It's my Birthday!
And I am on Birthday Leave!
I slept in for a couple more hours. But got up before 9AM so I get a full day of birthday. Dressed up in less ratty stay-at-home clothes -- presentable enough to receive any deliveries. Thinking of ordering food for delivery - a few celebratory dishes to share with the family.
Weather's good. I may take a walk to the neighborhood Starbucks if I feel like it in the afternoon. Maybe a small artist date.
I will still be on leave tomorrow so that's really adding a layer of cheer to today.
That safety wall I have put up a year ago so I wouldn't have to be attached and invested into the people I meet in the office -- it's wearing thin. The work culture is such that it pretty much flows with how I prefer to work. I don't feel constantly tested. Challenged, yes, and often it is I who challenge myself. But I don't feel that ugly pressure to keep proving myself. There are no "privileged" sets of people. Everyone is part of the same team. And I have been fortunate to discover that there is a better way to teamwork that preserves the value of the individual while also promoting the good for the many.
The young people at work are the better representatives of their generations. To be honest I initially dreaded having to deal with them after all I've seen from social media but now, I feel hope for the future again with them in it.
I have come to good terms with my own generation and my age. I have reached that point when I am a "Miss" as a respect for my seniority, and sometimes a "Madam". I am beginning to experience that touch of extra attention for an older team member. Well, I did stop coloring my hair, so my silver-grays are shamelessly showing through. I was inspired by one of my bosses who is the same age as I and she has let her own silver-grays grow as they will. And doing so has not made her any less exuberant or agile.
I have lost the secret inner bitterness of being single (from feeling unpicked and unchosen to a stance of how-about-no). Now I am grateful to be without the responsibility of a "significant other". My role as breadwinner since I started earning income for my parents and sibling has made me more desirous of solo independence in my future years.
My fantasies nowadays involve sleeping a full 8 hours, cooking fresh mostly-plant meals and eating them, reading for days, making art for days, leisurely breakfasts, journalling, reading more, buying even more books, making more art...
I am not even falling in love with book characters anymore. My last book crush was Prince Cardan from Holly Black's The Cruel Prince series.
Which is why I am now immensely enjoying sci-fi. It's a whole new universe (or multiverse) opening up before me and I care less about finding a happy-ever-after in the story. (I also now have a fast-growing sci-fi TBR file hahahaha).
My birthday gifts to myself (I now make a point of granting my own wishlists instead of longing for others to fulfil them):
a membership to Queens Public Library from which I've been borrowing more books and cooking magazines
a set of block printing materials
more canvas boards
more books -- but secondhand -- I have 9 such books getting delivered this week
3 pairs of handmade look-at-me earrings for dressing up for on-site work because almost all my clothes are plain blacks and blues
filing for a leave today and tomorrow
On that note, I shall be enjoying the rest of my free days! Happy Valentine to all who celebrate!