Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Day Late And A Horse Short


I had a birthday. I'm thirty-five years old. The year that I was born, Chinese New Year began the day before my birthday, making me narrowly a sheep. Sheep, apparently are sensitive, creative unrealistic dreamers, if somewhat nervous and most comfortable in their own imaginations. They're not very organized and can care too much about looks, but aren't very materialistic. Horses however, are intense, need incessant activity, and have a nomadic nature. They're good with people, but have a hard time committing to friends and lovers. Sounds exhausting. I'm glad I timed my entry into the world carefully.

I'm not big on birthdays, simply because like a true sheep/ introvert I don't like to be the center of attention. Just the thought of a big party makes me tired.

We have a tradition of really good birthday breakfasts. C. usually gets bacon on his, like the one time of the year, while I like baked beans, a throwback to my days of living in the UK. This year C. actually upped the ante by cooking me Thai noodle soup the night before, because weeks before I'd mentioned (and promptly forgotten) that I'd like that. Not only that, but he actually got me presents, which goes totally against our custom. I got (packed in excessively large containers) a chocolate bar, an alarm clock and a memory card for my new camera.

One of the things I don't like about birthdays, or holidays in general, is that there's all this expectation that they have to somehow have to be amazing, memorable, magical. That's what I call a recipe for disappointment. Expectations.  The sooner one learns to let go of those, the better. In exchange though, you often end up with unexpected adventures and surprises...

This year, for instance, we were gonna go camping, but that fell through. Then we were going to camp out under the stars in our backyard. That didn't work out either. So, then I figured a walk would be plenty. What do ya know, it rained like crazy all day...

Was I disappointed? A little. Did I get over it? Very fast.

Instead, we hang out in bed, ate late, puttered around, snuggled cats, read books, worked, talked to loved ones (One my demands for the day was that I didn't have to touch the phone, but I always pick up when Mali calls.)...

I did my Tarot for the year, with very interesting results. My re-occurring cards lining up next to each other, with other old friends and new acquaintances circling up in encouragement and warning. Overall, it was a really intense, good reading and I needed a stiff old-lady-drink afterwards.

Yup, nothing takes the edge off focusing your energies like some "moonshine", whiskey and tea. Heading out to dinner through New Moon dark woods, I had no idea of how much cake and how many more amazing presents there would still be in store. I was just happy to be out in the trees, cats in-tow,  heading towards the warmly lit windows of friends. The best gifts there are. 

There seems to be whirlwind of magical energy around right now, pushing us inevitably forward, a force of nature. Everything seems to be pointing to the same direction, of jumping, taking off, moving, going along with the strong current. Things are changing and evolving fast right now. People all around me are going in their chosen directions, new friends are appearing from all sides, opportunities keep popping up. It's a little intimidating, but exciting too.

Still, this birthday was a much needed respite, a one-day-vacation. A good excuse to take a breath.

Guess what card I drew that morning?

Now it's back to grindstones, the drawing boards, the hot irons in need of striking.

How do you like to (un)celebrate your special days? And what's your Chinese Zodiac sign? I'd really like to learn more about the dragons, sheep and horses, myself...

40 comments:

  1. woohoo! happy birthday beauteous one! so blessed we are to have you here. XO

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    1. Thank you dearest! So blessed to be on this Earth and so so confused ;)

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  2. Hyvää syntymäpäivää kaunokainen. Kuulostaa täydelliseltä syntymäpäivältä mun mielestä! Itse en oikein kestä tekemällä tehtyjä syntymäpäiviä, suurin kauhistus olisi johonkin "kotelomekkoon" pukeutuminen ja etukäteen mietitty ohjelma, joka sitten kuitenkin menisi pieleen; kengästä katkeaisi korko, en olisikaan kotonani mekossa joka jonkun toisen päällä olisi juuri paras mahdollinen..ravintolan valo olisi liian kova, en keksisi mitään puhuttavaa ja ruoka olisi kallista ja keskinkertaista. Kaipaisin kuitenkin vaan vaikka itseleivottuja vinoja korvapuusteja, pehmeää puuvillamekkoa ja iltakävelyä tähtien alla ;).

