This week sees my 31st birthday and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it...in fact I'm not that sure how I feel about birthdays in general.
Some people find them the perfect excuse to get dressed up and indulge themselves, others ignore them and some people like me find them a reminder of time, both passing and past. This makes birthdays more of a milestone for me than others might. Some might even say it makes them a millstone.
I used to rather like birthdays, then my life derailed somewhere around the age of 25 and since then each birthday has been a simple, but painful reminder of how much of my life is being held to ransom by all the issues I have been dealing with since then. It felt difficult to celebrate the day and myself with that feeling hanging over me. Unsurprisingly I dreaded turning 30...
Luckily my family staged an intervention and planned a weekend in Barcelona to mark the event. Who could dwell on anything with copious amounts of seafood and cava to distract them? It felt easier to feel positive blowing out the candle on my birthday tomato away from home and the realities of life and I resolved that my 30s would be better than my 20s.
So far, so good. I have enjoyed 30 more than any of the last years of my 20s, but I'm apprehensive about 31. Suddenly you go from a nice even number to 'your early 30s' and that reminds me how much I had hoped to achieve by this stage in my life, and how little of that I have managed. It seems much harder to be positive in the dull light of a British autumn than the late summer sun of Spain.
Therefore I am experimenting this year and looking at my birthday as a reason to get dressed up and have fun, rather than as another grain in the egg-timer of my life. Come Saturday I will be throwing a party, complete with cake and cocktails. I'm hoping this new outlook on the actual birthday will give a different outlook to the year too...or maybe I will simply be too hungover and full of carbs to care?