Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

From my Doha Diary:
January 17, 2005: Happy birthday to me.

It was kind of odd... quiet. Not that they're ever anything but quiet, because well, let's face it, I'm pretty solitary, but today was exceptionally quiet.

I got up and made a cake at 5am, because the girls in the office love my cakes, and pineapple upside down cake is worth packing on a pound or two for. The girls at work took me out for lunch (well, went out to lunch with me... I bought my own meal). Mother wasn't feeling well, so she was in bed moaning about a migraine when I got home.

I sat down at the kitchen table and had a piece of "birthday cake", and sang myself the Happy Birthday song in my head, then went upstairs and read for a few hours. It was exceptionally uneventful, and peacefull. A friend back home said it was sad that I had to make my own cake. It didn't occur to me that it would be sad. My mother is "sick", I've only been in Qatar for a month... who else would make it? I still don't think it's sad...

I remember that day more clearly than I remember the movie I watched last week. I lied, in the entry. It WAS sad. I was lonely, and miserable, and I wanted to go home. But I didn't... I stayed, and I learned, and I'm glad for it. I resolved that day that I would go out and meet people and make friends in Doha, that I would find a life there, and that's precisely what I did.

People tend to find determination around major milestone days. Days like New Year's Eve, or birthdays, or anniversaries, or the death of a loved one. I tend to make resolutions on my birthday, rather than at New Year. It just makes sense to me that the anniversary marking the amount of time I've been on this Earth would be a good day to mark the setting down of a stepping stone.

The resolution this year? To take better care of myself.

Saying it is easy. It's a vague, fluid concept that requires a lot of definition. I sat down and wrote out my own personal definition of what it'll take. I know. It isn't easy at all. It's hard, and long, and it'll probably take me years to get it right. Maybe a lifetime. But I'll be better for it. I'll be happier. And isn't that what it's all about, really?


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