    Mulla on kummalliset tähtimerkit ja syntymähoroskoopit.. Kiinalaisessa Tiikeri, länsimaisessa oinas. Mutta nousevat merkit sitten Jänis ja vesimies. Tiikerit ja oinaathan mielletään usein johtajatyypeiksi, vauhdikkaiksi, sosiaalisiksi, jopa sotaisiksi, kunnianhimoisiksi. Suoraan sanottuna ne kuulostaa vähän pelottavilta! Sitten kun mulle laadittiin molemmista laajemmat "kartat" alkoi juttu selkiytyä. Molemmista löytyy sama kummallinen kahtiajoko, sisäisen ja ulkoisen maailman välillä. Olen molemmissa merkeissä jotakuinkin se kaikkein herkin yksilö kyseisestä lajista, ja nousevat merkit ja elementit edustavat vastakkaisia ominaisuuksia kuin mitä merkkeihin yleensä liitetään. Itselleni on myös kerrottu, että juurikin tuon 35. ikävuoden jälkeen ns. "päämerkit" laimenevat ja väistyvät, ja piilossa lymyilleet muut asiat korostuvat. Ainakin jos henkinen polku kulkee niin kuin sen kuuluisi.. Kannattaa selvittää mikä sun elementti ja nouseva merkki on esim kiinalaisessa (ehkä oletkin jo :) ), sieltä saattaa löytää mielenkiintoisia juttuja...

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    1. Kiitokset! Ehdottomasti samaa mielta naista "pakollisista" merkkipaiva rituaaleista. Yok. Kertomasi pohjalta ehdottomasti haluan lukea lisaa Kiinalaisesta horoskoopista. Tosi kiinnostavaa. Halauksia sinne.

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  3. Happy Birthday wishes from me to you, Milla.
    That hermit card has stolen my heart!
    I love how the current is flowing for you, it's strength and idleness, the spontaneity of your days. Oh, the wonder!
    In Chinese zodiac, it appears I am a monkey. And, I'm not sure how I feel about that. We shall see!

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes, Monkey friend ;)

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  4. Hi, Milla, and happy 35th! I am an Ox and I must say that I've always felt it wholly inaccurate. But perhaps I just don't see myself clearly? Hmm.. I've never done it but it would be interesting to read further into the other zodiacs and see if I find myself aligning elsewhere.

    Birthdays tend to me the same as any celebration in our house- simple and full of good food. Your birthday sounds like just my style. I love the image of you and C walking with cats trailing behind to a friends house.

    I have a question for you.. I'm taking the month of February to cleanse (mind & body) and work on creating new habits before the hectic days of the warm seasons get here. I'm thinking I would like to finally try tarot in my time away from the world but I'm not sure where to start as far as decks go. Do you have a suggestion?

    Hope your next year is full of love and growth!

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    1. Hey love! So Sadie and I are actually doing a whole post about tarot, or depending on what Sadie writes maybe a series of posts, so I have much info to blather about. I would recommend going into a new age-y shop if there's one within a convenient distance and looking at an handling the decks and feeling out which one speaks to you.

      You also want to make sure the book for that deck is available and that it's not too convoluted with descriptions which will make reading more complicated. Simpler is better, but if you find your right deck don't let that stop you.

      If you have to shop online I would say that getting the classic Raider Waite deck might be the easiest way to get introduced to the medium (pun intended!). It's not an expensive deck even with the book and a lot of books that you could get second hand will refer to it. It's important to have a deck you connect with, BUT any of the classic tarots will help you learn how it all works and is a good stepping stone. Plus, if you don't end up loving divination, you can always play cards with them.

