Birthdays… generally considered a good thing, an excuse to party, let your hair down and celebrate the passing of another year whilst looking forward to the next. Well, they are for most people, not me though! To me they are check points, markers along the race that is life, they tell you how far you have come, how well you are doing compared to others and whether you still stand the chance of finishing at a time you consider your personal best. I’ve been obsessed with my birthday for as long as I can remember, my parents never really believed in celebrating birthdays, so once I was old enough to celebrate it myself I put my all into it. My expectations were always high, the build up thrilling, the anticlimax shattering. I’m not entirely sure what I expect to happen exactly, but in my minds eye I am the happiest I have ever been, surrounded by all the people I love and by one to whom I am everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some great birthdays, notably my 21st which was a surprise party orchestrated by my school days best friend Christina. I was told we were celebrating the day after my birthday and was then surprised on the actual day by being blindfolded, taken to a house full of all my friends and being given a ‘this is your life’ book that Christina had made with mum's help. It was a truly glorious day. Since then though it has been fraught with disappointment, mainly my own fault for expecting too much (as usual!), so this birthday I have decided to turn my back on this tradition and I choose not to mark the passing of time this year, a year I would rather forget. The only resolution I do have for the coming year is to finally grow up!! Lets see how it goes shall we?