I haven't celebrated a birthday since I turned 35.
I don't care if I ever celebrate a birthday again.
No, really...I don't care about my birthday.
Okay, so maybe I care A LITTLE. I like the fact that I'm turning 40 and I actually really wish it was happening sooner rather than 258 days from now. I am looking forward to being in the Masters age group, to being the best version of myself I've ever been DESPITE being 40, and to finally getting past that stupid "Over the Hill" milestone.
But I'm not celebrating. No matter how many times my friends tell me I am celebrating, I'm not. It isn't about them. It's about me and respecting that decision. They might not agree with my reasons but I don't care. You hear that, dear buddies of mine?
I'm not celebrating.
If there is a surprise party for me, I will retreat.
If there are gifts, I will feel uncomfortable.
If I'm told I should WANT to celebrate, I will roll my eyes.
My sister lived to be 37. My celebratory mood towards birthdays ceased at this time. I'm not stuck in my grief, as one might imagine, but I do not want to celebrate regardless.
When I turned 38, I struggled with it. Coincidentally, the Houston Marathon was that very same day and I could think of no better way to "celebrate" that birthday than by running my ass off in a marathon, by focusing only on myself and what I could accomplish rather than giving in to someone else's idea of how I should mark the occasion. I was in complete control of that day and it was the best decision I could have made. I ran my strongest marathon to date that day and I feel like I honored my sister and myself by doing so.
For my 40th birthday, I will have dinner with my family, I will enjoy cake as I always do, and I will travel to Houston again to run my ninth marathon, in a new age group, with a new goal, and with my thoughts on my sister.
That truly is the only way I want to celebrate.