Well, last week. I didn't make a big stink of my birthday this year. I don't really know why, but I think I have two reasons that might be raining on my birthday parade. First, I think that after the age of 25 years young, I kind of feel a little guilty about people buying me gifts. I have a job and I am as frugal as they come, so the thought of others spending their hard earned money on me makes me a little guiltful. My thought process is: if I won't spend the money on myself, then you shouldn't either.
Second, I might be waiting for the big hupla of turning 30 years young. When I turn 30, I might be more open and comfortable about everyone going a little crazy for me. The ages between 25 years and 30 years are just kind of blah. There's always someone else having a milestone moment so let's focus on them this year...okay?
I also think that my excitement for my birthday was somewhat non-existent due to my excitement for my vacation that is creeping up very very soon. I am saving my hard earned dollars and I wanted to be sure that Sparky was too.
But, in the end, I have great friends and family and Sparky that for some reason or another love me and want to shower me with uber happiness. That is all that matters. Now I won't brag about my super uber birthday gifts this year, but I will say that the meanings and thoughts behind them mean more to me than anything tangible you can put in my hands. When you're given something and you know and feel that the gift giver has really paid attention to you and really knows how you operate...that's the best gift of all.
Additionally, I have a tradition every year of buying myself something for my birthday since I don't have the expectation of anyone else to fulfill this duty. Normally I save up and buy myself a little something nice and out of the ordinary purchase pattern of mine...which is for lack of a better term, normally something cheap. (FYI...I also have this "Buy something nice for myself" mentality at Christmas) But this year since I am saving my dollars and pennies for my vacation that is creeping up very very soon, I took adavantage of a 20% off coupon for Barnes & Noble and a few book recommendations from a great friend of mine and purchased some great new reads. (One day after the purchase, I received a handy dandy B&N gift card. Go figure. But thanks, sis! More books for me!) I needed a few new books to read anyway just because I always do and because of my vacation that is creeping up very very soon. (Have you picked up on my excitement yet about my vacation that is creeping up very very soon?)
These are the books I've recently purchased:
MOLOKA'I by Alan Brennert
Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end—but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.
With a vibrant cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka'i is the true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death. Such is the warmth, humor, and compassion of this novel that "few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story" (mostlyfiction.com).
Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Prey, Love)
In 2000, Elizabeth Gilbert's Stern Men debuted to phenomenal critical attention. Now, Penguin is publishing a new edition of Gilbert's wise and charming novel for the millions of readers who devoured Eat, Pray, Love and remain hungry for more. Off the coast of Maine, Ruth Thomas is born into a feud fought for generations by two groups of local lobstermen over fishing rights for the waters that lie between their respective islands. At eighteen, she has returned from boarding school—smart as a whip, feisty, and irredeemably unromantic—determined to throw over her education and join the "stern men"working the lobster boats. Gilbert utterly captures the American spirit through an unforgettable heroine who is destined for greatness—and love—despite herself. Copied from he Barnes and Noble website.
This is the book I'm currently reading and absolutely enjoying so far.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart. Copied from the Barnes and Noble website.
So, the next time your birthday rolls around, remember to buy yourself a little something or do something nice for yourself...even if it's finding the simple enjoyment of a few good stories. And of course, always be grateful of the people in your life that bring you super uber enjoyment also.
Keep on Keepin on.