Monday, March 23, 2009


'Tis the year of my Jesus birthday. I have, like many people, a yin and yang approach to birthdays. On the one hand, I dread them. Planning parties and waiting for the guests to arrive is the worst kind of anxiety. And there is always the let-down of expectations vs. reality. On the other hand, I love the attention, the turning over of a new leaf, the opportunity to indulge in self-care and self-appreciation. So a birthday is a yearly balancing act. This year, I tried something new. I invited my best friend Tiffany to come stay with me for the week leading up to my birthday. I refused to plan anything in advance, other than that I would not have to work or audition for the entire week - that we would be free to do whatever.

Ideas bubbled over: should we drive up the coast or down? Rough it or stay at a gorgeous earthy resort? For sure, we would be hitting a spa, and many tasty eating spots. But as the week began, and evolved, we realized that staying home was exactly what fit us best. Each day was spent getting up at a reasonable hour, making breakfast, and choosing a simple event or two to fill the day - whether it was a trip to the local camelia gardens (see insert) or a day at the spa. Each day guaranteed at least two culinary experiences, and one shopping excursion.

It was the best birthday to date. I laughed and cried and caught up on some great films (Norma Rae?? Fell asleep before the end - we decided Sally got her Oscar for acting the MOST CONSECUTIVE DAYS of anyone that year). And at the end of it all, no excessive gas or hotel bills! Of course I made up for it with cute clothes and a serious massage/facial, but - as Tiff said, at least I had something to show for it.

The other day I read an article in UTNE talking about the new fad of stay-cations, and I realized I wasn't original. But I am on to something, even if some one already coined the phrase. Staying home is a good way to get away.