Well it’s that time of year again, how did June arrive so fast. This weekend is my 47th birthday and my 17th wedding anniversary and 12 years since I discovered I was pregnant with Emily, lots to celebrate, but the overwhelming feeling is that another year has passed and I have not got any better, not got a job, not being the Mum I want to be. This year my daughter goes to High School and will become more independent (hopefully), but where does that leave me? Stuck at home even more, no job prospects. Every birthday and New Year feel this way.
By the age of 47 most people have progressed in a career and brought up a family. Not me, I haven’t worked for 18 years. I started my first job in June 1998, 30 years ago just before I was 17. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that point, but I had a full time job and an income, even if it was only £27 a week!! The only income I have now is £20 a week from what is left of my DLA after paying for my Motability car. In 1994, 1995 and 1996 I had student loans which I have never paid off as I haven’t earned enough to do so. I have to defer each year, letting them know that I don’t work. This year I had to also provide a letter from my husband as they wouldn’t accept my income, so he had to say he supports me.
When we are kids it’s so exciting to have a birthday and we celebrate each year, but once we get past 21 we seem to be ashamed of our age and don’t like to admit how old we are. Then it seems when you hit about 80 people become more relaxed with how old they are and take pride in telling anyone who will listen their age. We are the same with our cat, and amazed he is still with us at 19. The oldest cat reached 38, so he is only halfway there and I can’t see him lasting that long.
A friend that I have kept in touch with from school has a son who has just turned 18, it doesn’t seem that long since we were 18. Someone asked me the other day if I always get good weather having a June birthday. Not a chance, my Mum tells me it was cold and wet the day I was born, my 18th birthday was very hot and then my 30th, the day I got married was cold, wet and windy. The forecast for this year is rain, cloudy and a chance of thunder!
Being unwell it’s difficult to know how to celebrate birthdays, luckily this year it falls on a Saturday so I will be able to get out for a bit, but then will have to spend time in bed to recover. There won’t be any late nights or drinking alcohol, we off to see some cats and have a cup of tea at Kitty Cafe Leeds . They have some interesting sounding teas, so cats and tea that’s me sorted. Having a gluten free, dairy free, low sugar diet means no birthday cake, but we have bought a mix by Free and Easy which is very yummy and ticks all the boxes! Just have to find the energy to make it with Emily’s help. We are planning a party tea, but most party food full of gluten, so not quite sure what it will be yet.
It’s nice to get presents, but as you get older it’s more difficult and people ask you what you want or tell you what they are getting you, so no surprises. I spend hours looking at clothes, shoes and craft items, but I don’t need any of them, and then get upset about not being able to wear nice clothes or shoes or having the time and energy to do crafty things and tell people there is not much point in buying them. Or if I do get them, I feel guilty for not making good use of them.
I like to buy people things they want, but also try and get them a bit of a surprise and always try to get it to them for their birthday rather than waiting until I see them. I always send cards in the post in plenty of time as it’s nice to get cards in the post, as a change from all the junk and bills normally in the post. I still find it a bit strange having to give my husband cards and presents on my birthday with it being our anniversary too! This year the day after my birthday is Father’s day. It is always around my birthday and this year will be the second year without my Dad so mixed emotions again. My Dad’s birthday is the end of May, so his face popped up on my Facebook feed as a memory, and there is a good one of me and him and my wedding day, memories crop up all over the place and catch you unawares.
We used to go away in June as it was quieter and cooler, but since Emily started school we haven’t been able to. At Emily’s high school they don’t have Spring Bank holiday week off, but they have 3rd week in June, next year they break up on on the Friday as my birthday is on the Sunday, so we might get to be away 🙂 but my birthday will be Father’s day 🙁
I am trying not to do too much in the run up to my birthday, but other people have other ideas. My PA went off sick, but is now thankfully back. I was so worried she would be off a long time or would decide to retire. Today I had physio, tomorrow we have an information evening and then on Friday I have an hour long appointment to go to. Timing of things always seems rubbish, but I guess that’s partly because there is never a good time. I am waiting for 2 other appointments and both of them came up for this week so I had to change them. The appointments are supposed to help me, but often the effort of going to them outweighs any benefit and I get stressed about fitting them in and getting there and back etc, it’s so frustrating. I don’t like having to cancel things or be dependant on others, it makes me feel so useless.
Well whatever happens I will try to enjoy my birthday and I will go out and stuff the consequences! So is 6-45pm too early for bed?