      There's a few pitfalls with decks, like for instance I try to shy away from ones that have too much obvious "Native American" influence, like animal "medicine", depictions of "native" imagery etc. For the obvious reasons, plus it's you know...hokey. That's another reason I like The Wild Unknown Tarot, because it has no people imagery. It is a expensive purchase though, especially if you're not sure what kind of part tarot will play in your life yet. However, I will say in its benefit too that it would make a good beginner deck because of the simplicity of the book, though it works best if you eventually gain, or already have a little bit wider understanding.

      The other deck I really like is a sort of Buddhist/ Taoist deck with very few depictions of people. And I love the Mother Peace Tarot too, though it has a very different vibe. There's some grumblings too that many of decks feature only white, conventionally attractive people, which may or may not be a valid complaint. Again, kind of just go with your heart, m'dear.

      I guess that's the nutshell version, feel free to ask more questions. Excited to hear all about it!

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  5. Well happy belated birthday sweet lady :)

    My birthday falls on Halloween, which was fun as a kid, but has led to disappointments as an adult. People are usually busy with Halloween parties, and since I can't deal with having more than 4-5 people in my home (not to mention the space for more than that many right now) heading over to a quiet Halloween birthday party tends to pale in comparison to going out to a big Halloween bash. When I turned 25 last year I had my high school girlfriends over (now that we live near each other again) and we watched silly zombie and horror movies and ate my favourite cupcakes, drank rum punch and stuck glow-in-the-dark spider and bat stickers all over my walls. Keeping it simple, and expecting simple and small really helped to alleviate any disappointments.

    I'm a dragon, but I have to admit I don't know a whole lot about the chinese zodiac. Reading a few paragraphs on different sites though, the description fits me pretty well. A lot of stuff about being a perfectionist, a born leader, someone people come to for advice. That's all really obvious when I'm in a kitchen... I'm never satisfied with my end product, and people come to me for advice and help, and I often catch myself basically ordering people around haha. I don't mean to, but when there's chaos, it just seems natural to start bringing order to things and I can do a good job of that. 'They can be dictatorial and inflexible in their associations with others, but at the same time be the warmest, most gentle individuals you may meet.' Me to a T!

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    1. Hello Dragon, and thank you for your birthday wishes! Having your birthday on a holiday can sure suck, my hub has his on New Year's Eve. At the same time, it is really nice to have a built-in party.

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  6. Milla dear, this picture of your radiant, tender self by the window made my day! I'm glad that C. went against your custom to celebrate this particular birthday (although I am totally with you on not wanting - in general - to be the center of attention or raising expectations...) In fact it seems this year has many other gifts in store for you, which makes me truly happy :o)

    I am a typical native of the Dog - in love with art and dance, very sensitive, revolted by injustice, unable to watch (or hear) a creature being hurt or humiliated even slightly, loyal (sometimes against my own interests), and easily upset by misunderstandings - probably because the year I was born makes me a Metal Dog, the primary element of the sign.

    My loved one across the ocean is a native of the Horse, so we do get along wery well :o)

    Your Tarot readings have a strange appeal for me, even though I know very little about it - the only time I was present in one was when a close friend was given one (her first and only) in English, and I was translating the reading: it was a very special moment and it drew us even closer to each other. It would be nice if you had a post about Tarot one day ;o)

    It's funny because until recently there was a single Tarot card framed in my kitchen, in which the Hermit was represented as a lone Wolf holding a lantern...

    Sending hugs and merry thoughts, Milla, and may the winds of freedom bring the outdoors to you often this year, starting tomorrow ! xo


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    1. Thank you, for the merry thoughts and the great outdoors! Also interesting about the Metal Dog, I really want to look into this more. Supposedly as an Earth Sheep I'm super grounded and sensible :D Not true!

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  7. Paljon paljon onnea! Samanikäisiä ollaan:-)
    Minä olen hevonen ja vaaka.

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    1. Onnea onnea onnea vaan! Sitten syssymmalla...

      Ja kiitos!

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  9. Happy birthday, lady! I love your perspective on "big days" - so much in the way of expectations. I hope you have a really lovely year! <3

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    1. Thank you! I hope we all have a really lovely year!

