My birthday brunch/lunch ended up being more of an early dinner. (laughs) Only one person was at the restaurant on time and it wasn't me. My party came in slowly over the course of about 1.5 hours. It was crazy... but funny. We ended up converging on the bar area for while because the restaurant would not seat us until a large portion of the group had arrived. Utter madness.
I'm not much of a stickler about time normally... but I was even more laid back about it than even I would have believed I could be. Though it wasn't expected, it was kind of cool that everyone was late because it gave me an opportunity to speak to each person individually, to hug and kiss them... and to just be with them for a moment. I'm not sure that I would have been able to do that if everyone was on time.
We laughed, had great conversation, took pictures, LAUGHED some more and generally created a jovial ruckus at the restaurant. We had a great time. I ended up wearing a pantsuit because I couldn't find a dress I liked. The suit was nice and it was comfortable but the shoes I picked - while cute were wrong, wrong... wrong. Could not walk in those bad boys. Lost my balance twice before I took them off and put them in my purse. (laughs)
I realize that everyone isn't like me... but I absolutely love celebrating my birthday every year in a nice way. This year was really great. The people who came were all people who mean a lot to me, people that by being fully and authentically themselves have taught me to be the same. Folks who are so good to me with the gift of their friendship, love and guidance that they make me want to be the best me I can be. There were people who were missing but I firmly believe that we are all where we're supposed to be no matter where we are. My birthday was supposed to be celebrated when it was, how it was and with that exact group of people.
The beauty of the celebration was the absolute joy of being in the presence of so much love. It didn't hurt that my friends are outspoken and easy to get along with. That took pressure off me to try to engage everyone with conversation. I didn't have to do a thing but look around me and enjoy the blessings of great friendships. I was very much in the moment and not stressing about my illness.
Lately my sleep has been fitful and short. But more than that, I've been having really vivid dreams -- not quite nightmares but about as close as you can get. Some of the dreams have led me to think long and hard about my own death, and also my own funeral and what that might be like. Morbid, I know but I'm being honest. I'm in no hurry for death to happen but I have been thinking about it lately. Seeing my friends together for a happy occasion was beautiful and it soothed my heart immensely.
Hey... we're all going to die one day. It will probably not be when we want, or where we want or even how we want. But, since I know that the day will come I want to make the most of the days I do have. Days like Saturday push that positive urge forward.
I have moments when I feel compelled to tell people - total strangers - that I'm fighting breast cancer. I can't explain it. I don't know if I want their understanding or pity... or if I just think that they care or need to know. But the urge is always just under my skin, just on the tip of my tongue. However on Saturday, surrounded by people who love me and know my story... it was a non-issue. The release of that burden was worth every minute I stressed about getting together, the time we spent waiting to be seated... and my trying to eat too-spicy food. It was WORTH IT, to not be solely present in my "I-have-breast-cancer-fear" for a few hours.
On reflection, I can't tell you what I did exactly. Maybe it was just being out. Or trying to walk in 5 inch heels. Or possibly the non-stop laughter for hours and hours... but whatever it was that I did... I was absolutely sore and totally worn out on Sunday. But it was a good fatigue and ache.
I tried to keep the event small because I did not want to overextend myself. Considering how tired I was on Sunday, I made a good choice. But, I will have to make more efforts to see all of my friends and family this year. It truly did my heart good to spend quality time celebrating life.
I am alive. Life will not always be what you want it to be. And you can expect a curveball to come your way when you're least prepared for it. But even with that, I know now that I am okay.