Today is my 47th birthday and to celebrate, I ran 47 furlongs! Which I know seems weird, but I like to have a bit of fun with numbers sometimes – even though mathematics is one of my weaknesses.
Indeed, after my 47-furlong run (or 5.875-miles, to use a more conventional measurement) I went out for a hike in the Pentland Hills. A 7.3-mile hike, which I only realised later I could have extended to 7.4-miles to mark my 1974 birth year. So yeah, numbers are fun but I don’t always get it right.
But I digress…
This in now my 12th birthday without my Paul which means it’s my 12th birthday I’ve celebrated with a theme of spoiling myself. Although I admit that some years the spoiling falls a bit flat! As I am nearly a year into my COVID19 isolation, I was unable to book a weekend away this year. And I’m not sure what gift to splurge on – especially as last year’s splurge never really happened. Although I did treat myself to a wee half-birthday pressie. So, without the ability to travel or to go on a shopping spree, I have decided to spend my birthday with a bit of “me time” at home!
That means that I ordered a lot of fancy cheese from the cheesemonger and got loads of lovely nibbles and snack foods to enjoy both yesterday, my last day of being 46, and today, my first day as a 47-year-old. And yes, I made plans for running and hiking because I enjoy those things, so they count towards my “me time”.
And I am pleased to say that both the last day of being 46 and the first day of being 47 have been positive and relaxing. (Yes, I do count exercise as relaxing. I’m weird.)
Of course, this birthday has an extra bit of sadness to it because I am 47. That is the age my husband was when he died. And that means that, next year, I will be older than him. Oh, how that hurts! And I know it might seem like a silly and inconsequential thing, but Paul and I had so many little “things” that we would say or do and one of them was a joke that, no matter what, I would always be younger than him. Only that won’t be true for much longer because instead of us growing old together, I am growing old without him.
Without trying to “borrow sadness” or to be forlorn, I must recognise that 47 will be a challenge. And that 48 might be an even bigger challenge in some ways. I mean, I’ve spent the past (nearly) 12 years hyper-aware of the number 47 so it’s hard to imagine that the number will all the sudden become “just” a number.
Still, my darling Paul only got to live 5 months as a 47-year-old man and so I feel it is up to me to do the living that he lost. It’s why I ran my first marathon (despite my being a runner far longer than him, he preferred the bigger distances than I did). It’s why I treat myself to gifts on his birthday (and mine). Living for Paul is why I do my best to find joy and happiness in my own life because I know that is what he would want for me. (And, of course, I do these things for me, too. My life can’t be all about him you know!)
So, happy 47th birthday to me. I know the year ahead will have a little extra “meaning” to it, but I also know that every year I spend on this Earth is meaningful. And this year will not be the exception!