I recently turned 48. I am trying hard to believe that I am no longer young and I am staring down 50 that is approaching faster and faster every day. I have had a rough relationship with celebrating birthdays because for the most part it depends on others and I prefer to be selfish on my birthday and just relax or go somewhere amazing and have a one in a lifetime experience. No one ever actually listens. That changed this year.
Several months ago my husband said “lets get away for your birthday this year” Now I am picturing lounging on a beach somewhere with a tropical drink with a little umbrella in it. He says he will plan everything. It will be amazing. I am a bit worried about this because I am the traveler. I am the planner. It is my thing. He is so excited that I agree to leave it all to him. Then he tells me we are going to Reno, NV.
Dirty old Reno.
I hate Reno. I’m a beach person not a desert person and I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke or gambling. What is he thinking? He is so excited (like a kid on Christmas morning) so I plaster a smile on my face and ask him if he is sure and what he has in mind. Then he tells me that he was watching YouTube videos about the best day spas in the united states and the Peppermill in Reno has one of the top 10 so we should check it out.
Ok, Reno is sounding better now. But, when I was last there in the 1990’s it was not exactly a nice place to go. It lacked the dazzle of Vegas or the natural splendor of Tahoe. I ask him how old this video was that he watched. So he pulls it up. It is recent. Then he pulls up a video of the Peppermill and it is reminiscent of the Belagio or the Venician resorts in Vegas. I am intrigued, but still not excited because, well… it’s still Reno.
A few months go by and he has made all the arrangements. We have childcare covered for the time we are out of town. He made reservations at an Italian restaurant and a steakhouse for our two nights there. We are spending all day in the spa relaxing on my actual birthday getting pampered and relaxing. I’m still skeptical and he is still super excited.
The day finally arrives for us to depart. We load up the car and head out…to Reno. I’m expecting to see beautiful fall color, but no one told the trees. We get to the peppermill and it is busier than I expected to see on a weekday. They are hosting an educational conference for veterinarians. It actually was nice inside. It was super clean. The staff was friendly. Our room was amazing. The food was great. If they were short staffed, it sure didn’t show at all. That was something we have not seen here in California for years. The weather was even perfect. He did an amazing job.
I guess it is time for me to let go, stop being such a control freak and trust that the man I have been married to for 11 years actually knows me pretty well and is capable of planning a trip for us that I will enjoy. Maybe I don’t always have to “do it all”. Maybe I can let go a little and relax and know that everything will be ok.
I know that sounds a little odd. But, I have spent most of my adult life only being able to rely on myself through my first marriage to an alcoholic who cared more about his TV programs and his next drink than me and in my single years. Relying on anyone else almost always led to me being let down and me scrambling at the last minute trying to do it all myself. I forgot what it was like to be able to just let go and know things will be ok. I’m slowly learning to let go and accept that others are capable of doing things too. I do not have to always carry the burden. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.