So I am forty now. Do I look any different? I feel different. I do. I accidentally found myself up at 11:59 on December 23rd. I watched the clock on my phone click over to December 24th and immediately muscles in my face let go. I exhaled. I surrendered all of the bullshit of my thirties. That book is closed and now everything is fresh.

New decade. Hi.

When I awoke a few hours later on my birthday I saw I had a text message from LJ. It came with the appropriate warning that the attached video would make me cry. I clicked play and immediately began to sob.

As much as I love having a holiday birthday it is kind of a bum deal. I have longed for a simple dated birthday where I know I would never compete with anything more important. In my forty years on the planet I have managed to have a gathering of friends on my actual birthday two times.

The first time was my tenth birthday. My mother and grandfather took my then best friend, myself, and the daughter of the family who lived next door to Pizza Hut. It was so awesome. I felt so special and normal.

Several years later my mother planned a lovely holiday themed birthday party for me with some friends from school. Of course not everyone was able to come because, duh Christmas Eve, but it was a nice gathering. We went caroling down my street.

I love being with my family on my birthday (I truly love it), but I still wish I could spend it with friends too.

When I clicked on the video from LJ I got my wish.

I have no idea how she pulled it off, but she did. So many friends and loved ones gathered together talking to me, wishing me a happy birthday, sharing silly and thoughtful messages… it was the most kind, most lovely, most special gift I have ever received. Ever. I felt so loved. And honestly, isn’t that all anyone wants or needs on their birthday? The reminder that people are witnessing their life and marking special days.

I can not express how much it meant to me.

Here comes my NEXT…

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