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  10. happy birthday, spirited lady <3

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  11. happy birthday! i was born the year of the horse... man, it does sound exhausting! maybe it's true about the commitment part too, hits home a bit! :)

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    1. Thanks love. Funny how the horses are exhausted by their horse-ness ;)

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  12. Happy Birthday!

    I'm a rat, but the descriptions never sound very flattering. When I was growing up, I didn't have very good birthdays, between being forced to share my birthday with my older sister (whose birthday is a few days before mine), and family issues, and just living out in the sticks where it was difficult to have community. Now, hubs usually brings me a cake of some sort, and we try to go do something fun, like a movie or museum visit.

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    1. Movie or museum. Sounds the best. Some of my favorite things to do! Also cake. Thank you!

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  13. Ha! I'm a horse and it is SO exhausting! This new moon has been hitting me hard - facing me with how difficult it is for me to finish my initial goal, always off to new more exciting things, and an extreme desire to constantly feel free. Being a sheep sounds calm and much more peaceful, you lucked out. Happy birthday again. It looks like it was lovely C:

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    1. Good for you for being a energetic horse! I'm just a sluggish ole sheep ;) And thank you. Again!

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  14. Happy Birth Day, little sister Aquarian! (My 53rd (the reverse of yours!) was on the 26th!) I was born during the year of the Rat. In the past, I generally celebrated my birth day amongst many dear friends, but since having children, I have tended to enjoy celebrating my special day in a more quiet way ... just the three of them, my sweet man and me.

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    1. Happy Belated to you too! Quiet and lovely...

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  15. Happy belated! Although a product of a hippy upbringing, I've never had much faith in things like tarot or horoscopes, but I do like noticing patterns and significant signs, there's something in that. Maybe it's even a kind of magic, I don't know. Faith is hard, right?

    I like your seagull mug :)

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    1. Significant patterns are what it's all about. Magic is in nature, as patterns are. Thank you!

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  16. A happy belated to you! I will be 36 on the 23rd of this month, which makes me a horse. Which, according to the description you posted I find wholly unflattering and completely wrong! I am introverted, shy, hermit-like, sensitive and spend more time in dream land than reality (thankfully.) I wonder if I can cheat a bit and claim another animal, as I was two weeks late as a babe :)
    The only thing I ask for my birthday is that my husband take me out to eat. I don't like fuss, but I *do* like food!

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    1. Thank you, you as well! I don't think the description of the horse is unflattering and also not the whole picture, I'm sure. It's just not me and maybe it's not you either. Maybe that's 'cos you're pretty on the cusp? Maybe you're a closet sheep ;)
      We have big food traditions in our family too around birthdays, usually home made, but only 'cos nowhere good to eat around here, except the one place where we always eat.

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  17. Happy Belated Birthday my dear! Your day sounds like the most perfect one imaginable. An excuse to not feel guilty about doing nothing is what I love about birthdays most :) And really, don't you think what makes magical days the most special is that they are never planned? I love that about magical days.

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    1. Thank you <3 We're so on the same page about that!

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  18. Happy happy birthday, Milla dear! I just turned 34 (also an Aquarian- I knew I liked you for a reason, ha!) and that also makes me a sheep... though I consider myself an extrovert, I do agree with much of it- like the weakness of anxiety. So interesting, all this stuff!

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    1. Oh sweet Happy Birthday, dear! Yours must be really close to mine then!

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  19. Happy belated birthday Milla! I love what you said about expectations surrounding birthdays and holidays. I've had my share of disappointments because of them. Now I'm slowly learning to not have expectations, but am struggling a bit with the downer part of that, like, if you don't have expectations, how can you be excited about it? Still figuring it out...

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    1. Thanks hon! I like to get excited about the possible, you know, make up something that I know won't be a bummer. Of course being introverted this is fairly easy, but we usually have a good, special breakfast, take a walk and have dinner with friends at night. Sometimes we even take a trip, either to go camping, or to the big city to see a band. I often try to remember to do things I'm excited to do but don't have time for in everyday life.

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