birthdays · daughter · rain · reading

It’s my birthday and I’ll be in a mood if I want to.

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I’m a creature of habit. I could blame my star sign for this fact if I really wanted to. They say that those born under the sign of Taurus the Bull are predictable creatures. I can be sometimes, but not always. Many years ago my mother had an astrological chart made up for me, based on my place of birth and actual date and time, the grand conclusion being that my personality is heavily influenced by the sign of Libra the Scales, meaning that I like balance in my life. According to the Wise Astrologer my mum met way back when, I have more of a Libra personality than Taurean, however I remain a self-confessed creature of habit. Is that the Taurean side of me, or the Libra? I often question myself.

So, being the creature of habit that I am, one of the first things I did this morning was to check Facebook. Already I had received a few happy birthday messages, yet pleased as I felt to be thought of, I didn’t feel inclined to reply. Not yet, anyway.

Adam needed to be extracted from his cosy bed (again) and rushed off to school on the last minute (again). His father complained that he refused to get out of bed on time (again). Big brother Ben complained that Adam thumped him in the stomach as he walked by, just as Ben was taking a mouthful of hot coffee. (Don’t you make a habit of thumping Adam every time you are within thumping distance of him, Ben? It’s your brotherly thing that you always do.)

Father continued to ask Adam if he was ready to leave yet, when obviously he wasn’t. Ben continued to drink his coffee. Adam continued to dither.

Adam rarely complains, but makes a habit of doing so, constantly, when his father is about. Father complains, constantly, about anything and everything. Ben hardly ever, if ever, complains.

Do I want to go out for dinner tonight, husband asks. The dishwasher is broken, it would be easier, I am told. Easier for whom, I wonder. There are enough left-overs from last nights dinner for tonight. Besides, left-overs always taste better than they did when first made. And he knows I prefer to stay at home at night, so why think I would want to go out to dinner on my birthday?

Yesterday was a great day. I took photos at Point Danger, standing atop the lookout, gazing across the blue/green ocean, watching keen surfers catching the waves, seeing a boat or two navigate the bar of the Tweed River, which leads out into the ocean. I bought cappuccino at the cafe across the road and read my book, sipping coffee, as I awaited the arrival of my two daughters, mother-in-law and best friend, who were joining me for lunch.

Lunch was fun. The food tasted great (as always) and we chatted constantly. Later, when home, my family arrived for dinner, and the dinner I had prepared yesterday, even though freshly prepared and not at the left-overs stage yet, still tasted delicious. The house was filled with ten people, three dogs, two cats and a bird, all of whom wished to get their two cents worth into the conversation.

Chaos reined supreme; all was well with the world.

So why am I feeling so melancholy today then, I ponder.

Once the complainers, non complainers and those in between had left me all alone in a peaceful house, I ate breakfast, put on a load of washing and read a chapter of the book I had been reading yesterday over coffee, the book which is taking me far too long to read, as I never seem to find any time to read lately.

My plan for today was to go to a very large book shop on the Gold Coast, so large that it is on two levels and has an adjoining coffee shop, yet I’ve wandered around the house from room to room, chore to chore, wearing my denim jeans and white and grey mid-season jumper. It’s a grey kind of day today. There have even been a few spots of rain. That’s okay though, I like the rain.

I read a few more pages of my book, this time whilst sipping Chai Tea. I also read an article on the internet ~ “What age is middle-age?” they ask. “Why does everyone and everything have to be labelled”, I ask? The comments were quite interesting (I didn’t leave one myself, if you’re wondering) and I noticed that a couple of forty-ish year olds regarded themselves as feeling worn out, haggard and having reached middle-age. I’m past the forty-ish stage, and I’m here to tell anyone who cares to listen, age is a state of mind. As your children grow older and begin to leave home, you begin to feel less haggard and worn out. You become younger. Your life becomes your own again. You can put yourself first. You can do the things you want to do, instead of the things you have to do.

Today, even though thus far I am not doing what I had planned on doing, the day feels like a grey kind of day and I’m in a “mood”, I’m okay with all that. I don’t get into “moods” very often. It isn’t even a bad mood that I’m in, just simply a mood. Even though I don’t feel inclined towards conversation, my mood prompted me to write, even if the writing is simply about my mood.

It’s my birthday, so I guess I can be in any mood I wish to be today.

Having pondered my mood, I feel that I am in a reflective state of mind. I’m very comfortable with my company and thoughts today. So long as I don’t consider anyone else (in my real-world life) today, I am at peace.

