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Lockdown Birthday

Birthday breakfast with my boy

I wasn't going to blog about my actual Birthday. I thought I had said Birthday enough and should just concentrate on eating cake and ice cream. But then it felt like there was so much to say, so why not?! You don't have to read it.

As I said in my last blog about my Birthday build up, I wasn't really excited about the day. In fact, I might even say I was dreading it a bit. I really didn't know how a day at home unable to see anyone or go anywhere could feel special. I'm missing family and friends, not on the holiday we'd planned, and really missing the simple things like popping out for coffee with my little one. Though, despite everything against the day, it turned out to be one of the best Birthdays.

Yes, I would have loved to have been on the holiday we'd planned, I think the weather is pretty good out in Rhodes and it's somewhere I've wanted to go for a while. It would have been good to be by the sea, but have you ever been on holiday on your Birthday?

This time three years ago I was in Barcelona, another place I always wanted to go. It was a fab break and a beautiful city, but it was the least Birthday like that my Birthday has felt in a long time. We'd taken limited cards and presents, nobody there knew it was my Birthday so there weren't any extra well wishes from anyone (not even anything nice from the hotel), plus we'd planned a busy day so there was limited time to even connect with anyone who did. I also realised that cake is an essential ingredient to any celebration too, but we only had time to find some muffins close by our hotel. Excuse me while I sound spoilt, but while I loved being away, my actual Birthday there just wasn't about me, I was just another person on a city break. I know, I'm sorry, but everyone should feel a little special on their Birthday right? So, maybe not being away is something to be thankful for.

Yes, I would have loved to see my family or friends on the day too. I know if everything had gone to plan, we wouldn't have seen them this year anyway, but spending time with those we love is one of the main ways a lot of us celebrate. Who doesn't love getting together and eating cake? To be looking forward to seeing friends or family for my Birthday would have certainly taken away some more of the holiday disappointment.

That said, having a lockdown Birthday has really hit home how lucky I am. I'm not that good at knowing where I fit in, but on my Birthday, I really was completely overwhelmed with how much people care. There was a totally unexpected delivery that was beyond thoughtful, great cards and far more messages than I was expecting. I had video messages and calls from family, my very own CaenhillCC rush hour, and even a chance for a quick text catch-up with people I haven't seen in a while.

That's the thing I love about Birthdays, they unite us and bring out the caring side in so many. We rarely scroll past a social media post about someone's Birthday without stopping and sending our best wishes. We love finding ways to help people celebrate their Birthdays and even online shops offer you a Birthday discount. Just because we all know that for one day a year, most of us want to feel special.

Lockdown hasn't taken that away from us, it's just made us far more creative. We've not stopped celebrating Birthdays, we're just finding new ways to celebrate. We're having get togethers online, sending gifts that are more thoughtful, discovering a new range of treats and finding different ways to enjoy being at home. Plus, because we know that nothing is as we planned for any of us, we're even taking more notice of people's Birthdays and sending more messages.

So, honestly, after having a lockdown Birthday I feel lucky. It's brought me closer to friends, shown how much my family care and given me some memories that will last a lifetime. I'm not even sad it's over, because although it's no longer my day, I'm really privileged to be able to help others celebrate the Birthdays of their friends and family. By volunteering to support the wonderful CaenhillCC and planning in the shoutout messages, I have a Birthday to celebrate every day and every single message planned is going to mean so much more.

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Saturday, 31 October 2020