd buried. Unearthing pain is a good thing because then the wounds can be healed. But it is a painful thing to unearth pain.

As I approached that milestone birthday, not only did I not want attention because of my blotchy neck, I didn't want attention at all. I could not imagine anyone wanting to celebrate me. I did not want to celebrate me. My condemner was strong in my ears.

But this year, as I turn forty-one, I've decided to celebrate. There is plenty of reason to celebrate. Grace and mercy! Love! New life!

There is still pain, but now there is hope. And hope is cause for celebration. It's a milestone.

So I'm throwing myself a milestone 41st birthday party at work. The building I manage is independent living, but the seniors there are still kind of a captive audience, I guess, so it's a safe party for me. No one is going to be too busy to come. See, I have friends. And, since it's my job to get their attention every once in awhile, I'm not too concerned about my blotchy neck.

Although it's my birthday party, it's really a party for them. I love to give them parties, to give them something to look forward to and to enjoy. My birthday is just an excuse to do it. Plus, it means I get to have some fun at work on my birthday instead of having to do paperwork. Two birds, one stone.

No longer an anniversary of pain, but a celebration of new life and hope. My milestone celebration.

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Bonus Feature:
If you've ever watched a movie on DVD with me, you know I like bonus features. Now here's a bonus feature for you:

A little trivia quiz about my birthday.

This quiz is one of the games I have for the seniors at the party. Since it's "my birthday party" I figured it would be fun for them to learn some trivia about my birth day. Now you can learn it too.

linking up with Casey
for
what is on my heart

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