I entered uncharted territory today. For the first time, I set foot into the 46-55 demographic, my late-forties, or the pre-SAGA generation as a helpful friend suggested (gee, thanks Fran!).
Considering that I have blown out candles on 45 birthday cakes to date, the fact that it was a normal working day, and our general financial situation, I wasn't expecting much of a fuss to be made of my birthday - or me.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Most of my 'working day' was spent thanking colleagues from (literally) all around the world for their birthday wishes. And then there were the dozens of brilliant friends clamouring to wish me Many Happy Returns and put a smile on my face (yes, even 'dear George' who reminded me that I am now "just under 50").
I was in a pretty good mood as I made my way home, but I thought the highlight of my evening would be a glass of plonk and maybe a favourite DVD, having issued instructions for "no gifts or birthday cake" to the hubby.
For some strange reason I thought he'd break the habit of a lifetime and do as he was told.
I was wrong.
As I opened the front door, I was greeted by darkness, and the faint glow of flickering candlelight on the dining room, surrounded by the Ovver Arf, Kidling Grand, my in-laws and neices singing a uniquely Greek version of "Happy Birthday"!
Despite my protests that I didn't want a fuss, they decided to pamper me - complete with a homemade cake and prezzies to open.
Though I could have perhaps done without the reminder of my antiquity in the glaring "46" candles (the Ovver Arf said if he had got one for each year, the candles would have cost more than the cake!), I was blushing furiously with pleasure as I huffed and I puffed and I blew out my birthday flame.
And there was more to come, with a special birthday supper lovingly prepared by hubby so we could have the sustenance essential for a typical (noisy) Greek family celebration - and I was the one being celebrated!
It was a reminder that it's not the fancy gifts that make a real celebration.
It's the little touches: a homemade cake; a favourite dish; or a cardboard & glitter birthday brooch crafted by an 11-year-old.
They're what makes you feel like you matter.
And that is certainly worth celebrating.