musings

On the significance of birthdays.

On the significance of birthdays.

Ever since I can remember I have loved celebrating birthdays. The quiet sulking of apparent old age was not for me. Instead, I would start planning my birthday (which is this month) in May. It used to drive my mother round the bend. She forbade me to start planning anything sooner than July. I ignored her of course. You can never start planning your birthday celebrations too early.

But this year the birthday doldrums made an appearance. They snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking and leapt in front of me with their anti-birthday signboards. I’m turning 40 in three weeks and somehow I’ve managed to avoid all planning and thoughts of celebrations since May. You can imagine my mother’s surprise when I said there was no party. I blamed it on being overworked and tired, as one does. The truth it that for the first time I’m taking a look at what I’ve done with my time so far and I can’t help but feel that I should have crammed more into it. I’m not sure where exactly but the feeling remains. Perhaps the older one gets the more one is aware of how fleeting life is. Perhaps I’m just having a pity party.

I don’t feel much older than 20 most days. When I look down at my feet it seems like nothing has changed. However, when I look in the mirror a lifetime gazes back. It’s hard to ignore how vulnerable we are to the passage of time. I phoned my Aunt for her birthday on Saturday and she set me straight. Never mess with Aunts – they don’t put up with silliness. She informed me that after 40 you only have a birthday once every decade because you won’t notice how quickly life rushes by, so best throw out the pity party and invite some friends over. She has a point. Birthdays remind us that we are alive and kicking and if that isn’t worthwhile celebrating, I don’t know what is.

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Musings on relationships

Musings on relationships

The thing about relationships is that they are tricksy. And I’m not talking just about the romantic kind (those are complicated enough) but about the relationships we have with coworkers and friends. My geeky friends will probably identify more with this, since as a group we battle to cultivate new relationships easily. If you are one of those lucky geeks that manage to be the life of the party, good on you. I am unfortunately not one of those social flutterbys that can easily forge new friendships and manage myself adroitly in every social situation.

When faced with a breakdown in a relationship I’m generally at a loss. How does one recover something that worked fine for all parties but for some reason or another fell apart? And this happens. We’ve all experienced a situation where a new person in the team manages to wreak havoc as far as they go, yet nobody recognises this until after the fact. Or a new manager is appointed and everybody resigns a month later.

However much I wish that I could sail past these obstacles my natural introverted reaction is to withdraw from the situation and brood. Now there’s a recipe for success. Not. Yet I don’t have the easy grace to smile and move on. How do people do that? Avoid the poisoned apples one is forced to deal with daily and carry on as if the bump in the road didn’t make the wheels come off?

If I ever find the answer I’ll be sure to post it everywhere. In the meantime I remain better at my relationships with my dogs than with people it seems. They don’t mind if I brood either.

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