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  • Writer's pictureDamian Robb

morning pages | 29/03/2023

Yesterday was Holly’s birthday. She turned thirty five. 

Thirty five is an interesting birthday. We’re well past the festivity that was every birthday when you were a kid, and even moved past the need to drink and dance and do all the things twenty somethings do on their birthdays. We are heading toward middle age. I can’t help thinking that usually, if you have kids, these birthdays would be full of poorly written (albeit adorable) cards, sloppy kisses, and a general confusion as to why the fictional kids in question weren’t getting presents of their own. I know this because I’ve seen it with my friends and family. But Holly and I don’t have kids, a decision we made and one years in the making. So, our birthdays are different, both bigger and smaller.

Yesterday, Holly went to work. Her colleagues took her out for lunch, she received nice messages throughout the day from the multitude of people in her life through the multitude of ways one person can message another. In the morning I made her a coffee, and when she got home I was waiting with presents. We then ordered takeaway, enjoyed some fancy beers, and watched a movie. By nine o’clock, she was getting sleepy, and by nine thirty, she was asleep. Birthday done.

But my wife is a wiley one, and her birthdays always seem to stretch past the bounds of a day, expanding to tickle the edges of a week. Case in point, last Sunday, before her birthday, we also celebrated her turning another year older with her family and my parents, in our backyard, around a fire, with food and drink a plenty. And, tomorrow, we’ll be flying to Hobart to spend five nights in our country’s island state. Admittedly, this is because Holly has work to do over there on the Thursday and Friday, but still, the rest of the time will be pure enjoyment, deservingly dedicated to her.

I am by no means complaining. I love that this week in March becomes a celebration, an excuse to travel somewhere and treat ourselves. I love that my wife loves birthdays. I’m strangely lukewarm on my own, but have no issues committing fully to Holly’s birthday week. In fact, I hope she stretches it even further. Make it a fortnight. Hell, make it a month! Or better yet, take that warm bubbly birthday feeling and see if you can hold on to it for a whole year. Why not? Because I’ll tell you this, thirty five is whatever you want it to be. It can be focused on work, or play, or fitness, or family. We’re past expectations and education and nestled deep into life. Everyday life. Mundane, if you allow it to be, but also so damn full of potential. I know we’ll spend hers sometimes living big but often living small, takeaway on the couch and fancy beers, getting sleepy at nine, and asleep by nine thirty. And that is just fine by me.

Yesterday was Holly’s birthday. She turned thirty five.


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