So, I had a birthday yesterday. No surprise, it fell on the same day as every other year before. Nothing special. No plans. No fuss. Just the way I like it. You seem I’ve never been a big fan of birthdays. Don’t put my date of birth on Facebook, don’t mention it to anyone whose path I cross on the day (corner shop man, yoga teacher, clients, colleagues), don’t celebrate it at all. You may have noticed already, I like my anonymity (though secretly I do also really like gifts – hypocrisy is my middle name). It’s because to me, when your birthday falls in summer in Ibiza*, it just feels a bit much like hard work! *At the peak of summer, everyone is too busy to take time out of their schedules to celebrate with you.
This includes myself – the idea of taking a long boozy lunch break petrifies me because I know what the inbox count will be like when I get back to the office. *It’s exhausting, and embarrassing, being the centre of attention for a full day. I prefer to be at home, with my cats, watching re-runs of Friends. Now that is my ideal day! *The island does not need one more party – plus, who can compete with what’s on offer in the clubs anyway? But speaking of clubs, it’s impossible to have a good catch up with your mates there if that’s how you choose to celebrate – plus, it always turns out your fave DJs never play on your birthday. It’s like Ibiza law – you want DJ W!ld, you get Idris Elba.
*The shops are all in sale mode, so when you try to buy yourself a nice gift, there’s nothing to choose from except extra large autumn clothing that wasn’t popular the first time around.
*It’s too damn hot to eat, which spoils the idea of a nice lunch or dinner. It’s also chaos driving to and from restaurants, queuing for a table or missing out completely because they’re full!
*The post-birthday hangovers are much, much worse in summer. But here’s what I learned yesterday. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to celebrate your birthday for any or all of the above reasons. Birthdays – funnily enough – are not all about YOU. If you have a crew of good friends and a loving family, you might just find that you have no choice but to be celebrated. Like I did. Which is why I find myself now:
*With an overflowing inbox and mega elevated stress levels. *With a sore throat from talking constantly all day yesterday.
*With a handbag full of Flower Power promotional gear.
*Contemplating how I can customise the sale purchases that I will otherwise never wear
*Feeling nauseous from devouring too much rich food late last night.
*Sweating feverishly and suffering from an agonising hangover!
*Feeling totally grateful and loved. From the surprise Mars Bar sprouting a birthday candle and gifts in the office (thanks Miss A and Miss S!) and the amazing box of flamingo-shaped cupcakes for breakfast (thanks Mr D) to the impromptu sunset drinks and the bonus hip flask of mezcal that came with my dinner, plus beautiful messages from people all over the world, my birthday was totally awesome. Thank you to everyone who made it that way.
*Of course, summer birthdays are amazing if you happen to be in Ibiza on holiday. I did that once. Came here on a holiday for my birthday – never left.