One of the reasons I have been so miserable of late is that I have a really big freelance project for a well-known publication due shortly, and I have been unable to get started on it. I need to interview 20-odd people, most of whom I have been unable to reach (thanks to incorrect contact details being supplied). This is enormously stressful, because if I screw up with this publication, my name is mud in the industry as a whole.
So that's one of the reasons for my unhappy face. Another reason was that I thought my birthday would be a total non-event and that nobody would remember or care. My family couldn't fit me in today (although they do have very valid reasons) and TSC (who is also super stressed at the moment) mistakenly gave the impression that he might not be able to make time for me today either*, so I was feeling a bit unloved and pathetic about it all. Birthdays are a big deal to me.
BUT... I have been thoroughly blessed today and it's only 11am. TSC woke me up at 6.00 (no, that's not the blessing bit. That sucked) to give me my present and card before he had to leave for varsity. He also made a pot of coffee so I could grab some on my way out. I knew what he would giving me - a drum players' starter box (with a pair of sticks, cymbal cleaning cloths, backing-track CDs and exercise books) - so I didn't expect to be excited by the gift.
See, I played drums years back but have not unpacked my kit since we moved to Joburg. Seeing I can't afford lessons at the moment (in terms of money or time), but I really want to play again, I asked him to get me some practising basics. I have sticks, brushes and the drum kit itself, and now I have some direction.
Opening that box this morning, I remembered how much I love playing. And although I had been worried I'd forgotten absolutely everything, when I flipped through the book, I could remember how to read the music and how to do a basic rock beat, which was really encouraging.
TSC had also written such a lovely message in the card (which I always appreciate from my man of few words) and had included some money for me to get this handmade photo-holder wall decoration thing I fell in love with at the Irene Village Market. So sweet that he actually remembered how much it cost!
Then my grandparents phoned to wish me well, and to tell me they've left a present with my folks for me. And I have had messages from the most unexpected people - my best friend's younger brother, a friend's girlfriend who's currently in Cambridge... even my insurance company phoned personally to wish me well (damn straight - with the amount I pay them every month, flowers would have been more appropriate).
I had a card from my mom's best friend, text messages from Phillygirl, my darling uncle in Kuwait (who NEVER remembers my birthday), and various other friends and random service providers (thanks Vodacom. How about some free airtime?). I even have a free facial this afternoon from Dischem (how's that for a customer loyalty reward?).
When I came to work, Roo and Boss spoilt me with candles, chocolate (Lindt mint intense - my fave), a cosmetic bag and mirror, make-up and a beautiful jewellery stand. And then, the cherry on top - I opened my inbox to find birthday messages from blog friends, well wishes in my comments section, greetings from work associates and a beautiful message with a book/CD voucher from Angel, Glug and Damien, which had me in tears.
*Happy sigh*. Thanks, everyone. You have made my day wonderful. My heart is overflowing. If I could I'd send you all some of the yummy mallow-topped cupcakes I baked for the office...
*All sorted out now. We were just having a this-proves-the-difference-in-the-way-men-and-women-think moment of miscommunication.