Yesterday I turned half a century old. I don't hide my age from anyone. My birthday was very low key, and that was the way I wanted it. When I woke up and came downstairs (I was the first one up, as always) I saw that the kitchen had been decorated with streamers and a banner and large pink pom poms. This was the work of my daughter.
A good friend of mine arranged the day before to take me out to lunch, so we went to a nice place and had a good catching up session. When I got home, there were cards and both kids were up and around. We then went to a local winery where we tasted a few samples and bought a bottle of wine and a bottle of cider made from apples, pears, and grapes.
Then at home, husband made supper for me (chicken and mixed vegetables with feta cheese over rice - remember I am still gluten free) and then we had this:
My husband arranged for a gluten free cake to be made and it was delicious! It was moist and flavourful, not dry and crumbly like many gluten free products are.
You may be thinking, "That poor woman, her fiftieth birthday and no party, no presents, nothing exciting going on, what a horrible family she must have." But, first of all, I HATE being the centre of attention. I cringe at the thought of being at a restaurant where the wait staff comes out and claps and sings some stupid birthday song while a sparkler sizzles away on top of a cupcake and all the people in the restaurant are watching. Secondly, I specifically told my family not to do anything like a party. Thirdly, I WILL be celebrating my 50th, as well as our 25th wedding anniversary (which is the 20th of this month) and also my husband's 52nd birthday which is in August because... we are going on a trip this summer!!
It is exceedingly hard for me to spend large (or small, for that matter) amounts of money, so this decision did not come easily, but I decided (and hubby) to go to England this summer for a week. In August we are going to visit the Costwolds and do all things quaint and quintessentially English. My husband has been to England a few times because his grandmother lived there for many years. I have never been. We booked the flight just a couple of days ago, and so now that we know when we are going, we can book where we are going to stay. I think maybe a couple of different places, but I don't know if we will go with a B and B, a rental place with its own kitchen facility, or some kind of inn or hotel. We are going to rent a car (that is the thing that TERRIFIES me, that hubby will be driving this car from the airport in Gatwick to wherever we are staying, with the steering wheel on the opposite side, and driving on the other side of the road!!)
I know that some of the people who read my blog are from England, so if they have any suggestions about places to stay, or things to do, I welcome them!
Now, concerning becoming half a century old: I honestly don't feel like I am any wiser or more knowledgeable than I was twenty years ago. I don't think I look fifty (whatever that looks like!) I would however, like to physically feel less than fifty, but that is all down to my back which still hurts like the devil every night (gluten doesn't seem to be the answer either). But the one thing that I have learned over the course of fifty years is that this too shall pass. Every difficult, scary, frustrating, painful, agonizing, stressful thing that I have had to deal with has always worked itself out eventually and nothing is permanent. So I know that my back issues will subside somehow and I will be able to look back at this and shake my head and be glad it is over with. I now also know, concerning making decisions such as travel, that I need to adopt an "if not now, then when?" attitude.
One thing that frustrates me about the generation of young people coming up is their inability to endure delayed gratification. They want it and they want it now. (Yes, I am generalizing here). Husband and I certainly didn't rush out and buy our first house and lease a brand new car and go on a fancy honeymoon right away because we weren't financially able. But I hear of more and more young people who get everything they want right away and don't worry about whether they actually should be treating themselves to these luxuries. We are a country of people wallowing in debt because "they deserve it".
My husband and I have worked in our professions for over 25 years each and are now at a stage (balanced with assisting our children with their post-secondary educations) where we are able to treat ourselves to what we deserve. We are still doing this in a sensible, cost effective way, but we know there will still be another pay check next week. We owe nothing on our vehicles, I buy no-name products at the grocery store, and I colour my own hair!! (Ha, so there!) It even took me until just this year to get an iPhone! (Last person on the planet, I swear!) So, this is the year I fly across the ocean to see pretty cottages and quaint villages and tons of history in the Cotswolds and we celebrate our birthdays and anniversary at the same time. Fish and chips, here I come!