Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to (and for, and with) Me!!

It has been an unusual birthday. Private and inauspicious. I'm turning a boring number (I prefer odd, prime numbers--this year I'm 44: even and repetitious), and I actually never gave it much thought. Except to request a very specific gift. A stapler. Last year's unfortunate choice of dinner in quite possibly the worst Italian restaurant outside of a hospital setting meant that I didn't have too far to reach to make this year better. And, as I find myself alone in a LaQuinta hotel in north Texas, some might think that I've got another loser year on my hands. But anybody who thinks that doesn't know me--not really.

To catch you up: I made a commitment months ago to speak with an ACFW chapter in Shreveport, Louisiana. Yes, at the time I committed I knew it would mean driving up on my birthday. And, honestly, my first thought was--"Yippee! Now I don't have the pressure of planning what "to do" on my birthday." Because, if you know me, you know that parties, celebrations, special occasions--not really my thing. They bring the same kind of nerve-wracking pressure of ordering at Luby's (something else I avoid).

But, that doesn't mean I don't love my friends--my family--all the special people in my life. So, as I drove the 500 or so miles, I had my trusty BlackBerry in its cubby in the dash, and every 10 miles or so, I'd hear the distinctive chime of a FaceBook update. A posting on my wall...and I knew each posting was a birthday wish. (I assumed...for safety reasons I didn't confirm until later!) It was like having everyone right along with me, and I said a little "Thank You" to the Lord each time, because He's blessed me with so many wonderful people. Because, if you know me, you know I might not be overtly social, but I'm a lover of people! (and...of FaceBook)

Driving all those miles gave me the longest uninterrupted reading time I've had in months. I listened to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood... which I have wanted to read forever, but have never gotten around to. If you know me, you know I love true crime (murder, mayhem, I.D. TV), and this book is mesmerizing. And beautifully written. Listened to exactly 1/2 on the way up, will listen to 1/2 on the way home. One book in 2 days. That only happens when I drive!

I'm enjoying a free night's lodging thanks to points accumulated in the LaQuinta rewards program (and if you know me, you know there's nothing more relaxing than a hotel room to myself!); I had a BLT for dinner (and iykm, you know that is traditional birthday fare); and the BLT came from a Waffle House (and iykm, you know that I have always wanted to eat at a Waffle House).

Tomorrow I'll spend a few hours hanging out with writers--my FAVORITE genre of person, and then a long, lovely ride home. But, for now, I'm watching Dateline NBC, fixing to read every posting on my page (might not respond to all--there's a ton!!), and watch last week's episode of Huge on Hulu. It's not the birthday everybody would want, but I realize it's a birthdy meticulously planned by Somebody who knows me. And for that--and for the blessings of the year--I am truly, blissfully happy.

Oh, and tomorrow I'll come home to a chocolate turtle cheesecake prepared by my son. So, that's cool, too.

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