Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wisdom of the Ages

Never let a Birthmonth go by without announcing it. That is my motto. My birthday is on the last day of April. Which gives me until the 29th of May to celebrate. I learned this trick from my friend Marcie whose birthday is in mid-October. She begins Birthmonth the first of the month, celebrates until the last day and revels in every moment of it. Sometimes she goes even longer if she feels like it. In fact, she takes a lot of liberties with her Birthday. On her 29th she decided to have an colossal party and sent invitations to everyone she liked or had even liked for a moment. But when I received the invitation I realized it was for a 30th Birthday party.  I called her on it, sure that she was only 6 months older than I, and also quite sure how old I was at the moment. She said that she'd decided to save her 29th birthday until she felt she really needed it.  I always loved the way this woman thinks.

And I love my Birthday (Birthday is capitalized like Labor Day or Christmas) and everyone knows it. It's a celebration of being alive and I just don't understand why that shouldn't be everyone's most important holiday of the year.  If it weren't for my birthday, or yours,  there would be absolutely nothing else to celebrate, right? But there is always a bit of disappointment surrounding it because...nobody has a parade for me. I know. Completely unreasonable and I've never held a parade for anyone else's birthday so what do I really expect? But still. 

Yes, I have to admit that sometimes on my birthday I get a little depressed. I don't think it's age that bothers me. In fact, I don't really know what it is but if I'm not careful, it will creep up on me. So I've learned to try to mindfully anticipate the day. I mean, it's my birthday so it's up to me. This year I bought myself a bouquet of pink peonies the day before and shined up my fuzzy pink tiara. I painted my nails and toes to match both. I accepted an invitation for myself and my friend Tenley to go up to Holly's house in the Luberon Valley. And I went to bed with expectation.

I woke up to pouring, dismal rain and I felt down and tired. Tenley called to cancel because she felt the same way. I too was at the point of erasing the day because as it went on I felt worse.... even ill.  

But suddenly there came a moment when I asked myself, "what would Marcie do?"

Well, she sure as hell wouldn't mope around on her birthday, that's for sure. And I can also hear her say, as I have so many times,  "I don't have time to be sick". She would take matters into her own hands with her usual joy of living.  So I sent Tenley a text and told her that, yes, the day sucked but we might as well all be together while it sucked. She saw the logic in this and agreed to go.  I bought a cake, packed an overnight bag and off we went.
And thanks to the wisdom of my dear friend Marcie, I was treated to a lovely soirée with friends and had the opportunity to see an evening sky like this. (honest, this is not photoshopped)

In the morning it was still beautiful.

I went to a vide grenier (village rummage sale) in the lovely village of Grambois.

I filled my aging belly with a giant American style hamburger and fries while enjoying the French national holiday of May Day (I've always thought it so lovely that there is a national holiday here where all the stores close in my honor. Come to think of it, that's almost like a parade!)
I spent the afternoon with my friend Claire and the evening on my terrace with another whom I hadn't seen in far too long.

 And I still have 26 more days of Birthmonth!

Sometimes I just need to count my blessings and get over myself. Because they are rich and plentiful. And when I'm not in the throes of feeling sorry for myself, I know it. Thank you Marcie for being one of the many important teachers in my increasingly long life. And HAPPY Birthmonth to me.



  1. Who was on the terrace? Need details please!
    Jeanmarie xoxo

  2. Delana, Why not celebrate the whole month? Like you, I've learned to make my own birthday special. Happy birthday to you. Hope you have lots more good surprises in store for yourself.

  3. Happy BirthMonth, each and every day! And, if you want to extend it even longer, I think you should....there's only one YOU, so celebrate!

  4. Yep, if you don't take control of your birthday you can be sure no one else will.

    Have a fun month.

  5. Thanks for this! My birthday is Sunday and I have been trying to avoid it. Just going through a tough time and don't want to have a bunch of family fawning over me trying to pretend like they don't know what's going on even though I know my sister blabbed her big mouth to them.

    So, I will shake off my malaise and celebrate! because as you said, if I wasn't here, there'd be nothing to feel angst about and nothing to feel joy about.

    Enjoying your blog. I'll be selling all my stuff and running away to France in the next 8-10 months. :)

  6. Perhaps if politicians asked what would Marcie do instead of asking what Jesus would do they might get something right for once...

  7. Mlle. ChaussetteMay 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    And many many more to come!

  8. Indeed, enjoy your month! Your photos are marvelous. As the first one scrolled up, I thought "van Gogh!" And I adore the coquelicot. I'd steal it for my FB profile picture if it didn't have your © all over it!

  9. Birthmonth! I love it! And, god, those photos are so evocative I feel like I'm there. I wish I were there.

    Happy late birthday to you and your aging belly.

  10. We have a saying: luck helps the audacious.
    This post is a hymn to optimism, well done. And of course: happy birthmonth!

  11. Happy Birthday!!!! And many happy returns of he day!

  12. Happy Birthday! I remember when I was young, it seemed popular to hide your birthday. How gauche! Now I tell everyone, "it's my BIRTHDAY!"

  13. It is awfully nice that the French celebrate your birthday with a day off!
    Happy birth month dear Delana :)

  14. Happy Birthday Month Delana! Thanks for sharing your friend Marcie's idea to celebrate for an entire month. Reminds me of when I was in college, on the day after my birthday,I used to remind my sisters and roommates that there were only 364 more shopping til my next one. ha ha

  15. This hit home. I usually enjoy my birthday - for a week not a month - but that seems reasonable. Except this year in the beautiful month of September, I will turn the decade over to the big 50. I'm thinking of leaving the country for someplace spicy and never before visited. Egypt maybe? Any suggestions for ways to enjoy this one?

  16. OMG....I just stumbled on your blog and LOVE it! I've added myself as your newest follower. My friend, Tyra and I visit Aix en Prov. and Paris this past October and I'm SO in love with France.
    I can't wait to go thru your blog and check more out. I hope you pop in and see me sometime soon. Happy Birthday!


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