This is 36 now.
Everyone asks me what I've done to celebrate my birthday. Those who have read here before know I do not do well with birthdays. I think they lost their shine back in the days of sleepovers and friends, when birthdays meant aiming toward milestones rather than just another year older and a lot of reflection.
Today I woke too late, drank coffee, had a bad run, drank more coffee, sat in a parking lot, came home and sat with my pups, played a couple of games of hockey that were a bright spot, then came home.
Generally, I felt awful today.
And that's okay.
I don't care about birthday present or cards, or any of that. Mom and dad gave me a Ryan Reaves jersey which was nice.
My phone didn't ring. Mom thought I was 37.
There were a lot of social media posts to wish me a happy birthday - some from good friends, most from those who feel obligated to send wishes when a notification pops up.
That's okay too. I appreciate them all.
I've been asked why I've felt awful when I have no reason to. I think it's a combination of things.
I always feel this way on birthdays now. I carry a sense of disappointment and defeat when I look at things that I cannot seem to shake. No amount of being told it is illogical will make it go away and I push through the day until tomorrow comes and it is over.
I always look back at the year prior and feel a stalemate. Another year older, another year of saying the same things I said a year ago.
Except this year does have promise. It really does. I'm scared it is just a trick and that something will strip it away because I do not deserve it. I'm so hopeful.
I also just feel an obligation to myself on this day to make a plan to make sure this year of my life is the one where I accomplish, carve out a place, achieve. I've done that every year since I was a teenager and I have generally set myself up for failure. I tried not to do that today.
Today I decided to just be.
I'm at the point where I have figured out who I am, what I am - and that's all I know to do and be. I guess who I am is all I have to give now. I know what I want and where I want to be.
And today was compounded with feeling helpless while someone close to me hurts, and I do not do well when I feel my hands are tied. My own internal struggles are miniscule in the grand scheme of things, and I feel guilt about even dwelling on the thoughts in my own head while knowing there are far greater things that need energy and attention.
In 9 minutes it will be another day and someone else's birthday. I'm gracious for that. I like being awake when the clock turns over so I can see it out the door.
For now I will sit and wait, try, and curl up to sleep until it is time to head to Halifax in the morning.
Here's to 36.
"And if you're scared of the future tonight,
We'll just take it each hour one at a time.
It's a pretty good night for a drive,
So dry up those eyes, dry up those eyes.
Because the radio will still play loud,
Songs that we heard as our guards came down,
Like in the summertime when we first met.
I'll never forget, and don't you forget,
These nights are still ours."