Yesterday I aged officially by a year. My year is now 47, which I figure is Prime. So therefore, I am entering my Prime.
There isn't going to be another of those for six years, you know.
Therefore it is a special occasion. I decided that I would mark it.
Opportunity came that I would be at my old stomping ground at the moment in time that would transport be across the threshhold into 47's clutches, and so I saw it as opportunity to celebrate appropriately.
Dot point lead up:
- Lightbulb moment when I realized V's specialist appointment in the Big Smoke was approaching;
- Plans formulated inside my head regarding
- shopping opportunities (I have a girl in Year 12, there is a Formal - any mother who has been in this situation will realise the enormity of this statement),
- family opportunities (I have a 6 year old girl whose only access to play older sister is limited to sporadic meetings of her Sestricna - my niece via the outlaws on 'Salina's side)
- which I unfortunately fail to relay to V
- V shows immense surprise when I present said plan fait accompli at dinner that evening
- Yeah - hindsight hey?
- Anyhow, once V got used to the idea he agreed to the basic concept and so then I upped the ante. My birthday. Proximity to absolutely wonderful people of all eras of my life. A half dozen selected from the possibilities. Dinner. At our apartment.
- La di.
- Organise work, school, headspace.
- 3am rise for 4am drive.
- 6am stop for coffee and toilets - realise that the world is indeed a small place and Gympie McDonalds is the vortex.
- I swear.
- Go there and you WILL see someone you know.
- Or are related to.
- Five hour drive for a 90 minute wait for a ten minute consultation.
- V had doctoral thesists watch their magic machine while his knees were scanned for inflammation
- before the Knee God who resurrected V's knees a year ago triumphantly swung through the connecting doors (and yes, those trumpets that you heard in the movie version of this was indeed the fanfare that should have accompanied him on this entrance).
- He took pictures of the x-rays and smiled at his work.
- He explained what he did, how he did it and why it was one of the most complex he had ever operated on.
- See you again next year.
- A flying visit with a relative who had an unscheduled stay in hospital thus allowing our paths to cross and us to visit.
- Grocery shopping (of course) where yet again the world proved itself to be very Jeanie-centric in its coincidental meetings.
- If you fail to make it to the Gympie McDonalds, Woolworths in Buranda is worth a shot at seeing someone you know.
- The apartment - our home for the night - two bedrooms, air-conditioned, great view of the rail system and so very central.
- An oven that works.
- A gym.
- A pool.
- A balcony.
- Hidden hiding spots.
- Cool two way rooms and light controls.
- A fully mirrored splash-back.
- S. W. A. N. K. for some of the hicks amongst us.
- A flying visit with a (different) relative who had an (different) unscheduled stay in (different) hospital thus allowing our paths to cross and me to visit.
- Cooked dinner for a dozen - or three?
- Played dress up and had my half-dozen from different chapters of my life and have a lovely evening.
The day of my birthday dawned rather early. Insommnia did a lovely number on me and there were several hours when I should have been sleeping where I whirred instead. Whacked it on the head eventually with a hot chocolate.
Awoke to the feeling I had indeed been whacked on the head. The pillows were too hard for this princess.
The sleep was too heavy for my wrists and hips.
My skull was too small for some of my brain, which was pounding to be let out.
The 10am deadline loomed, and auto-pilot kicked in. Get dressed. Pack up. Empty the fridge. Stack the dishwasher. Check all cupboards. Stack the luggage. Organise the day. Pack the car. Exit the car park. Check out.
We had an adventure planned, the girls and I. While V went to do his thing, we had an adventure on the cards.
We were going to catch a bus (yay, a bus, what fun with my children - we NEVER get to ride a bus in a strange town just for FUN) to a Shopping Centre (yay, a Shopping Centre with shops that we don't have and shopping and people watching) and then walk to the outlaws for the playdate and lunch.
Only - well, yes but there was that misshapen brain and skull thing sort of muffling my world. But the girls were excited and there was a part of me thinking that if I just put my mind to it, that aspect of my life would go away quietly and youthful exhuberance plus a twist of birthday luck would right the day.
Somewhere between the rather circuitous route of the bus up and down the twisting hills of the big smoke and the sanitised smell of enclosed public transport that thing in my brain said "well, the only way to solve this situation is to introduce a catalyst" and - well, I am thankful that the dress I chose had a pattern dark and confusing so you couldn't REALLY tell that I had added to the design and I pat myself on the back at how well I managed to confine this chemical reaction to my own person and barely any of the product landed on the bus itself.
So it is possible the high point of the birthday celebrating my entry to such a prime year was me washing myself with drinking water onto nature strip while my teenage daughter rang her aunt to collect us early - from the side of the road in unkempt condition.
So - shower, pills and sleep occupied the middle part of my birthday, while my children had unfettered delight with cousins.
I gradually emerged mid-afternoon, slightly less fuzzy and girding myself for the long drive home. I ate dry toast and drank in being able to see my mother-outlaw and sister-outlaw and nephew and Sestricna. Photos were taken. The birthday was remembered and Pavlova was had.
The long drive home made longer by someone with a horse trailer having a far worse day than I.
We were blessed with being able to teach our children the important art of map-reading (and map-folding), we saw unexpected angles of geographic features generally unnoticed on the freeway but much more prominent on the secondary roads - now being noticed by nearly all of the previous occupants of the freeway - and lessons in relaxing at a leisurely pace, creating bathrooms out of bushland and finding sustenance at rest stops whose kitchens were shut.
And the BEST bit about my birthday? (Well, besides the getting home safely and knowing I have some very solid family members and friends who enrich my life)
The BEST bit about that birthday is that it has to be an AWESOME year with such a low bar to begin with.
And it will be