On my birthday

I have to admit I was not in a very celebratory mood in the days leading up to my birthday, which was on March, 10. I wish I had felt a little bit more excited about the fact that I am alive and well, and lucky to turn another year older. I don’t take that for granted and usually am all about celebrating the anniversary of my birth, but somehow everything just seemed wrong.

We were approaching the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic, I hadn’t seen my family in 2,5 years, and Russia invaded Ukraine. What was there to celebrate? We could have just skipped over my birthday, for all I cared.

As that was not an option, I decided to make the best of it. I had taken the day off from work (which I’ve been doing for the last few years because I think nobody should have to work on their birthday!) and I’ve also made it a habit over the last few years to go for a little celebratory birthday run. As you might know, I believe that if you wake up and feel good on your birthday, consider yourself lucky and get outside and move your body! It was a beautiful sunny morning and there was really no excuse not to get outside.

I scheduled two 20-min runs, a 70s and a 90s run, back to back on the Peloton app – because I’m a 70’s baby and 90’s girl :) – and set off at around 8:30 a.m. for a 4.6-mile loop to the American River. I was excited to break in my (long overdue) new running shoes for the occasion. Aren’t they beautiful?

The American River was also sparkling beautifully in the morning sun!

I had planned my running route so that after 4.6 miles I would end my run at our local neighborhood Starbucks where I picked up my free birthday drink – an Oatmilk Latte. I don’t go to Starbucks very often, but I always make sure to stop there on my birthday for a free treat!
Then I walked the last mile home and had a quick chat with Tanja via FaceTime.

And just when I got home, a delivery guy showed up with 12 red roses (from Jon!). I think the last time Jon gave me flowers was the year when we met ( and I have to say that while I love flowers, I don’t necessarily expect or place extreme value on getting flowers from him, but of course, it was a very sweet surprise!).

After a quick stretching session, I jumped on the Peloton for half an hour because there was a live ride with one of my favorite instructors and I thought I might get a shoutout for my birthday. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but the ride was still fun, especially because Tanja spontaneously decided to join me. Thanks, friend!

Afterward, I made coffee, cut my birthday cake, and then called my sister because she is the most important person I want to see/speak to on my birthday (as you recall, I am a twin and I don’t think I will ever get used to not sharing my birthday with my sister). My mom and dad and some other family members were at my sister’s place for a little birthday get-together, and it was nice to see everyone. I spent about 2 hours with them via FaceTime and it was almost as if I was there… if only they had been able to pass one of the Mettbrötchen through the screen, it would have been perfect!

After a hot shower and two more phone calls – with my uncle and my friend Susi – I opened some birthday mail and at 5:30 p.m. Jon and I went for a walk to McKinley Park and then stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant for dinner. I had seriously contemplated what I wanted to do for my birthday and if going to a restaurant for dinner was something I would consider. The last time we went out to eat was for my birthday two years ago.

During the pandemic, we’ve only eaten at restaurants twice (and only on outdoor patios) and otherwise, we’ve exclusively gotten takeout. But since the Covid rate in our county had dropped to very low numbers recently, I felt okay going out to dinner for this special occasion (doesn’t mean we’ll be making this a habit again any time soon).

The food was really tasty. We ordered a green curry with chicken, Thai fried rice, and stir fry with green asparagus and shrimp and I will admit that it was nice to eat at a restaurant again.

So, in conclusion, I am happy to report that contrary to my expectation, I ended up having a really good day. I also want to thank everyone who thought of me and sent kind messages and good wishes on my birthday! It meant a lot!

  1. Yay! I’m so glad you were able to celebrate – it sounds like a wonderful day. I’m glad you got to spend time with your family and enjoy a lovely dinner out!

    1. Thanks so much, friend.

  2. This sounds like my perfect kind of day. So much fun! And I’m just like you- I only get Starbucks for my birthday haha! And once in a while if I get a giftcard from work or something…local coffee shops are always better :) Happy belated birthday!

    1. Haha, I also only get Starbucks (except on my birthday) when I have a gift card. I have a local coffee shop just around the corner, so why would I go to Starbucks?

  3. This sounds like a perfect day! My birthday has fallen on the weekend the last 2 years so it has been nice to not work. I usually don’t take my birthday off, though, but might be more inclined to if it was during a nice time of year! I generally don’t take a lot of time off during our winter months and instead save my days off for summer/fall when I can be outside.

    I am glad you got some family time in thanks to technology. What would we do without facetime or zoom? I facetime with my parents every weekend as they love to see the boys. Talking on the phone would not be the same!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I am really so thankful for FaceTime these days! Talking on the phone would not be the same!

  4. That sounds like a wonderful birthday, state-of-the-world aside! I love your new shoes — and your cake and Thai food look delicious!

    1. Thanks Suzanne, I appreciate it :)

  5. I’m so glad there were some very special bright points in your day.
    Those shoes are SO NICE (and I love the look of the blue leggings, too).
    I’m sorry you’ve had to go so long without seeing family; what a hard thing to navigate in the middle of the pandemic. I really hope you get to reunite in person soon!

    1. Thanks Elisabeth. It definitely was a much better day than I expected and I am thankful!

  6. I’m so glad you had such a lovely birthday! Birthdays without your sister must feel so strange, but I am so happy you had a special day.
    Your new shoes are so pretty!

    1. Thank you, friend!

  7. Glad you had a lovely birthday!
    I know it is difficult going so long without seeing family.
    Your birthday dinner looked so good – glad you enjoyed it.

  8. Your day sounds PERFECT! It had all the best things, even if you couldn’t see your family in person. I was also kind of ‘blah” leading up to my birthday- I should have taken the day off. Since i had to work it was hard to make it very festive.
    Is that a picture of your sister? Are you identical twins? How fun!!!
    Glad you had a great birthday.

    1. Thank you, Jenny. No, this is a picture of me (not in workout clothes LOL)…. my sister and I are fraternal twins. We don’t look much alike.

  9. Happy birthday! That sounds like a great day. It’s always so nice if you can get sunshine and blue skies on your big day, too. ;)

    1. Thank you, Kae, I appreciate it!

  10. Happy belated birthday! I also had a low-key celebration on my last birthday. Come to think of it, I’ve never really been big on celebrating even when I was a kid. I’m glad you still had a good one. Life is a blessing.

    1. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and for stopping by! :)

  11. This sounds like such a great birthday! I’m glad you got to do all the things you love doing, like going for a run, talking with your family, and having dinner with Jon. Yay!

    1. Thanks Stephany, it really was a good day all things considered!

  12. Oh, happy belated birthday, San. I think I commented on IG or elsewhere on your blog, but I am glad that despite your relatively blah feelings going into the day, it seems to have turned out to be an enjoyable (if imperfect, as all days are…) one. I’m SO GLAD you got to FT your family for so long! What a lovely interlude that must have been. And, your Thai food looks wonderful. Thanks for reminding me it’s been a while. ;)

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