My birthday was this past Tuesday, and lucky me got a full day of celebration! Jason took off work, and we started the morning with a hike at a park in town that I hadn’t been to in months. (Notably, the last time I went was before I lost my mobility in November, so I wasn’t sure how well my body would handle it. It was…okay. I had to stop to stretch my back several times, and I can tell just how much I’ve lost in both muscle and cardio fitness over the last few months. But since it was just Jason and me, we could take it as slow as I needed, or stop whenever that became necessary.)
We hiked a bit over three miles, then headed into town to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, India Oven. Sadly, I have to say that the experience was disappointing. Because it was lunch, we were there for the weekday buffet, and apparently, they’ve changed the buffet from “mild” to “medium” spice. I can barely handle the mild spice level, so in the end, there was very little I could eat. Mostly I ate naan and rice, and I’m not technically supposed to have naan given that I’m meant to be eating gluten-free. So lunch was one of the less satisfactory parts of my birthday.
It’s a good thing that a really huge surprise came that afternoon and totally made up for it! Brandon Sanderson announced a new project – a “Year of Sanderson” subscription box for 2023, including four previously-unannounced novels that he’s apparently been using his pandemic-lockdown time to write. I’ve been looking halfheartedly for a new subscription box after some not-so-great experiences over the last year, and this is one that’ll be 100% perfect!! Yeah, it’s expensive, but honestly there was no chance I was going to back anything lower than the top tier of the kickstarter. I want all four books, plus the audio versions, plus the themed swag boxes. I never buy books like this, not before reading them, except under very particular circumstances. This absolutely qualifies! I’m so excited – this is like the best unintentional birthday gift ever! I spent most of the afternoon watching the various videos and livestreams dedicated to the kickstarter.
Once all the livestreams were over, Jason and I went shopping for sunglasses. Honestly, I’m not a fan of sunglasses and so I never wear them, but I’ve noticed over the last year or two that I’m starting to feel the effects of the sun on my eyes after hiking. I knew that, with getting older and my eyes doing the things eyeballs do (like crystalizing), I needed to start protecting them better. So I got two pairs – one to keep for driving, one to store in my hiking pack. (Can I just say that I’m not a fan of the current sunglasses fashion? What’s up with the giant two-toned lenses that are all yellowy, like they’re straight out of 1989? Or that double bar on top? Those glasses look like they belong on an inept bank robber from an early episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Thankfully, I found some non-80s glasses!)
In the evening, Jason made Cincinnati chili for me, and we had a double-desert combo of chocolate bavarois and GF chocolate chip cookie cake. I opened a few gifts, including a cat-moon-and-pearl necklace from my dad and some digital editing software from Jason.
It was a nice day, and a good mix of getting out and doing things I wanted to do, with enough downtime that my body didn’t feel completely overrun and inflamed. I hate that this is my life now until the RA is under control – if the RA ever gets under control – but I’m doing my best not to kick against those limitations and land myself sick in bed the next day. And hey – I didn’t get a picture of it, but on our way home from sunglasses shopping, a rainbow popped out between two clouds just out of nowhere. There was no rain or even any threat of rain, bright clear skies with only a couple of clouds, and yet there was a rainbow. Rainbows always give me a little boost, make me feel like I’m where I’m meant to be, so this was a good omen to start a new year. This is what 43 looks like so far.