I’m a creature of habit. I could blame my star sign for this fact if I really wanted to. They say that those born under the sign of Taurus the Bull are predictable creatures. I can be sometimes, but not always. Many years ago my mother had an astrological chart made up for me, based on my place of birth and actual date and time, the grand conclusion being that my personality is heavily influenced by the sign of Libra the Scales, meaning that I like balance in my life. According to the Wise Astrologer my mum met way back when, I have more of a Libra personality than Taurean, however I remain a self-confessed creature of habit. Is that the Taurean side of me, or the Libra? I often question myself.
So, being the creature of habit that I am, one of the first things I did this morning was to check Facebook. Already I had received a few happy birthday messages, yet pleased as I felt to be thought of, I didn’t feel inclined to reply. Not yet, anyway.
Adam needed to be extracted from his cosy bed (again) and rushed off to school on the last minute (again). His father complained that he refused to get out of bed on time (again). Big brother Ben complained that Adam thumped him in the stomach as he walked by, just as Ben was taking a mouthful of hot coffee. (Don’t you make a habit of thumping Adam every time you are within thumping distance of him, Ben? It’s your brotherly thing that you always do.)
Father continued to ask Adam if he was ready to leave yet, when obviously he wasn’t. Ben continued to drink his coffee. Adam continued to dither.
Adam rarely complains, but makes a habit of doing so, constantly, when his father is about. Father complains, constantly, about anything and everything. Ben hardly ever, if ever, complains.
Do I want to go out for dinner tonight, husband asks. The dishwasher is broken, it would be easier, I am told. Easier for whom, I wonder. There are enough left-overs from last nights dinner for tonight. Besides, left-overs always taste better than they did when first made. And he knows I prefer to stay at home at night, so why think I would want to go out to dinner on my birthday?
Yesterday was a great day. I took photos at Point Danger, standing atop the lookout, gazing across the blue/green ocean, watching keen surfers catching the waves, seeing a boat or two navigate the bar of the Tweed River, which leads out into the ocean. I bought cappuccino at the cafe across the road and read my book, sipping coffee, as I awaited the arrival of my two daughters, mother-in-law and best friend, who were joining me for lunch.
Lunch was fun. The food tasted great (as always) and we chatted constantly. Later, when home, my family arrived for dinner, and the dinner I had prepared yesterday, even though freshly prepared and not at the left-overs stage yet, still tasted delicious. The house was filled with ten people, three dogs, two cats and a bird, all of whom wished to get their two cents worth into the conversation.
Chaos reined supreme; all was well with the world.
So why am I feeling so melancholy today then, I ponder.
Once the complainers, non complainers and those in between had left me all alone in a peaceful house, I ate breakfast, put on a load of washing and read a chapter of the book I had been reading yesterday over coffee, the book which is taking me far too long to read, as I never seem to find any time to read lately.
My plan for today was to go to a very large book shop on the Gold Coast, so large that it is on two levels and has an adjoining coffee shop, yet I’ve wandered around the house from room to room, chore to chore, wearing my denim jeans and white and grey mid-season jumper. It’s a grey kind of day today. There have even been a few spots of rain. That’s okay though, I like the rain.
I read a few more pages of my book, this time whilst sipping Chai Tea. I also read an article on the internet ~ “What age is middle-age?” they ask. “Why does everyone and everything have to be labelled”, I ask? The comments were quite interesting (I didn’t leave one myself, if you’re wondering) and I noticed that a couple of forty-ish year olds regarded themselves as feeling worn out, haggard and having reached middle-age. I’m past the forty-ish stage, and I’m here to tell anyone who cares to listen, age is a state of mind. As your children grow older and begin to leave home, you begin to feel less haggard and worn out. You become younger. Your life becomes your own again. You can put yourself first. You can do the things you want to do, instead of the things you have to do.
Today, even though thus far I am not doing what I had planned on doing, the day feels like a grey kind of day and I’m in a “mood”, I’m okay with all that. I don’t get into “moods” very often. It isn’t even a bad mood that I’m in, just simply a mood. Even though I don’t feel inclined towards conversation, my mood prompted me to write, even if the writing is simply about my mood.
It’s my birthday, so I guess I can be in any mood I wish to be today.
Having pondered my mood, I feel that I am in a reflective state of mind. I’m very comfortable with my company and thoughts today. So long as I don’t consider anyone else (in my real-world life) today, I am at peace.
Who knows what that means! Yet I don’t need to know. I believe that I will enjoy my birthday much more when the collective population of the world can quit labelling people, according to their age. I am not feeling the way I am meant to feel, (according to my age). I do not have a great desire to become a grandmother (which apparently I should, according to my age). I do not wish to wear my hair cut short and allow it to grey gracefully (which I should, because I am at that age).
Tonight, I will be the odd person, as I wish to eat my left-overs from last night, warmed up, whilst wearing my comfy pyjamas and dressing gown, in front of the TV, watching a DVD that my daughter gave me for my birthday. I will not be getting dolled up to the nines, because I “should” want to, and go out to dinner, because it’s the thing to be done on one’s birthday. And I will wash the dinner dishes, because, heck, I enjoy washing my dishes! Who needs a dishwasher anyway?
While I’m at it, I may even polish my coffee table and clean the kitchen windows. And I will do these things, not because I’m “middle-aged”, but because I like to do these things ~ always have, even when I was in my twenties, and no doubt always will. (I even enjoyed having my birthday dinner at home, back in the middle ages, or whenever it was that I was in my twenties.) Yet silly me denied enjoying these menial tasks, thinking I wasn’t a very “cool” person if I admitted to such wild and crazy things.
Today, May the Second, Two-Thousand-and-Thirteen, is my birthday. I will spend the day doing the things I want to do. I will not wear a label of my age. I will not cut my hair short, nor go grey. I will enjoy eating my home-cooked dinner tonight and I will enjoy washing my dishes. I will turn a deaf ear to anyone who wishes to complain. I may even take a vow of silence for the day. And I will apologise to no one.
I will, however, contemplate the question “why must we live through a number of years on this earth, before gaining enough wisdom to simply be ourselves?”
The rain has become heavier, the grey day continues, and I’m enjoying my moody day.