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birthday blues

July 30, 2015

I’m an early Leo, so this is my birthday season. Despite my advanced age (late 40s), I always make a big deal about my birthday, even if no one else remembers it.

I often plan a day trip to someplace cool. I treat myself to good food, and maybe a trinket or two. I try to find a delicious dessert.

Not necessarily on the actual birthday, but I try to pick a day within my birthday week. However, if I’ll be travelling in August, I’ll often do it then. Travel and my birthday are a great combination: 18 began in Iceland and ended in Luxembourg City; 40 was in Vermont.

This year, though, I’m in kind of a funk. Nothing I came up with for a day trip seemed fun, or worth the bother. The weather has either been so hot and so humid that I don’t leave the apartment during the day, or it’s been thunderstorms and flash floods… so I don’t leave the apartment because I don’t like driving in the rain.

This week got off to a bad start. Spouse was going to take me out to dinner Monday night, but he was held up late at work, then walked in the door still on a conference call that lasted another 90 minutes. While I’d been waiting for him, I’d had a dripping-with-sweat, emotionally-fraught encounter with a hummingbird outside our neighbor’s door, who seemed to be suffering from heat exhaustion. I made every attempt I could think of to get them sufficient nutrients to revive, and they seemed to; they flew away. Hours later, after dark, I took the recycling out, and found them on the pavement, dead.

The next morning, another hot and muggy day, I gave them the loveliest funeral I could manage. It cast a pall over the day, and really, the week.


After I finished reading my last crop of library books (at 3 a.m., 7/15), I decided to fast from books, probably for a week. Clear my head of other people’s words, sit with my own thoughts. Maybe write some poems (which tends to happen inversely proportional to the number of books I’m reading).

I had an unlikely idea of trying to last through the end of July, but decided that was probably not doable. And yet… I occasionally count the hours it’s been {at the moment, 380}, because counting makes sense of the enormity of it, and is soothing. I believe this may be the longest period in my life that I’ve gone without reading a book.

I’ve written 5 poems. One was an unfinished poem from years ago that I brought closure to; 3 began from found lines. Of those, 2 don’t make much sense (surreal), but the third unexpectedly diverged into saying deeply-felt things about a family member I regret I never got close with, and a family secret. And the fifth was about the hummingbird.


I have a new pile of library books waiting to be read, but I can definitely postpone doing that for merely another 25 hours. At least.


I had all sorts of mixed feelings about the AROHO Retreat, even before I knew whether I’d been accepted for 2015 or not. Then I wasn’t accepted, but wait-listed. By the time they notified me that a spot had opened up, I no longer thought going was a good idea for me, this year anyway. So I turned it down. It was the right decision, I feel good about it, I don’t regret doing so.

But… I follow AROHO and some of the women I met in 2013 on Twitter, and they’re starting to talk there about being excited for the retreat, and I… feel sad.


Big changes in my psyche are happening below the surface, but on and near the surface, I just feel out of sorts, and sad, and blah, and unmoored. What do I try next? Who am I trying to be? Where is my life going? When is something that I try going to work?


Last year’s birthday number had lots of factors; it felt like it should be “juicy”, and it was. It was often playful, and fun, and joyful. I felt like my old self again, for the first time in a while.

This year… feels like Door(s). The motifs are back to those I’ve spent a lot of time with; motifs that are, in a certain odd sense, ‘comfortable’ despite being unsettling and even disturbing ~ uncertainty, possibilities, looking at my past head-on (and not trying to sugarcoat anything), facing spiritual/metaphysical challenges that kind of terrify me. Trying to find what I left behind, what I forgot had ever been me.

And, of course, reinventing myself, for the 743,988,752th time.


Still hoping I can find a delicious birthday-worthy dessert down the line.

I ordered some used books and a couple of music CDs for birthday gifts to myself: one of each have arrived. One book became unavailable, so I replaced it with a DVD of the Temple Grandin movie. Maybe it’ll come tomorrow.


I don’t really know what to wish for.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. thefeatheredsleep permalink
    August 7, 2015 16:31

    Advanced age??? No! Xxx

    • August 7, 2015 22:24

      Many of my Twitter-friends are younger, even much younger, than I. Also, I don’t know any adults that enjoy celebrating their own birthdays.

      • thefeatheredsleep permalink
        August 8, 2015 10:28

        Fair enough. Happy Birthday nonetheless xx

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