Have you ever had a week-long birthday celebration? I literally had one. I stopped preparing my own party and inviting everyone over for several years now. It should be an economical choice but I decided against it. Yes, it is great to have your friends and loved ones all in one place on your special day, but somehow the place gets too crowded to actually spend real time with each one of them. Yeah, I’m a bit cheezy that way. I want to share with you how I spent my birthday week (and realized how simple yet special those days were).

MONDAY. This is a non-working holiday because of the Baranggay Election. I tired to vote early in the morning so I can meet up with my highschool friends for an early lunch. It is so difficult to have everyone in one place and so hard to decide on the time mainly because of work; the doctors and BPO Execs are working even on holidays/weekends. So I ended up having lunch with half of the group. We spent three hours in this Korean restaurant (yes, three hours…), eating and talking about what most people wouldn’t dare talk about while cooking meat. hehe Upon giving up eating at 2pm, we decided to go singing. The search for a KTV was unsuccessful, though, because they all open at 3pm and we didn’t want to wait an hour for it (plus Redbox was closed for renovation). Some luck! We were in the mall already and the next best thing to do was… Shop! Since my birthday was a few days away, I asked my dear friends to help me with a project I thought of while we were stuck in one shop for 15 minutes- The Birthday Outfit Project. They will shop for an outfit I will wear on my birthday. The catch: they can only spend P2,000 for the whole look. It took them an hour to mix & match… And then finally, I was in the changing room with 5 sets. The winning dress was only two hundred pesos! haha I love it! The blazer took P1,200 off the pot, giving me extra money for new shoes! Well, we didn’t have much time to buy shoes as one of us had to leave already. I decided to just save the P600 for next time… shoe shopping! On the way home, I thought… My Monday holiday was well spent.🙂

TUESDAY. The plan was to go home early. BUT… my cookies from Chef Joan was ready already and a friend was in Makati too. So okay, I made the lamest excuse to drive to Makati after work. I had dinner at chef’s restaurant and met with a few friends from work and from HS. It was a quick and fun dinner at the restaurant but I have to be honest, the highlight of the night was the box of cookies!😀 I came home (still early), and went online for a bit while starting on the cookies. I sort of, almost, finished the whole box! Dear, oh dear… Sleeping became a challenge. I was sure to feel really sleepy the next day, but hey, my Tuesday was sinful!🙂

WEDNESDAY. Morning work was fun. I went to a client to give the IT Head a preview of the training I will be doing for the company in the coming week. I spent my whole morning in their office doing just that and I did not mind at all. I love doing presentations and training people! Work didn’t feel like work that morning. My afternoon was spent elsewhere. Working away from the office can be very relaxing at times, so I decided to stay in a coffee shop for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was at Yakimix with my close friends at work. Sushi heaven!!! We spent a draining four hours in the restaurant (I have no idea why it is becoming a habit of mine staying looong hours eating).  It was nice to catch up with long time friends. Sad that one of us is leaving the country again. I guess long dinners like that are not all about food…  Nurturing the body and the heart.🙂

MY BIRTHDAY. I was lacking sleep but didn’t feel so tired or grumpy- huge reason would be because I am a year more beautiful (this is my blog, just nod). I got early text greets from people on my way to work. I got early phone calls too! They were business calls but they all started with, “Hi, happy birthday!” and then made a quick shift. Not a humongous deal! Everyone made an effort to be extra nice because it was my day.  I told myself it would be very cool if everyday was my day… hehe Wearing the birthday outfit my friends picked for me early that week, I bravely went to battle (that is work). It was some battle alright! I breezed through the morning without even realizing it was way past lunch time. My friend requested that we go out for a late lunch somewhere in Makati, in Paseo Center to be exact. Oddly, she said she wanted to try out the restaurants there (something’s cooking, I thought). Without question, and because I was starving, we went to Makati. Since nothing interested her in Paseo Center, we ended up going for Figaro across the street instead. And there appeared out of nowhere with flowers and a bottle of wine, the girls of the Friday Night Cast. Apparently, I drove myself to Makati to be surprised. They were too sweet! And I was told that, we were so late. They’ve been waiting for me and my friend for 3 hours already. Effort was good. They took quick photos of me, them, us before they all hurried back to work. I stayed at Figaro the rest of the afternoon to “work” some more. I tried for a couple of hours and then left for Greenbelt to hear mass; give thanks to the Lord, our God. After mass, I went straight to the restaurant to meet my family and some close friends. Traffic was so bad, but still, I didn’t mind. Arriving at the restaurant, I realized, I look a lot like those koreans because of my outfit and my hair! It is a thematic birthday dinner then. And yes, I am back to that korean restaurant again!😀 I love family dinners, specially on my birthday; a day closely resembling my weekends. My cute nephew was being funny when he was giving me the rose he was holding. He had a puzzled look on his face, not recognizing her aunt! My highschool friends were there too! Oh the fun in dining out with people close to your heart. My birthday was spent perfectly, as always!😀

FRIDAY. And I am almost done with this long entry. Halloween Party at my current favorite Friday night restobar. It was a costume party that I didn’t really prepare for, so I decided to just dress up nicely (that night, it meant “less”). A birthday cake surprise welcomed me when I arrived ever so late again on a month end. I looked so different that night that I actually surprised them more than they surprised me. Funny how I felt so uncomfortable at first. I had to call one of the girls to fetch me at the parking lot. I don’t usually go there wearing my clubbing clothes so… surprise surprise. As always, I had an amazing time. A perfect ending for my birthday week.🙂

 You know, as I age, it becomes harder and harder for me to think of a birthday wish. I don’t have everything, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just feel completely satisfied being incomplete. The riches I have are mostly immaterial and I am so thankful and blessed to have all of them still with me. For the things I’ve lost, I am happy to experience having them in my life and the profound memories they left behind. For the things I have now, I am grateful for those treasures of the present as they keep me from giving up on life. For the things I have yet to have, I am hopeful that just by deciding to wake up and keeping God close at heart, our paths will soon cross.  Finally, as I have always believed and promised… I shall never fall out of love with life because the Great Invisible will never fail to nurture my heart.

 written 30 October 2010