Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. It’s going to be a quick conversation this week, today is that special day of the year I get to spend at the kitchen table, squinting at my computer screen, surrounded by a collection of documents from various financial institutions, trying to tell the IRS what they already know.
At least the sun is shining today, and the temperatures are warming up again. This weekend gusts of frigid winter air blew through the city and sapped all the energy from our bones. It was a harsh reminder that it isn’t quite summertime yet and to make any outdoor plans right now is risky. Luckily much of my birthday celebrations were all inside activities.
“Sometimes it is the smallest thing that saves us: the weather growing cold, a child’s smile, and a cup of excellent coffee.”
― Jonathan Carroll
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my birthday was a good one this year. This year, my birthday fell on a Friday the 13th. I’m not superstition, but it’s fun to have the day that you celebrate your birth and another year of life occasionally fall on a day culturally considered unlucky.
I usually celebrate the day as a sort of mini Halloween. I wear creepy t-shirts, I might watch a scary movie, and sometimes I get tattoos from shops doing Friday the 13th specials. This year I got a gorgeous, and quite painful, “bad luck” tattoo on the back of my neck.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the rest of my birthday was spent with just my girlfriend. We had pizza before the tattoo shop then we found a new Italian place to check out for dinner after. I had lamb ribs with fig glaze, rabbit gnocchi, and a pastry dessert that I can’t remember the name of that was to die for! My fiance had the cornish game hen stuffed with pheasant sausage and tiramisu for dessert. It was all delicious, and it was fun to try some new foods on my special day, but I don’t think I’ll be eating rabbit or pheasant again anytime soon.
Yesterday was a close friend of mine’s birthday, so we had another birthday dinner, this time at a sushi restaurant, then drinking, dancing, and a drag show after.
It was all a ton of fun, and I was glad to see my friends and celebrate with them, but I realized that for me, turning 33 was a very serious, quiet, and personal affair. I’m not sad about it, and I certainly believe it is a milestone worth celebrating, but celebrating with a more intimate company was definitely a good choice.
Another thing I love about birthdays is hearing from all the people who think I matter too. From my father’s text at four in the morning to my grandmother’s late-night call to sing happy birthday before I was off to bed I felt like for just one day I was more alive, more real, because so many people were thinking of me.
I still have to see my mom—who also celebrated a birthday this month—and my siblings, and my dad. I’ll have another dinner with my cousins soon and another later in the month with a few other friends who, like me, prefer a quieter night out. I celebrate the whole month long, and I recommend everyone do the same. We all deserve it.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the gifts were pretty awesome too. A coworker brought her 7-year-old daughter in to give me a gift bag full of six avocados. I got myself the tattoo (you should always buy yourself something too). My mom gave me money to buy more books. My girlfriend got me a few AdamJK things, a book of Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett, and 17 volumes from The University Society Book Lovers Edition 1901 Shakespeare Collection she found at a thrift store.
Many are full of handwritten notes and pieces of other works either glued or stapled in. Used books are ever just about the book. They are also about every person who has owned them before you.
Apparently, there are more gifts to come tomorrow, something bigger I hear, but I honestly already feel so content and happy with what I’ve received I can’t imagine what else I could want.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there was in the middle of all this celebration and special attention some bad news came. All the tests the doctors ordered a few weeks ago have come back and while I’m not doing poorly—as in, not anemic, no new health issues—the inflammation is back, and my medication is definitely not working.
I’ve been slowly declining for a few weeks now, and I’ll keep getting sicker and sicker if I am not switched to new medication but of course, because I live in America, standing between me and the next stage in my care are big dollar signs. I have the choice of two different meds, one I’ll have to pay for up front, or one to be billed later, neither of which can I really afford.
I’m applying for financial assistance from the drug companies, but the application process is complicated. It’s going to take some time. Meanwhile, I’m worried about how much work I’ll have to miss, and if three or four or five years from now after I’ve paid 10s of thousands of dollars the medication will stop working, and in the end, my colon will end up being removed anyway.
I’m only 33 years old! I shouldn’t be dealing with these kinds of problems yet!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you the taxes are all done, and that means I have to move on to other projects. I’m at least four letters behind in the Blogging A to Z Challenge, and I still have to get ready or the work week. Thank you for sitting through this stressful time with me, it helps to have friendly vibes and an ear to bend to ease the anxiety.
I hope you had a pleasant weekend. I hope your taxes are done, and Spring has been more like summer than winter where you are. I hope your coming week will be productive, and if it isn’t, I hope you know it’s okay to take a break and that you can begin again anytime you choose.
Until next time.
Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.
Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli