On the Outskirts

So, this past birthday was the best-worst birthday a girl could ask for.

Birthdays come and go. Some people love them. Some are indifferent or even hate them. I am one of those who love my birthday.

In those coming weeks, I became more and more depressed about it. I am on the opposite end of the world of everyone and everything I know and love. There would be no epic celebration. No familiar, smiling faces lingering over the dim lights of candles.

I would be completely alone.

The week before, I had a three-day weekend. I took advantage of the time off and took a wee trip just on the outskirts of Taranaki.

During my brief getaway, I chased waterfalls…

Hint: click the individual images


…wandered around new landscapes…


…and saw some fantastic, fiery sunsets.


I was overdue for an adventure around New Zealand so this little trip put a big smile on my face.

However, as the days neared closer to my birthday, I grew sad again. I would still be alone, away from all of my friends and family.

To my surprise, when I arrived to work on Monday, August 29 (the 28th in the US so technically my birthday?) there was a homemade, chocolate cake on my desk along with a card. The newsroom erupted with applause and I burst into tears.

What seemingly small act of kindness was a profound moment for me. I felt the love. It was exactly what I needed.

So my crappy birthday turned out to be a pretty darn good one, filled with lots of love.

Now, just have to “shout lollies”1.



1 Lollies are candy and “shout” is to buy or to provide. So to shout lollies is to provide candy. This is a traditional act in the office where employees provide sweets if it is their birthday. Or anything of exciting news, really.


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