Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Birthday Weekend -- 365 and Counting!

I know I shouldn't wish away the days, but in 365 of them (less now!) I can retire!
Yes, another birthday and a mostly-nice birthday weekend.

I wasn't sure when it started (you can ask Rick about the meltdown I had!). The Friday night before, I had to work, announcing groups at our wonderful Great Lakes Folk Festival. Then I'd hang at the booth and meet people and talk to them about public broadcasting.
Normally, I love that gig. The festival is four-star and the people stopping by are always so nice. But this year, it was pouring rain, I was already not feeling my best, and it was unseasonably cold. Even for a normal summer, it was unseasonably cold. And our summer has been anything but normal.
By the time I crashed in bed that night, I was close to my last nerve. And when I woke up on my birthday, that nerve snapped. 

Poor Rick. He was making wonderful blueberry pancakes and I was sitting in the kitchen sobbing, looking at a life that felt like it had no way out. Everything was getting to me -- my health, my weight, incredible work stress, missing Gypsy, the leaky water pipe in the basement, my life imploding. About the only thing that wasn't bothering me was getting older, because it was 365 days closer to retirement.

Well, we both survived breakfast and things started looking up after pancakes! A wonderful lunch with friend Kate also made this wonderful card! She grabbed a freeze frame from one of the ustream seven kittens videos, titled "Sock Parade."
 (Only one more week to keep watching the stream of these sweet kittens from week 1. Next week they'll go to their own homes and oh, how I'll miss them! They are SO fun to watch!)

Later that night Rick and I went to dinner and then to the Great Lakes Folk Festival. 
The weather was terrific by then -- a perfect festival evening. We enjoyed three different acts (and bits of others). 
My favorite was Claire Lynch, a bluegrass singer/songwriter with very witty lyrics and a great band.
The good weather continued the next day as our Cork Poppers celebrated the wines of Tuscany. More on that in another post.
Let's just say Barb could open a cake bakery!
So, it was a weekend of great highs and lows. The start of a "new year." The incubation of plans to play out in 365 days. Give or take a few!


Jeanie said...

I'm sorry your birthday weekend started out on a low note, but, boy, that cake looks good enough to cure a lot of ills. I'm glad things got better and that the weekend ended on a high note. Happy birthday!

beth said...

the happiest of birthdays to you !!...sorry i'm late.....and now let's raise our glasses to your "before you know it" retirement !!!

Mary M-S said...

Oh, dear friend! I had "one of those kind" of birthdays a few years ago when I turned 50 and totaled our Jeep. Stay strong, you're a beautiful woman!!

Karen Owen said...

Jeanie, it's been too long since I've visited your blog. A lot has happened. I am so sorry about Gypsy. I know you are missing him like crazy. Happy belated birthday! I hope you are all cheered up now. The cake looks yummy. Just keep thinking of all the time you will have for fun and creative things when you retire.

Joanne Huffman said...

I'm glad your birthday picked up in tone and fun.

Bella Rum said...

I appreciate the honesty in this post, Jeanie. I just wrote one of those myself. This is one of the happiest blogs I visit, but sometimes we all feel vulnerable. Life just does that little spiral thing sometimes, and it takes a minute... or two or three... to get back on track.

I will tell you from experience that you will love retirement. "Streams of income" are much better than paychecks. Of course, they are never enough but neither are paychecks.

Happy birthday!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am wishing you the happiest of birthdays! And no, maybe we don't want to wish away the days, but it is nice to have retirement to look forward to. I imagine it will help you push through the tough and stressful times at work to know that the end is somewhat in sight. Hang in there, friend.

Also, I am glad you were honest in this post and didn't pretend like life is all sunshine and roses. I appreciate people's honesty! I am glad things turned around, though!!

Marilyn Miller said...

The time will fly by and soon you will be celebrating a special birthday with retirement. Enjoy the year! Sometimes we do have those melt downs, but thank goodness for dear people in our lives that help us pick ourselves up.

Marti McClure said...

Hi Jeanie! Happy, happy birthday! I know you are going to have a wonderful year, and next year will be even more wonderful since you can retire. ~Marti

Arti said...

Have a wonderful Birthday, Jeanie! And all the best for the next 365 days. It's exciting to plan for a new page, new opportunities, and ... freedom. Take care and enjoy the last year of work as you know it now. I'm sure you'll still be 'working', doing things that you enjoy and that you've never found the time to. The future looks bright. ;)

Bonnie K said...

