Hey, it’s my birthday. I’m going to party like it’s my birthday. Only I’m not. Some people relish their’s but I have at best an indifference to it. I don’t feel much like celebrating yet another year on the planet and when asked what I’d like for my birthday I usually display a noncommital (yes, you’ve guessed it) indifference. To those of you who remembered my birthday and have made the effort to make it special, you are wonderfully kind and this is not a criticism of you – I am your proverbial elephant and the stairs arrive annually. But why feel like this, I’m not sure. I think for a long time I’ve felt my birthday has been overshadowed. I had a grandmother whose birthday fell a week before mine and used to like to steal the limelight even on the big numbers for me. I now have two parents who are engaged in politics and, inevitably with a birthday falling in the second week of May, election now do their bit to overshadow. MrsAB says that my family don’t really do birthdays, which isn’t really true looking around at the celebration of others. Maybe its karma for repeatedly forgetting family and friends’ birthdays. Maybe its just a bloke things. I haven’t a clue. All I know is that on paper I am a year older and what ever I do to “celebrate” it is likely to not quite hit the spot, as if I’m purposely setting a bar unachievably high.
Of course, I’m writing all this sat at work having had to source one of the world’s worst sandwiches (a bought lunch was intended to be a self-treat) in an institution that is supposedly world class in thinking but where some though needs to be given to food. MrsAB would by now be blaming low blood sugar levels on my mood. But I started the day to a rejection email from a fusty academic journal making me both angry at the form of the rejection but also inadequate in this sea of “successful” peers in which I tread water 3 times a week. Oh, and did I mention it was raining. Not great as you can imagine. All these bits just don’t make me feel like celebrating much.
Of course this is all a frame of mind. Part of it I am convinced is just my make up that I need to manage. Part of it is the drugs (or the increasing lack of them) talking. Part of it is a growing realisation of a need to change yet more to be happier whilst recognising what it is that makes me happy. I just look around and don’t think there’s much to celebrate about yet another year (the same is true of New Year).
So to those who have sent felicitations thank you and I love you all in many ways. I promise to pick myself up a bit before being taken off for an Italian dinner by MrsAB – I’m sure the tiramasu will do its best to make the day that bit better.