Yesterday, just before lunch, I turned 39 years old.
It’s honestly been quite some time since I gave two shits about my birthday. Once I got past a certain age, birthdays kind of lost their excitement — with some exceptions, of course. For my 29th birthday, Sheryl surprised me at work, then Amy came to visit for the weekend. I had kind of a minor freak-out when I turned 30 and realized that I was one-half to one-third done with my entire existence — Aaron tried so hard to cheer me up, too, but I was all hormonal and weird on top of being 30. We went to the Star Trek exhibit at the Detroit Science Center for my birthday weekend in 2009, and we spent my 2010 birthday in Mexico. After my son came on the scene, though, birthdays were just kind of extra-special normal days. Nothing to write home about — or to write in the blog about.
This year was fun, while still being pretty low-key. Connor, who is now three and a half, was more hyped about my birthday than I was, really, and was counting down to it for weeks beforehand. We celebrated my birthday last Saturday — we all went out to the newly-reopened Korea Na for dinner, then came home and opened presents, then had some ice cream cake for dessert.
I kind of screwed up my non-Amazon-wishlist present this year by buying myself a celebratory iPhone case during my birthday month, so I didn’t get a new surprise iPhone case with a built-in battery. I did get a K-cup carousel for my desk at work, a new photo album, a scarf hanger, and a new non-stick pan with a lid.
My Mom also sent me some birthday money in an appropriately schmoopy birthday card, Kelly bought me birthday tacos for lunch, and Sheryl bought me a small fancy birthday cake.
I like to tally up what various perks and cards I got, and how many birthday wishes I got from various vectors. This year, I got:
- One happy birthday text (from a co-worker who was home sick that day)
- Five unprompted in-person happy birthdays (and three other after-the-fact oh-is-today-your-birthday happy birthdays)
- Four Linked In happy birthdays
- Nine Instagram happy birthdays — four from my account and five from Aaron’s
- Four happy birthday (or belated birthday) tweets
- Credits for two free birthday coffees, a birthday pastry, and a birthday pita
- Three birthday emails and two birthday cards from companies with which I do business
- One birthday coupon for a clothing store (for which I have a store credit card)
- Two birthday cards from family (my Mom and my grandparents)
- Thirty-some posts on my Facebook wall
- One video posted to my Facebook wall (thanks, Garza!)
One thing I learned from this birthday is that I really do appreciate genuine, heartfelt, unique birthday wishes. There’s nothing wrong with posting to my Facebook wall and saying, “Happy birthday, Diana!” But you know what I’d like more? If you came to my cube at work and wished me happy birthday, or if you texted me a happy birthday, or if you sent me an email — or even if you said something in addition to just “happy birthday” on my Facebook wall, so I know your post wasn’t autogenerated by If This Then That. (Don’t get me wrong, a Facebook birthday wish is better than no birthday wish, but I think you know what I’m getting at.)
How often do I do those things? Rarely, to be honest. I wished my boss a happy birthday, I emailed my BFF on her birthday in January, but apart from that… *shrug*
I’d love to be the person who’s known for being on the ball with everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries… but I’m not. It’s not that I don’t care — I just never quite get around to it.
Maybe I’ll work on that.