Who knows what that means! Yet I don’t need to know. I believe that I will enjoy my birthday much more when the collective population of the world can quit labelling people, according to their age. I am not feeling the way I am meant to feel, (according to my age). I do not have a great desire to become a grandmother (which apparently I should, according to my age).Β  I do not wish to wear my hair cut short and allow it to grey gracefully (which I should, because I am at that age).

Tonight, I will be the odd person, as I wish to eat my left-overs from last night, warmed up, whilst wearing my comfy pyjamas and dressing gown, in front of the TV, watching a DVD that my daughter gave me for my birthday. I will not be getting dolled up to the nines, because I “should” want to, and go out to dinner, because it’s the thing to be done on one’s birthday. And I will wash the dinner dishes, because, heck, I enjoy washing my dishes! Who needs a dishwasher anyway?

While I’m at it, I may even polish my coffee table and clean the kitchen windows. And I will do these things, not because I’m “middle-aged”, but because I like to do these things ~ always have, even when I was in my twenties, and no doubt always will. (I even enjoyed having my birthday dinner at home, back in the middle ages, or whenever it was that I was in my twenties.) Yet silly me denied enjoying these menial tasks, thinking I wasn’t a very “cool” person if I admitted to such wild and crazy things.

Today, May the Second, Two-Thousand-and-Thirteen, is my birthday. I will spend the day doing the things I want to do. I will not wear a label of my age. I will not cut my hair short, nor go grey. I will enjoy eating my home-cooked dinner tonight and I will enjoy washing my dishes. I will turn a deaf ear to anyone who wishes to complain. I may even take a vow of silence for the day. And I will apologise to no one.

I will, however, contemplate the question “why must we live through a number of years on this earth, before gaining enough wisdom to simply be ourselves?”

The rain has become heavier, the grey day continues, and I’m enjoying my moody day.

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32 thoughts on “It’s my birthday and I’ll be in a mood if I want to.

  1. Hope you had a marvellously moody birthday. I say “had” coz it’s 2:19 p.m. here in Nova Scotia and I’m pretty sure you’re tucked up tight in bed and it’s tomorrow where you are. ‘night.

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    1. Thank you so much Sybil. I did enjoy my marvellously moody birthday, very much and I think I “grew up” just a little bit yesterday as well. πŸ™‚

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  2. Happy belated Birthday Jo. Super post, so much I could identify with:) I have long curly hair and was always told when I was younger that “older ladies” should never have long hair:( Ha ha I still have long “dyed” hair.

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes Linda. πŸ™‚

      If I didn’t dye my hair it would be the colour of a patchwork quilt right now. I have patches of white and dark grey, as well as some brown in the front, then natural brown all at the back! Geez, what a sight I would look “natural”! Thank goodness for hair dye. You hang onto those long curly locks of yours as long as you want to, you grew them and you’re entitled to them. πŸ™‚

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      1. Ha ha that sounds like my hair:( Just curious Jo did you ever receive my e-mail which I sent last week? It was rather a long rambling e-mail so I didn’t want to write it as a comment. We are heading off today to Coolangatta for an overnight stay, not too far from you:) Isn’t the weather just absolutely perfect todayβ™₯ Have a lovely weekend.

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        1. The weather has returned to fabulous today, although slightly cooler and with a slight breeze.

          No, I didn’t receive the email from you. When you said you had sent one I searched high and low for it (even in my spam folder!) and can find it nowhere. I’m so sorry about that.

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  3. First of all, happy birthday, Joanne. Secondly, I am so happy to read your words today because they mirror the muddled thoughts in my own “middle-aged” brain. It’s good to do whatever you want and feel comfortable enough “at your age” to admit it without compunction!! Why does it take us so long to become who we were all along? *sigh* I guess I’m in a mood too! ❀

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    1. Stacy, I can highly recommend writing about your mood. It helped rearrange my muddled brain back into some kind of logical order by the time I had finished with the words. Why does it take us so long to become who we were all along? That really is a priceless question. All I can say is, thank goodness we eventually work out for ourselves that it is our right and obligation, as a member of this world, to do so. The world needs all of the real people it can get.

