In recent years, I've been trying to spread out my birthday, so that if not everything goes exactly perfectly on the day itself, I won't get upset about it.
This year, it just hasn't seemed like that big a deal. I started the week at ICFA, with Mary Anne; a good way to start a birthday week. (At some point I hope to write up more about ICFA, but not right now.) And then I spent half of Sunday traveling home, and then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were consumed by work and a couple of other things (like some stuff about my neighborhood HOA), and now suddenly here it is my birthday.
A couple weeks ago, I thought about having a party, but that seemed like too much work and stress, and at the time I wasn't in an emotional space where I could deal with that. And then ICFA required a lot of social energy, and I haven't really had much downtime in a while. So today, the idea that appeals to me most is working from home and doing laundry. Try not to faint from the excitement.
I've been waffling about tonight for weeks. The book launch party for Jen Larsen's excellent weight-loss-surgery book Strange Here is tonight in San Francisco. On the one hand, it would be great to see Jen and celebrate the book, and there's the potential for meeting new cool people. On the other hand, trekking up to SF is always kind of a pain, and I would know only about three people there, and in practice when I go to parties where I don't know people I rarely make new friends; more often, I sit in a corner being shy and feeling uncomfortable.
What finally tipped the balance, just a few minutes ago, was remembering that I've tried pushing my own boundaries on my birthday in the past, and it's never gone well. The lesson has always been that on my birthday, I should stick with comfortable and familiar stuff that I know I like.
So I'm sorry to say I won't be at the book launch party. But any of y'all who are looking for a fun literary event to attend in SF tonight, consider stopping by Booksmith tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Another reason for me not to go is that I'm off to a slow start today. Woke up very early (as has been happening a lot lately; more on that another time), but drifted in and out of sleep for hours, and didn't really get up until well after 10. And now it's nearly noon. Time to get some work done, and do some laundry.
It was lovely, though, as always, to wake up to dozens of birthday greetings on Facebook. I know there are all sorts of reasons to have issues with Facebook, but even if I didn't like it for anything else, the birthday system might be enough to keep me there. I know some people dislike the lightweightness of the greetings, but I adore them; it makes me really happy to see all those notes, even the shortest and simplest of them, and it brightens my birthdays considerably.