And the Year is Off to a Shaky Start

This WAS the year that was supposed to be less stressful, right? This was gonna be THE year for me… wasn’t it? So how come we are already past the one week mark and I’m still playing catch-up?

So far, almost everything that could go wrong HAS gone wrong. My Tablet started acting up, so I spent last weekend (and much after-hours time yesterday) getting it back from a ground-floor regen in preparation for my upcoming trip. My Hubby’s birthday was nearly ruined when I left the grocery store with only half of the bags I purchased… leaving the jumbo shrimp splurge for his dinner in the self-checkout lane. (Note to self: when stressed out, let someone else ring up my groceries, so I’m sure I get my goods in my basket after paying for them.)

My sister called, over the weekend inquiring about all the details of the trip. There are some times in my life when I think I am a planner. All my friends laugh at my “every detail planning” methods. But, I’m trying to reform. I’m trying to plan less and live more. My sister… she’s a planner’s planner. She wondered if I’d done the MapQuest on how to get to the hotel and if I knew the best restaurants around that area and would I like her to do that for me.

It was sweet, honestly. But, it already irks me that I’m traveling on my birthday. To have to PLAN for that day… well that flies in the face of what my birthday has been for the last few years. You see, for several years now, I take off on my birthday. Usually for just a day, but I’m off. I make NO plans. I let the wind or a whim carry me. If I wake up in the morning and feel sleepy… I (*gasp*) roll back over. I’m off call. OFF CALL, I SAY! for that one day every year. I’m not “mommy” or “wife” or “daughter” or anything but Angela. I’m my own woman for 24 hours.

If I want to go out to eat — I go. If I want to read a book, I read. I usually leave the house (and I don’t step a toe inside the office). I’ve not worked on my birthday for YEARS. It’s a sacred day. It’s the ONE day every year when I refuse to be at anyone’s mercy. I will not plan. I will not make commitments. I know it upsets my family that I’m not cooperative with the celebration thing — my father for several years assumed this was a getting older depression funk. He couldn’t be more wrong. Now, I actually celebrate my day of new beginnings.

One year, I did a complete spa treatment. One year, I stayed in bed all day. One year I spent the day shopping until I found the perfect thing that I wanted for me for no particular reason except that I wanted it, it was my birthday and I could afford it. I don’t care what everyone else does on their special day — but I am downright protective of mine.

Now that this has been going on a few years, people are starting to understand. I think the kids still have an issue with me not being around for my birthday. But they are more accepting and I celebrate with them early or late — but I don’t commit to cake and presents on my birthday. Honestly, I’d rather just buy something for myself that I’ve been wanting, but couldn’t justify. I still don’t think my hubby “gets it” — but he tolerates me.

Every year, for the kids’ birthdays, I give them “princess for the day” or “king for the day” — where that is THEIR day. They do anything (within reason) that they want. We go where they want to go, and do what they want to do. I give them myself — without complaint or judgment — for that entire day. They eat whatever they like and my “mommy” side stays still and quiet. They love it. After several years of this, I finally decided that I wanted queen for a day for my own birthday. And it’s been a GREAT decision.

This is the first year I’ve committed to anything on my birthday in many years. I was planning to attend the pre-conference meetings, and I still might, but since they fall on my birthday… I may not. Maybe I’ll just explore Memphis. But whatever I do, I’ll make that decision that day. I don’t want to plan. I will not plan. I have not planned — Heck, I still need to pack!

There are so many projects for clients and for my own business that are sitting here staring at me across my desk. So many obligations to meet. I leave tomorrow morning and I’ll never get it all done. I can’t believe I’ll return and the month will be half over and I’ll be this far behind. THIS was supposed to be the year when I had it all under control. This was my “smell the roses” year. This is going to HAVE to get better… but I’ll worry about that when I return. For now, I’ll finish out my day, then do my laundry, pack my bags and actually go to sleep at a decent hour and tomorrow… I hit the road!

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