I will start with this: Last night, in the final hours of my birthday, I lay in bed with a Kindle full of new books from my parents. Out in the living room sat two more books, gifts from my husband and a good friend, and an old sensation filled me. The joy of books. The joy of expectation, that there are words to be tasted and characters to be discovered and places to explore within the pages (tangible or digital). I only managed to read a few pages, because I was too tired to keep my eyes open.
The truth is that I am just now, on Thursday, coming off of a long "birthday weekend." This is a strange term for me to use. When I hear it, I envision girls (really women, who act like girls) wearing revealing clothing, traveling somewhere idiotic like Las Vegas and spending a lot of money on alcohol. Or maybe "birthday weekend" means camping on the beach and taking lots of Instagram photos. Either way, I think of people who want nothing more than to impress the world with their recreational activities.
For me, my birthday weekend meant the company of friends. It was not impressive, but it was beautiful.
Emily, one of my best and dearest friends came down on Friday, and helped us prepare for the "big" party on Saturday. She would stay the entire weekend. We bought party food and supplies, went to numerous thrift stores, and spent long hours coloring with crayons in the living room. On Saturday I had a total of 10 people in the apartment (12 if you count me and my husband, 13 if you count the dog who was locked in the bedroom.) We ate tacos and drank cider and played Apples to Apples. Sunday morning the hubby made bacon and eggs for everyone (another friend had been too tired to drive home the night before). That afternoon Joey, Emily and I took some gorgeous photos at a forest preserve. On Monday Emily and I did some craft store shopping, an old tradition of ours, before she went back home.
It was the most "me" I had been in a very long time. There was an abundance of laughter and reminiscing. We talked about books and past loves and new loves. We walked in the pouring rain and cuddled with my dog and imagined that it would never end. Because that's friendship.
By Wednesday morning, my actual birthday, I had finally recovered from the stimulating weekend. I love my friends, and in general I love people. But they also tire me out. I spent two whole days resting and doing nothing. I worked 6 hours on Tuesday and it was torturous because my body was still exhausted, my heart still sad that my Emily had gone home. And so on Wednesday I tired myself out again with a fancy dinner and bowling.
This is the weariness I expect from all this activity. I am not surprised. Each night, as we stayed up later and later, I anticipated the coming migraine and fatigue which are testament to my socializing. But it was beautiful. I expected it to be beautiful because I trusted that we could make it so.