I am not having my annual birthday bash this year and for one simple reason…I’m tired. I have been planning events my entire life. As a youngster I had the awesome parents that would let me have a party. At age 10-12 ish I had a boy girl party complete with snacks and dancing to my new 45’s. As I aged out I had drinking parties with my high school friends and lived life on the edge, edge of a big fat 2 x 4 but an edge nonetheless. Into my career I planned varsity fundraisers for the U of Calgary Dinosaur Varsity teams. At this time I added my annual birthday bash to the mix. Once I started my own foundation I started running different events. The marquee event, Burpees for Breath and the golf tournament. Every year since I was 20 I have planned an elaborate party of some kind for a cause, a club, or myself. My birthdays became themed events as did my big gala’s. This just piled on the work. Most times it has been rewarding and fun to plan but this year, something changed. I felt alone,even though I was not alone. I felt like I was pulling teeth to garner some support. I got more no’s to help than I did yes’s. If it wasn’t for a small crew of my friends and family the gala itself would have fallen apart.
Why am I feeling this way? I don’t really know. I am usually the one helping people out and giving them opportunities and helping pay a bill or whatever it is. I think that, even though I know most people appreciate my presence in the world, I was feeling taken for granted. I don’t need constant validation, far from it but I do wish for some acknowledgement of some kind for what I do. I invested my entire life savings to help a friend reach his dreams, not my dreams, his dreams. I emotionally and physically supported a friend who lied to me for 4 years and I work tirelessly for free for my own cause for 20 years and still there is no cure. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am helping the next generation of CF kids, I just wish I could help myself as well. It’s that give and take deal. When people start taking too much then I must stop giving because there is a fine line in helping someone and sacrificing myself and my happiness.
Once in awhile a friend or family member will surprise me with a delivery of chocolate covered strawberries or a fun gift basket because I am locked in my house due to smoke, or a neighbour will make me jello because I caught a cold, or a gym member will come and take my dog for a walk while I was in hospital. All these things are amazing boosts to my soul. So to all of you who spoil me like that, know that I am beyond grateful. Oh and I LOVE getting mail. I used to send b-day cards to everyone and I still do to a select few and I also send Easter, thanksgiving and Christmas cards as well. I love sending them out. I might add a cute pic of Cali or some stickers for the kid let’s.
Ok,back to my point. Yes, I am feeling taken for granted. I am feeling a bit sad. So because of feeling this way I didn’t want to spend all the money and time into another birthday bash for myself. It is hypocritical of me of course, because I tell everyone to celebrate their day like its going to be the last, that’s never truer than for someone with CF, but this year I am giving myself a gift and doing nothing. I will celebrate with California,mom and dad at a quaint campground. My only request is my most favourite dessert in the whole world- confetti angel food cake with blue or pink 7-minute frosting and maybe a gift or 2. I love me some presents. That will NEVER change. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful. I am. I have many special people in my life that are very happy I was born. It’s just this year has been a tough one on me emotionally for a number of reasons and I just don’t have the will to throw the party.
So to those of you wondering where the invite has gone, it’s gone nowhere. I haven’t left you off my esteemed list of guests, I’ve just decided to not do one this year and maybe not until my 50th if I am blessed to live that long,
If you want to show me some love please feel free to mail me a birthday card, like I said, I LOVE mail. I have a huge box in my basement full of birthday cards for the last 3 decades. I go through them and see all the wonderful people in my life. It lifts me up. I am a simple girl with pretty simple needs with the exception of new lungs. A text telling me I mean something to someone, a note saying thank you, a bag of ketchup chips and grape slurpee goes a long way with me. I know I am loved its just nice to feel it sometimes.
Happiest birthday to you! I felt every word of your letter and know that you are valid in all of your points. Enjoy your day in whatever way you celebrate!
Thank you!! I appreciate that.
I have been following you on your blog and marvel at how much strength you show! You inspire us all!! Don’t ever forget that!! I have not kept in touch and am sorry that I have not sent a little acknowledgement to just give you the feedback that lets you know that whatever you say or do matter. You are so honest in sharing your most inner thoughts and in letting that guard down you show your true self!! Someone who is fighting a battle and still has the caring heart to teach others is something to be proud of. You teach honesty, gratefulness, courage, and compassion! You make us check ourselves in how we deal with our own challenges, keeping in mind that most of our challenges pale in comparison to what you are going through. Life has given you lemons and you find a way to make lemonade…..it has gotten you thus far and that same driven attitude will keep you going! Keep fighting and keep positive!! Being tired is not showing us that you are giving up…..you are just tired!! I know you have the strength within to see brighter and hopeful days. Good to see that you are putting yourself first! Doing nothing, for a change, is a celebration in itself!! Happy Birthday, Nicki!! I am proud of you and love you lots!!