      Thank you too for the birthday wishes Stacy. πŸ™‚

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        1. It did end up being a very pleasant moody day Stacy. I think it helps to know that we are not the only ones who have these times of working through our thoughts, and feeling rebellious towards those people in the world who wish to label everyone. I prefer to think that the labellers are the rebels and those who follow their hearts are more in tune with their authentic selves. πŸ™‚

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  4. Just for the record, I’m older than you, have long hair (the longest bits down to my waist), mostly grey with some brownish in the back. I decided a long time ago that I don’t like the labels and expectations, either, so I decided to use my own age scale (which, not co-incidently, will allow me to finish most, if not all, of the things I have started!). Feel free to use my scale, if you wish:
    0 – 50 = Young
    51 – 100 = Middle-Age
    101 – 150 = Old
    151 – ??? = Ancient

    I’m aiming for Ancient, myself, long hair and all . . .
    Loved your mood, and your post, too! Happy belated Birthday! ~ Linne

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    1. Ah Linne, the scale is brilliant and far more realistic than the “Average Labellers Scale”! In this day and age I find that most people who have lived through many years on earth do not regard themselves as old at all, yet society labels them as such once they have hit 70. My mother-in-law turned 80 in January and is one of the youngest people I know, and will probably live until she is old (by your scale).
      As for me, I intend to be your ancient blogging friend, long hair and all, and we will no doubt even in those years to come both still be trying to remove those labels of society. πŸ™‚

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  5. Happy birthday! Great question–I wish that I’d learned how to be myself when I was much younger; but I guess all of the experiences that I’ve had over the years gave me that wisdom.

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    1. Aww, thank you Sheryl. πŸ™‚

      My mother had a saying, “You can’t put an old head on young shoulders”, and the older I get, the more I realise how true that saying is. But we do learn, eventually.

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  6. Happy belated birthday!!! We celebrated my son’s 6th birthday yesterday (May 3).

    I realised when I had a family of my own that birthdays were to be celebrated by rejoicing in the life lived and looking forward to the coming days. I’ve never been fond of parties, even small get-togethers tend to drain me so we normally celebrate small in our family. I think the mood you were in is perfect for any age and particularly so for that special day. I certainly think you’re entitled to do whatever you want with your hair (why do “they” have to tell us how we should look). And those articles on the internet about age (they seem to have one for whatever age you’re in), I learned to read everything with a grain of salt and to hold them up against what the Bible says – for my own peace of mind.

    I loved your moody reflection. I hope you’ll enjoy your weekend with the lovely Miss Tibbs…

    Warmly,
    Mary

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    1. Happy birthday to your son Mary, I hope he enjoyed his special day. πŸ™‚

      I don’t usually read such articles on the internet and should steer clear of them in the future too! I found it rather depressing and annoying to read such things. I really don’t like the way so many stand in judgement of others. I believe we should accept people as we find them, without labels and expectations. It did provide me with an opportunity though to write a post which is totally different to what I usually write, and I have enjoyed the comments from everyone as well. We can learn so much from the input of others, who read our blog posts.

      A happy weekend to you also Mary. πŸ™‚

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  7. Here’s wishing you a lovely & most wonderful birthday..Aaw, I suppose its belated. To tell you, we have a new baby girl in our family born on 2nd May 2013! Yes, it was a beautiful day for us here. Well, Its nice to do the things that please you.. as long as you are happy and satisfied.

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    1. Thank you so much Sonali, your belated wishes are very much appreciated. And you have a new baby girl in your family too, congratulations! May is a lovely time of year to have a birthday. Enjoy your new precious gift. πŸ™‚

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  8. Birthday girl, how I loved your post! Seriously. It felt so human and real and revealing and beautiful. So thank you for writing it, mood or no mood. It’s weird. I think when we write such honest posts–whether negative or positive or in-between–something in the energy just feels like a truth we’ve all experienced and we heave a collective sigh of relief that we’re not alone in our feelings. Happy belated birthday, my friend. Much love!

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    1. I felt very human as I wrote the post Kathy, and vulnerable. Also irritated by expected conformity and my fingers were crossed that no one would think I was just having a “bitch” when I should be feeling happy about my birthday! Thank you so much for your lovely words of support Kathy. Yes, knowing we are not alone, that our friends understand, that feeling is priceless. xxx

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  9. Happy belated birthday! I’m a Taurus too, but feel that I am anything but predictable – but maybe you predicted I would say that, lol! Maybe we like to think we’re not predictable but really are? I don’t know. I’m definitely stubborn like the bull however! It is your right to do as you please on your birthday, moods included.

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  10. A belated Happy Birthday to you, Joanne!!! I read your post several days ago and meant to get right back to it, but things have been more than a little crazy around here. The mood you describe is familiar to me! It was wonderful following where your stream of consciousness meandered through the day. Sometimes it seems more natural to write than it does to talk. Now I can see why you said (in your comment on my blog) you decided that day that you did not wish to follow the rules. It’s a little late, but I’m cheering you on!!!

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  11. Coming in late is what I seem to do best these days – so Happy Belated Birthday! And congratulations for doing your birthday your way. I loved this post, most especially the last three paragraphs.

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