Birthday stuff

I woke up this morning from a pleasant dream, about having dinner with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. We were playing some kind of wordgame involving Shakespeare and cupcakes, and then I woke up and was momentarily sad to discover that it had been just a dream, but then I thought What a nice way to start my birthday. And then I thought Huh, the room is pretty dark, I wonder what time it is. And then I looked at the clock and saw that it was 4:00 a.m.

I eventually fell back asleep, but it was all a little disconcerting.

Later, I woke up again and went off to breakfast with Karen, which was great as always. And she brought me a cake, entirely unexpectedly. And gave me a lovely card and present.

But after breakfast, instead of going in to work, I stopped back at home to drop off cake and leftover breakfast and to post a new Words & Stuff post. Had a nice phone call with Mary Anne, but after that, I ran into computer trouble. My computer was behaving the way it behaves when it’s super low on memory, but in this case it wasn’t having any memory problems. I frustratedly poked at it for a while, trying to get it to work long enough to get various things done on it, but eventually gave up and rebooted and headed off to work.

At work, I waited ’til fairly late to go have lunch, and when I got to the cafe where I had planned to eat, I discovered that they weren’t serving the one specific thing that I order when I go to that cafe, which they’ve never not had before. It was a very minor setback, and on any other day I would have shrugged and been mildly annoyed and eaten something else. But today, it threw me into a bit of a tailspin, and I spent part of lunch composing angry emails about it in my head, and the rest of lunch noting that I was being ridiculous and marveling at how little resilience I have on my birthday. Somehow, despite many years of experience with my birthdays, some part of me still wants and expects everything to go perfectly smoothly on my birthday, and so whenever I encounter any kind of obstacle on my birthday, it feels like a personal attack to me.

Note that I’m not trying to defend that reaction; my rational side recognizes that it’s a ridiculous reaction. But my rational side doesn’t have a lot of control over my emotional reactions.

At any rate, food helped mollify me, and then I went and got a massage that was even better than the usual massages that this particular massage person gives me. I stumbled back to my desk in a happy daze, had a meeting with my team lead, and then decided to go home in order to reduce the chances of my running into further obstacles that would upset me.

(I’m a bit disappointed to have missed a chance to see Peter S. Beagle tonight in San Francisco, but staying home was definitely the right decision; a trip to SF inevitably involves a multitude of small frustrations and annoyances, and I wouldn’t have coped well with that tonight.)

Had some planning to do and phone calls to make, but I sat down on the couch and promptly fell asleep. Which has been happening a lot lately. I probably need the extra sleep, and the couch is a fairly comfortable place to nap, but I lost a couple hours to that, which messed up some plans I’d intended to spend that time making, which made me grumpy and out of sorts. And then I discovered that my computer keyboard is acting up again; this time, it’s having trouble registering keystrokes for parentheses and other keys in that part of the keyboard.

(I live in the Apple ecosystem, which normally works very well. But lately, just about all of my devices have been undergoing mysterious failures, all of different sorts, which makes much of what I try to do at home kind of frustrating and annoying. I finally called Apple support a few days ago, and I think the conclusion is that I need to wipe various devices clean and start over. Ugh.) (PS: Please don’t suggest switching to something other than Apple, not even as a joke. Not gonna happen, and will only annoy me.)

But I did some planning, and downloaded TurboTax, and chatted with Kam a bit online, and watched part of a TV episode, and made myself spaghetti for dinner (I had planned to order pizza, but the likelihood of customer-service issues made me think I should wait and do that some night when I was less likely to react badly to problems), and spent a while chatting with KTO while making progress on sorting the mound of papers on my dining-room table, and all of that helped. And at some point I spent some time finally looking at all of the lovely birthday greetings from friends on Facebook, and in email, and in various other forms of electronic messaging, and that helped too.

So, all in all, it was a pretty good day. But the parts of it that didn’t go well were disproportionately frustrating.

Also of note: two different friends gave me totally adorable stuffed animals. I normally strongly discourage giving me gifts of any kind, and especially stuffed animals, because in my experience my tastes are hard to predict, and the chances that any given gift will either be something I already have or something I don’t like are pretty high. But in this case, both of the stuffed animals are super cute by my standards, and I’m very pleased to have them. And that extends my series of Stuffie Sunday posts on Facebook by another two weeks; looking like the series will now go until sometime in May or June.

Thanks to all who contributed to making my birthday better! Very much appreciated.

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