The birthday came and went, but I still have a few things I want to say, so I'm going to keep up My Fabulous 40th Birthday until the end of the year.
40 turned out to be my best birthday yet. The work surprise party, cards and calls, flowers, presents, and a wonderful birthday dinner at our local favorite, Peri Ela, with family and a few friends made me feel great. All the attention made me feel like a celebrity for a day, and got me wondering how celebrities can stand all that attention day in and day out. Seriously, one day is fantastic for your ego; any more than that and I think it would explode.
I was really touched by the generosity and thoughtfulness bestowed upon me and made me re-commit to doing a better job of paying that forward. I also learned that you should really tape your card on a present, or write your name right on the wrapping paper, because like they say on the airplane, "items may shift" during the trip from the restaurant to home.
My parents gave me some great gifts: first of all, they sang me a funny, sweet, and very well-harmonized duet at dinner; a beautiful gold bracelet with an inscription; and a Shutterfly photo album of "my first 40 years" including great old photos that my mother painstakingly (believe me)scanned onto the computer. My husband gave me a wonderful toast and the kids made cards and gave me a pack of mini playing cards and a book of stickers that all personalized with "Kristen."
And the first week of being 40 has been off to a great start. Today, was another 40th -- the 40th Anniversary of the New York City Marathon. Our friend, Michael O'Brien, was running, so we headed over to 5th Avenue to see if we could cheer him on. Unlike other major sporting events, it's remarkable just how close to the action you can get. We stood on the sidelines with the kids, cheering on everyone who went by, yelling out names if people had written them on their shirts. The sheer volume of runners was incredible (over 43,000 people), but their individuality shined through.
New York Road Runners has an advertising campaign running right now - the gist of it is that "everyone has a story," and as I stood cheering, clapping, and keeping an eye out for Mike, I wondered, What's bald, courageous-looking Julie's story? What's the father-son MMRF team's story? What's the story behind the good-looking young man with two prosthetic legs, now walking slowly at mile 23, with two friends or maybe brothers at either side of him? What's the story with the guy dressed up in the KISS outfit? Or the matador outfit?
None of us saw Mike, but thankfully he saw us! He ran over and we all cheered and hollered and then he was off! Mike's story? His wife had their third little girl just over a week ago...and he's turning 40 this month.