A Day to Remember

I turned 62 yesterday, which in normal times is not a birthday that would be particularly memorable.  But these are not normal times.

I woke up early on my birthday,  and for the first time in weeks, I didn’t immediately remember that we’re in the middle of a pandemic that has my area in an indefinite lock down.  I even forgot my current personal worries.  For just a moment, life seemed normal and good.  Which made it all the harder when reality hit, and my mood took a definite nosedive.

j8F7xtuZS+OVv0b2HB7YNABut it was still a fine Spring day, and my phone began beeping with texts and calls from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday.  My son and his wife had a gorgeous basket of flowers delivered, and my daughter and grandson dropped by with gifts.   My husband gave me lovely roses, a cake and several cards. (Including one from our dog, Finn, with a note from Finn explaining that between the shelter-at-home order and his heart worm treatment, he wasn’t able to shop for my gift this year…..but hoped that he would be allowed to have a slice of my birthday cake anyway.)

Friends left gifts of wine and flowers on our doorstep, then lingered in the front yard for a chat while I stood on the porch.  It was so good to see their faces for the first time in weeks, and I can’t begin to say how much I appreciated their thoughtfulness.  Later, my husband got take-out food from one of our favorite restaurants and then let me beat him at three straight card games.  I know he let me win, because he has the ability to remember every single card that has been played and to calculate the odds accordingly, while I’m doing good to remember what game we’re playing.  When I get tired of losing so much, I play solitaire…and cheat, just so I can experience the “thrill of victory” for a change.

In more ways that I have time to list, my birthday was a good day.  But I would be lying to say that it was a completely good day, because no matter how hard I tried not to think about them, my worries and frustrations never totally went away.   I also felt a bit guilty for not feeling 100% happy in the face of so much love and support.

Sometimes it’s so hard to allow ourselves to be human, and to feel anxious, afraid or frustrated, or any of the emotions that come when our world has been turned upside down and no one knows what the future will bring.  But if this year’s birthday celebration has taught me anything, it’s that it’s not only possible to feel conflicting emotions during these times, but that it’s perfectly okay.

We’re allowed to feel grateful for the support of our friends and family and still be worried about the millions of people who have suddenly found themselves unemployed.  It’s okay to be afraid of catching this virus and still long to gather with our loved ones.  Life these days is nothing but a mixture of contradicting emotions, and I think that’s actually a normal response to these abnormal days in which we live.

So when I think back on my 62nd birthday, I think I’ll remember a lot of things.  I’ll remember feeling frustrated as the weeks of sheltering at homes stretches into months.  I’ll remember the love of friends and family who went out of their way to make my birthday a special day.  I’ll remember feeling so very sorry for those who are suffering from this virus, in any form.  But mostly, I’ll remember that even in these difficult times, lots of good things still happen and lots of good people are trying very hard to help others cope.  Which means that in all the important ways, this was a memorable birthday after all…..

126 thoughts on “A Day to Remember

  1. Happy Birthday. When you write of all the friends and family that checked in with you all I can say is wow. You’re very lucky to have so many people who even notice it’s your birthday. Perhaps that’s the greatest gift of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ann, wishing you a belated Happy Birthday! You won’t forget this one I am sure! I had my 50th on 27th April, my neighbours went to the effort of making me a vegan cake with icing and candles! We had drinks all sitting in our own gardens, it was very special if rather unusual! I hope you are doing okay, you have a lovely understanding attitude towards your fellow human beings which really shows in your blog and which I have often remembered as an example to follow. If you get stressed- switch off the news! All the best, Rachel

      Liked by 1 person

      • That actually sounds like a wonderful 50th celebration! The important thing is to celebrate with people who care about you, and it sounds as if you did just that. Thank you for your kind words about my blog, and your wise words about less news. Ordinarily I like to be informed, but the news isn’t doing such a great job of that these days, so rationing it is a good thing. Take care, Rachel…and happy belated birthday!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. was missing you, just checked your site and found about your birthday, belated happy birthday My friend ( first frnd on wordpress) stay young and healthy ever, live long.

    My birth date is 3 MAY ….

    I am happy to know the same.
    God bless you my friend.
    miss you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! And happy belated birthday to you. I hope you are well and safe…. Are you still blogging? When I tried to click on your site, I got an error message. God bless you as well, my friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello my friend, I am good and my family is also doing great. How are you? yes I am still blogging though less frequently and also trying to write post in English language too. I love writing and I will not stop blogging until its God’s Decision to do so:)

    Take a good care of yourself and thank you for your wishes dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad! I’ll try to find your blog again, especially if it is written in English! You are a good writer so I’m glad to hear that you’re sticking with it. Best wishes to you….stay safe and well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Belated Happy Birthday, Ann!! So glad you got to enjoy cake, visits from friends and winning three consecutive card games! 😉 As to it being memorable because of the difficult times and the contradicting emotions – I get that so well. One moment you feel happy and pleased with yourself, the next a little desperation sets in again and all the worries are back again. I think it’s a very normal state to find oneself in all those ups and downs. But at least we can be thankful for the ups, small as they may be. Stay safe and take care!

    Liked by 1 person

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