When it comes to birthdays, I think most people generally fall into one of two camps. You either a) revel in the glorious celebratory commendations showered upon you by everyone you know or b) hide in the closet in a vain and ironic effort to forget how much time you’ve wasted in your life to date and how the window is closing for you to do ‘xyz’ thing that’s totally dependent on being young and vibrant. You might guess I fall into the second, and have since I was a kid. I could trace my outlook to the 4th grade and my one and only “real” birthday party, where a friend’s brand new spiral perm and the super cool pick she brought to carefully tend her tresses the entire time completely overshadowed my very existence. Sad, no? OK, fine, so that’s not the worst of my birthday stories (and I know, far more benign than many other people could share).
Point here is I’m generally sporting a lousy disposition for weeks leading up to my b-day, and really without good reason. Each year I say “this year WILL be different. I AM different.” But this year I’ve actually worked damn hard to beam sunshine all day. My mantra has been to both savour the adrenaline-intense experiences and find magic in the ordinariness of life. Since I’m reading a lot about the happiness of pursuit, I felt I should list milestones I completed in the last year and commit to some quests to work on for the next year. Words to the page. Commit. Go. Do. Stop worrying and just be whoever I want to be.
Awesome Things I’ve Done in the Last 12 Months
- Ran (almost) the other half of the marathon I committed to in 2010 (with a PR to boot)
- Fulfilled a childhood travel dream in Sicily
- Climbed Mount Etna (wearing a kid on my back)
- Yo oré en La Sagrada Familia (aka fulfilled a dream from high school Spanish class)
- Trekked all the steps up and into Park Güell (holding a sleeping kid)
- Visited the Land of Happiness & marveled at the Himalayas
- Shook hands with farmers in 2 countries
- Sewed a skirt with pockets and wore it unashamedly in public
- Traveled across the ocean and completely surprised my sister for her birthday
- Floated one of the greatest rivers in North America
- Cooked a whole fish with eyeballs and ate it (not the eyeballs, just the body)
- Cheered 96 on to their first win of the season in HDI Arena
Quests for the coming year
- Launch one of the ventures from my stealth passion project chamber
- Visit Africa
- Taste chocolate from 20 countries (piece of the taste chocolate from every producing country + all 50 US states goal)
Talk to me: Which camp do you fall into? What’s your most fantastic birthday story?