Which is kinda awesome, in my opinion. No longer in my carefree, naive 20's, or my semi-tragic, semi-romantic 30's. Nope, now I'm in my ever-evolving 40's. Mother, daughter, sister, wife, writer, unrepentant coffee addict, and looking to gain ten pounds, I'm adjusting my Aries horns and ready to ram my way into my 44th year. Look out, Bruce County.
Having dealt with so much nastiness these past three years, you'd think I'd be less than thrilled with this decade of life so far. Not so. I've been able to occasionally grasp that ephemeral sense of peace people have been encouraging me to seek. It's fleeting, but now at least I know it's there. Plus I'm filled with relief that the worst seems to be behind me, thankful for the funny, cosy, healthy moments that make regular appearances in my life now that I'm taking the time to notice them. Mindfulness, living in the moment, blah blah blah. I hate all that Oprah-speak, but the concepts are surprisingly great when you discover they're real and not just some crap Dr. Phil made up.
"So what do you want for your birthday, Kimmy?" is the question from D that starts getting asked in mid-February and usually lets up around April 1st, the day before my birthday. It's weird. This year, I didn't really want anything, not even a get-together with friends or a fancy dinner out. The absence of anxiety seems like gift enough. I was treated to cake and gifts by my family and in-laws on the weekend, and Jade drew me the cutest card, complete with a giant green balloon and a portrait of me with enormous ears. That fit the bill.
Then I found out that for the last two weeks, D had been frantically trying to buy me a 150 CC motorbike. What the what?? He'd put in three separate offers that all fell through, which explains his extra grumpiness lately. He told me he was going to put it in the garage with a big pink bow on it and make me take out the recycling. I was tickled by his covert plan, even though I don't really need a motorbike. I convinced him to buy me a non-fiction book I've been wanting to read called An Inconvenient Indian instead. Somehow, I don't think he was overly thrilled with the substitution. Motorbike vs. book? He just rolled his eyes.
"It was very sweet of you to try and buy me a bike," I whispered to D in bed on April Fool's night. He grunted, still ticked off at his bad luck. As I drifted off to sleep, my mind wandered over to that back shelf of my brain where I keep my (clean) fantasies. If I could have anything I wanted for my 43rd birthday, besides a motorbike, what would I want? How about..
- a plane ticket to Calgary and a rental car so I could drive out to Banff for a week of writing at the Banff Centre. I soooo miss the mountains and the smell of the air there. And the food at the Banff Centre canteen. Banff always makes me feel like a writer.
- rent a horse and go riding for a couple of hours along a wooded trail. I'd hear the jingle of the bridle, the squeak of the saddle, the whoosh of horse breath and the clump-clump of horse feet. There would be warm flanks under my legs, cold air on my nose, sunshine in my hair. There would be birdsong and blue sky. Yeah.
- hole up at the cottage on the couch with the fireplace cranked up and a dozen blankets on me. I'd sip coffee and Baileys, read the paper and my books, snooze, order pizza from Ripley for supper and drink wine with D as we devoured each gooey slice. We'd curl up together on the couch and watch the fire after the kids went to bed and listen to the waves, newly released from their icy shackles. And, um. You know. "Cuddle."
- go back to Florida for another 10 days!
The reality of my 43rd birthday was pleasant, if not as exciting as some of my fantasies. I had a lazy morning with the kids, where we cuddled and tickled and teased, before Grandma took over for the rest of the day. Sushi was on the menu for lunch, with a great girl from my Mom's group for company. We had some good laughs together about hapless husbands and wacky preschoolers. I went for a pedicure to get rid of my hideous hobbit feet, after which I foolishly ruined the polish job with a long hike in what the kids call "The Muddy Woods" (aka the Kincardine trails). I discovered a new trail that led me up a steep hill flanked with cedars and reminded me of the trail that connects the town of Banff to the Banff Centre. It even had icy spots and coyote tracks. All it was missing was elk poop. On my way back into town, I grabbed a mochaccino at Books N Beans, snuck into the library with it and my laptop to blog and write and Facebook the afternoon away. Sunshine on the desk, dude reading a Wolverine comic in the corner, a collection of sweet birthday greetings online, peace and quiet. In a word: lovely.
After a few flirty texts, I packed up and met D for supper at the dim, cosy room at the back of the Governor's Inn. The food's always great there and the servers are sweet. After that, kid pick-up and tuck-in, a few glasses of wine in front of the fireplace and 43 spanks. (Okay, I made that last part up) (Sort of)
Let's hope the rest of 2013 perks up for this ol' lady, cause the first half hasn't been a laugh riot. I guess that's my biggest birthday wish.