Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Birthday Week Ups and Downs

So last Thursday was my birthday, I turned 41 at eight-something in the evening as my mom likes to say. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster week including the birthday. My husband was out of town (hazards of marrying a pilot) but my son brought me a birthday card as soon as I opened my eyes, and my daughter went downstairs and came back up with breakfast in bed (toast, well buttered) which was very sweet. By the afternoon however, I was feeling really miserably sick. The sore lungs from last Tuesday's Time Trial in the freezing rain were turning into a hacking painful chest and I started to run a fever. It's pretty rare that I get sick, so it always throws me for a loop not to be feeling good. I didn't even exercise for two days in a row, so I knew I was really down with something.

Other than the cold though, many quietly good things happened in my birthday week. My mom and sister called, my friend K. wrote me a card about friendship that really touched my heart. Her daughter C. made my day by writing "No matter how old you get, I know you are a wild teenager at heart" in a card. High praise indeed from a teenager herself! And they gave me a copy of the comic book Zits, which has been cracking me up regularly. I guess it's good reading for a few short years when I'll have a teenager myself.

My hubby made my day by drawing an almost indecipherable wetsuit in his card to me. Luckily, he wrote the word "Aqua" on the leg of it, or I might've really wondered. So wheeeee! I get to get a full-sleeved wetsuit! My old farmer john style is on its last legs, so this is really exciting for me. Other women may want flowers, wine, and diamonds, but this man knows what really makes me happy: neoprene.

Other exciting things happened this week. I got my first photo into Flickr's Explore section (where they showcase interesting and enticing photos), which is a pretty big honor. It was this photo I took of the kids in the Sacramento River at sunset, one of my favorites. I also discovered that so far I am leading the Cat4 women in the Time Trial series I've been doing. Given that it's my first year taking a stab at bike racing, and I get on my bike maybe twice a week right now, I'm pretty pleased with that. We'll have to see how this last week goes though to see where I end up.

So all in all, not a bad way to get another year older. No big parties, no hoopla, just some quiet moments, cards, conversations with those who are closest to me. As I get older, I am happier with presence than presents. I'm thinking a lot about getting older this year, partly because 40 was a milestone year but 41 is now into the 40s. It's also partly because I can feel my body pushing back a little on me, resisting getting faster, getting a little more sore than it used to when I ask it to go hard. And partly because of this 365 Days of self portraits project on Flickr. Ever try to look at a hundred photos of yourself? It really makes you look at the person that you are right now, not the person you think you'd look like if you took the time to get all glammed up and take a studio portrait with nice lighting and all, but the person with spriggy grey hairs and a wrinkle or three or four. It's been an interesting experience since I'm usually the one taking photos of everyone else in my life, now suddenly I have all these photos of myself and it's kind of strange.

So I'll probably muse more on aging some other time, but for now it's nice to feel healthier again, and I'm grateful to be forty-one years old on this earth today and feeling the sun on my face.


tri-trainee said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

triathlonmom said...

Happy Birthday.
I love the photos. That photo project sounds really neat. Hmm...maybe i'll have to try that.
Sounds like a pretty good birthday to me!

penney said...

Happy Birthday, Robin.

It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
-Abraham Lincoln

TriGirl 40 said...

Happy Birthday, Robin! Sounds like it was full of lots of special moments. Glad you are feeling better - and enjoy that new wetsuit!

Thanks for the link to your portraits project - they are amazing. The sunset picture of your kids is just beautiful.

Anyway - enjoy the rest of your birthday month - and no more getting sick.

Libor said...

All the best Robin. Enjoy another and keep on. You'r not older, just better!

John said...

Happy belated birthday and congrats on your time trial rankings. Very impressive!


stronger said...

Happy birthday. Your photos have such truth behind them. You look amazing.

Diane said...

Happy birthday! I particularly like the Andy Warhol looking pic. Very cool.