Happy Birthday to me!
On this first day of being 47,
I woke up deciding it was time for CHANGE.
I consciously decided to reset a few things, my thinking, my hair, kid’s chores around the house, what I write about, my LIFE!
No more hiding and playing safe. I am going to live my life more boldly, doing what I want, saying what I want and being what I want. My Grandma always said the older she got the less she gave a shit. Well, she didn’t use those words, she’s more polite than me, but that’s kind of how I feel.
This ‘Year of Being 47’ is about entwining PLEASURE and POWER. Pleasing myself and empowering myself MORE. It’s about embracing CHANGE and living with JOY.
I want to live big and loud and get out of my marshmellowy comfort zone. Safe and sweet but sticky.
I woke to the whispered words, “Happy Birthday, Leeza” by Mr G, my partner if life. Miss A (10) and Master C (16) brought me a cup of tea singing Happy Birthday, showering me with little gifts that mean so much. Mr G handed me flowers in my colours of pink, purple and white. (Roses and Carnations and some other flower I don’t know the name of.)
Miss A made a little book of vouchers which included: massages, head tickles, cups of tea in bed, walks to the beach and hugs. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Master C put a lot of thought into my gift also. He bought me the DVD ‘Joy’. It’s the story of a woman who had an idea and against all odds, made her dream come true. He knows me, he knows my spirit. What he doesn’t know is that my mother was going to call me Deborah Joy but my father (Tata) didn’t think it was Croatian enough. He wanted Anna or Maria.
So, on this first day of being 47, I allowed it to be all about me. Usually, I’m the one running around like a mad woman – for everyone else. But not on this day. No work, no washing the dishes, no thinking about admin and bills – only things to fill my day with JOY!
Mr G and the kids told me how much they loved me and how special I was to them before they hurried into their day. You gotta say the words, I LOVE YOU. You gotta tell people.
The house was dotted with pink post-it notes that said, “I love you,” “Best Mum Ever,” “We love you.” I found them on the kettle, the water jug, my computer, the bathroom mirror. It was like a treasure hunt. It made me feel so special and so loved. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Mr G planned a romantic dinner for us at a swish restaurant on the beach at Noosa AND a night away, in a hotel. He said the goal was to “get complaints.”
Oh, in that case – I needed bathroom time! Life is so busy, and I often neglect the little things that make me feel beautiful on the inside and the outside. The razor got a workout.
Bathroom time was done and I decided to write a list of things I’d love to do on this day, the first day of being 47.
- Have a good coffee
- Talk to family and friends
- Go shopping
- Read a book
- Pamper myself
- Get a radical haircut
Look, the list is endless but I started with the coffee. Real coffee. I’m talking beans crushed seconds before I percolated it. So nice not to rush things; to savour the process and the delight.
I called my family back home in Sydney and my little forty-year-old sister Ninny, sang Happy Birzday to me Croatian style. My Grandma Joyce (Mum’s Mum was visiting) and we had a great chat. Grandma turned 90 this year and celebrated by going on a Harley Davidson ride. My Pop, her husband Charlie used to call her JOY.
Then I had a wonderful talk to my Tata. While his memory is fading he was so present with me on this first day of being 47.
“So how old are you, 21?” he asked.
“Yeh, plus 26”
We talked and laughed and he gave me fatherly advice and wisdom. He felt like my Tata, the Tata that I knew but thought I’d lost. He resurfaces every now and then and he gifted me with his “presence” on this first day of being 47. Thank you, Tata.
The next box to tick was the Shopping Box! Oh Yes! It’s been a while since I’ve lost myself in the seduction of shopping. I found a voucher in my email from the clothing company TS and thought I’d take a squiz.
“Oh, we’re having a fashion parade here next week,” the friendly assistant said.
“Oh, I modelled here for the last one,” I replied.
“We need another model, would you like to do it again?”
“Yes, I loved it.” And I did. It was so much fun.
So that was that. I ticked a box and came back with a job. Oh, and I bought a dress for the romantic date.
Now for the pampering. I had a little time before my radical hair cut and decided on a pedicure. My 46-year-old self (yesterday) would have felt guilty about all this pampering and all on one day. But, my legs were shaved – I could have a pedicure. The first time I ever had a pedicure, I didn’t realise they massaged your legs. Oh dear! I had something that resembled the Noosa State Forest. The Thai ladies said something in their language and I knew what they were saying even though I don’t speak Thai.
I chose my hot pink colour and half way through the pedicure I realized I’d be late for my much needed Hair Re-set.
When I told them I had to leave in 15 minutes we decided to skip the leg massage, only put 1 coat of Hot Pink on (super fast) and sprayed some chemical shit on to make it dry faster. With 5 minutes to go, I said to the Asian manager, “I have to go.”
“No, you can’t.”
“Yes, I really have to go now.”
He checked my hot pink toes and pulled my sandals this way and that looking for a way to squeeze my big foot in without destroying the hot pink work of wonder.
We looked at each other for some time before he finally said, “You walk with no shoes.”
“Oh my God, you’re a genius,” I said seriously.
I looked at the lady next to me who was watching the drama play out. “It doesn’t matter what other people think,” I stated.
“No, it doesn’t,” she said.
So, with sandals in hand and pink toes glaring, I walked from one end of the shopping centre and past hundreds of people but no one battered an eyelid. Or was it that I really didn’t care anymore what anyone thought. Because trust me – yesterday I don’t think I would have done that.
Something had shifted… It was so liberating.
Janie, my hairdresser sat me in our favourite chair.
“I want a change, Janie!”
“Great, I was thinking that too,” she said.
“No, Janie. I mean radical. I’m talking bleach it white, give me a fringe, and give me pink streaks…”
She swivelled me around, “Leeza, bleach will wreck your hair.” I got a good old fashioned hair talking to and she swivelled some sense into me. Something a little different but not something I’d regret after the first wash.
I love my hairdresser. I love that she’s honest. We talk about everything. She’s my unqualified on paper/qualified in life therapist. She’s my facebook friend. We hug on hello and goodbye and I’d travel to the ends of the earth for Janie. On the first day of the year of being 47, I walked out of there looking and feeling fabulous. Even the gay hairdressers said so. It wasn’t the “radical” change I thought I needed, well it wasn’t about the hair really was it…
I got home to my gorgeous kids and continued the transformation from Mum to Leeza on this first day of being 47. Miss A watched as I applied makeup, asking why I made O shapes with my mouth when I put mascara on. Mmm…habit maybe.
Guy and I drove north to Noosa, talking non-stop the whole way. We shared our day, had pre-dinner drinks (breaking our sugar-free diet), ate oysters and seafood dumplings for entree and Balmain Bugs for main. We were so hungry we forgot to photograph the food for the kids. (No, not to make them jealous – but because they’re real foodies.)
Skipping dessert we went back to the hotel and “got complaints.” Quite surprising for 19 years together and 17 married. Our relationship has more ups and downs than a zip on a favourite dress, but something keeps us together. (OK, don’t be rude now…)
What a birthday I had. What a start to the year of being 47. I’ve had many resets over the years but something feels more…(OK, I’m going to throw in another P word – Promising this time.)
It’s time to live with more JOY…
on this first day in the year of being 47.