I envy your 365 day time frame til retirement!

Introverted Art said...

ok, after walking over 3 miles and only having a smoothie, that cake just had me salivating :-) And bluegrass, I love bluegrass.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Happy Birthday, Jeanie! I can well understand the bittersweet nature of its beginning -- so much has been going on for you lately and your birthday just brought everything up all at once. I'm so glad that your day got better for you as it went on.

The Old Parsonage said...

I'm so glad that your special day only got better. You deserve happiness every day but especially more so on your birthday.

That cake looks divine!

Happy Birthday sweet Friend and woo hoo on the impending retirement!


Emily said...

You've heard it before, "all's well that ends well." To
Have so many wires crossed at once is no fun but those pancakes made you feel better and sounds like you had a great birthday! Wishing you 365 great days this year!

The French Hutch

OldLady Of The Hills said...

A Very Happy though Belated Birthday, to you....I think melt-downs sound appropriate on one's Birthday, or, near one's Birthday...It's kind of a time to review, in a way, isn't it....I surely undrstand your missing your dear dear Gypsy---(Just today, I cried over Sweetie not being here)....And your Health---THAT is important. In fact, it's all important. But the good part is, that all happened at the beginning of your day and then, lots of good things could come in and bring a smile and much joy! And now, you are 365 days closer to retirement. BRAVA, for you!!!

Tracy said...

Happy Birthday, belated, Jeanie! I'm sorry your birthday weekend began a bit rocky... but very glad things turned around, and so fun to see you smiling at the end there! FAB cake too! I feel deeply for you all that you are going through just now. It all adds up sometimes, and we can't help but feel swamped. And that's OK. Just be. And enjoy making a plan for the next birthday. ;o) Great festival...and Claire Lynch was there?! Very fun! Live well, my friend ((BIG HUGS))

~*~Patty S said...

Birthdays can add pressure sometimes ... glad you survived ... sorry you got off to a bumpy start!

Here's to a wonderful rest of your birthday month dear Jeanie!

May it shimmer glimmer flare...may the warmest birthday wishes fill the birthday air!

Take care my friend!

Friko said...

Let the Countdown begin!

But do make sure that you actually 'live' this year as well, you wouldn't like to say at the end of "where did it all go?"

Happy belated birthday!

joyce said...

Happy Birthday Jeanie. Had I known and had I your address, I would've made you a card too. So sorry about the down spell, we all have them but its not nice on your birthday. Glad that things only went uphill from there though.

Barb said...

HI Jeanie, I tried to comment while at Beaver Creek for our 46th but the hotel connection was terrible. I don't think you received it. Sometimes a few tears melt away the stress - glad to see your happy smile at the end though. Happy Birthday - enjoy this year leading to retirement. It will go by quickly. My Best to you!

O-town Ramblings said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you Jeanie! I'm sorry to hear about your birthday meltdown, although it did make me feel normal, since I've had similar birthday experiences.

Your cake looks amazing! I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

This next year will fly by. My, am I jealous. I'm soooo ready to retire. I guess I'll have to live vicariously through your retirement while waiting for my own.

Take care. Hugs to you!

PeterParis said...

I'm sorry I missed you birthday, but I was out of internet reach for a couple of days.

Nice to see your lycky, happy face at the end of the story!

(... and yes, it's really nice to be retired!) :-)

shoreacres said...

Happy Birthday to you! You already I know I'm greatly in favor of birthday seasons, like Christmas, so you have several days until The Twelve Days of Jeanie's Birthday are over!

I've been a bit funkified myself, as I've been coming to terms with the reality that retirement is years off for me, rather than a year. Still, no matter what our situation, life comes to us one day at a time! So, let's get about enjoying it!

Janet said...

Jeanie, I missed your birthday! I've been so busy with the studio re-do that I've barely had time for anything else...and it still isn't finished.

I'm glad your day turned out good after all. Pancakes can make almost anything better!!

Sally Wessely said...

I can't believe I am so late in reading this post and in wishing you a happy birthday! Oh honey, I'm so sorry your birthday started out so bad. I can relate. I have those meltdowns too. Aging, or as the saying goes, middle age is not for sissies. That is all I have to say about that. I struggle with health, weight, and all of the above also, but in the end, it is good to have something to celebrate, and it seems you celebrated in style. The concert looks phenomenal!

Only a year until retirement - keep on keeping on. Sending hugs and best wishes your way. XO

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