26th May? To me that date signifies one thing…one more full day until I'm one more full year older. Without doubt, this fact was once something worth all the pandemonium that went with it – being 6 was a hell of a lot better than being 5 and 16 absolutely held the promise of being a far greater year than 15. But is 26 really a lot better than 25?
This year, I promised myself, would be different from previous years, I would not get overly hyped up, plan an outrageously complicated night out, invite the world - only to suffer declination after declination, spend hours deliberating over what to wear and/or have every minute of the day itself planned down to a tee just to make sure I would have a great day.
So, first of all (and I’m ashamed to share this with the virtual world) but for 3 of my oh-so precious hours that are not spent at work I sat in the hairdresser's chair this evening. T-h-r-e-e hours! To be fair, completely fabulous and relaxing plus the guy cutting my hair was only just short of genius (I will be going back). Of course, this was absolutely not in aid of my plans for Saturday? Or was it? I love dying my hair darker despite frequently being told it is already dark. But as I watched the dye turn more and more purple as it was absorbed into my hair, I felt myself panicking. But why? It’s a semi-permanent and they’ve got it wrong before – I didn’t care then. Why was I worrying and indeed sat in that chair at all, if not because of Saturday?
Then there’s the slight problem that I have an entire new outfit. That wasn’t meant to happen. I bought a new dress a few weeks ago, which I love and only a handful of my friends have seen. Wouldn’t that have sufficed? Worse still, last night I was utterly gutted to find the sandals I had been so keen to buy seemed to have sold out everywhere. Yes I definitely have some that will do, in fact I’m pretty sure they’d do on any other night of the year?
And then thinking about it, there was the 625kcal roll that I felt bad about eating at lunch today, the extra run I did on Tuesday, the carb-less dinner last night. Have I been pre-birthday night-out dieting? And the party – desperately tried to keep that a casual and just-go-with-it affair, except now (partly because of the ruddy football) I’ve gone and decided all the venues, almost all the timings and finally (sadly without the football excuse), invited my poor yet obliging closest friends round to mine for champagne, cocktails and nibbles as an extra add on before meeting the others.
So suffice to say.. as I sit here on my birthday eve eve, I think we can conclude that although I may have done better than usual (no balloons, streamers, elaborate cupcakes or forced bbq’s in the cold) to some extent, I have done it again. Which only brings me back to my original question – Why? Are we in fact proud in our adult life, maybe excluding the big milestones, to be another year older? I know I’m proud of what and whom I have in my life, but is celebrating being a year older really the way to celebrate that? Or is it really all just an excuse to get as many of your friends together as possible, have a party, spend time with them and introduce them? Maybe. But then again that could be interpreted as a terrible way to cover up a self-centered day/evening that is all about you. Would you really deny it?! In all honesty though, whatever our adult birthdays are about I’m not sure it matters as long as any effort (in my case a habitual pre-birthday week, frantic planathon) turns out to be worth it.
I’ll let you know. x