family is story

A Birthday First!

168722690I spent my 41st birthday alone. I didn’t really plan that to happen, but I didn’t choose otherwise—and we all know that not choosing is actually a choice.

So, it was just another day.

I had worked eight hours in the yard the day before—hard work, sweat dripping from my brow, creating something from nothing, all-caps, HARD work—and the morning of my birthday was spent convincing my spasming back to get out of bed. I convinced it at one point, but it convinced me to return to bed around 9 a.m. I did so, gladly.

I’m not ashamed that I spent most of my birthday in sweats, lazing about the house, watching “The Goodwin Games,” “Princess Bride” and “The Women” (the former two I highly recommend, the latter, well, don’t bother.)

I left the house for 40 minutes, exactly. Time enough to run three errands and grab myself some celebratory frozen yogurt at the “new” Racetrac—surprisingly the best choice for froyo in a 10-mile radius to Casa de Wilder.

I think it’s brave to spend a birthday completely alone—and to do other normally-attended-in-pairs-or-a-group things alone. Like going to the movies, or to a concert, even embarking on a trip, all of which I’ve done alone. It’s a risk. It’s exhilarating. It builds an internal boldness, a comfort, an ease, with the realization that you can be alone with yourself—and like it.

My bday was a great day. A regular, no surprises day. No commitments, no rushes, no deadlines, no complaints, no to-dos, no expectations kind of day. When’s the last time you had one of those?

©2013 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.