Question: what is your existential crisis right now ? Seriously – I’m good, nothing to look at here. Keep moving.

Existentialism in Calvin and Hobbes

Existentialism in Calvin and Hobbes (Photo credit: Lst1984)

I had a message in my twitter feed last week that asked me this:

Question: what is your existential crisis right now ?

I looked at it and thought about it. I understood what it meant, Wikipedia explains it as this:

An existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of his or her life: whether his or her life has any meaning, purpose or value.[1] This issue of the meaning and purpose of existence is the topic of the philosophical school of existentialism.

I was immediately offended. Why would someone think that my life doesn’t have purpose. Or anyone’s life for that matter? We all have a purpose, good, bad or indifferent. It doesn’t have to be job related, it could be relational. The fact of the matter is it is personal. Not something that needs to be shared – unless of course THAT is the purpose!

My answer to this question was simple:

I don’t question it. I know my life has meaning and purpose.

Some-days it is more obvious to me than other days, but purpose is there and I don’t have to look very hard. I know this question was meant to be well meaning and a conversation started on a philosophical level, but dude, I no longer need to analyze everything to death. It’s okay not to know the answer to every question. The hard part is accepting that. That could be your current purpose.

A Hard Truth: I am the family cat

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I learned some hard truths this Christmas. Apparently I am the family cat. And here you thought I was people! Well, I guess I had us both fooled.

It all started Christmas Eve, the family was gathered at my brother’s home for dinner and small gifts from the Grandparents to warm us up for the big festivities the following day. My family is hard-core. We meet for every meal in a two-day period. Mostly because we like each other and we like to laugh. The secondary reason is to complain and grumble about stuff we all understand and can sympathize with. The third reason is to eat and open stuff we love because if nothing else, my family puts TON of thought into gifts, the presents are meaningful. Try it sometime, its awesome.

Anyway…

After dinner we were sitting around the living room admiring the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, first tree my brother ever put up, when we started talking about the pets. My youngest nephew (who stands 6’4″ and 225lbs) asked his dad for a puppy for Christmas. He wasn’t interested in a girlie dog, but wanted a manly dog. My mom thought my nephew should get one because his dad (my brother) had every pet he ever wanted. To be fair, my brother look better care of all those pets than he has ever taken care of anything AND my brother is a great guy, so those pets were well-loved. He had Guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, rabbits, and dogs (one dog at a time). My brother does not want a dog anymore because he is tired of looking after animals. My nephew argues that he would look after it and my brother doesn’t buy that story. In the end, he is right, my brother will eventually fall in love with the dog and be the sole caretaker.

This story had us talking about the various dogs that tried to kill us, would run away as soon as the door opened or would fight the ravens back so we could enter the house. All of them great dogs except the one that tried to kill us. Grandpa took him back to the original owner.

These stories reminded me of this video called Cat-Friend vs Dog-Friend. I was telling my dad about it, when he said “You are the reason we never had a cat. You were the Cat of the family.” WTF DAD! OUCH! Then I thought about it. He was right. Everything I did, I had a cat attitude. I invite you to watch the video and when you see the yellow words that spell CAT – substitute that word in your head for Edmonton Tourist and you will have a pretty good idea who I was as a kid.

This was posted by @hilariousted on twitter, I see them the same way too:

How I see dogs: Beagle, german shepherd, poodle, bulldog, labrador. How I see cats: Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat .

Hope you are enjoying the holidays as much as I am!

 

Reaching for the Worthwhile

I belong to a fledgling book club – all women and lots of wine. We read books that challenge our comfort zone. We take turns choosing the book of the month and host the meeting in perspective homes. Last night was meeting number 2. I know 2 of the ladies quite well, one moderately well and the other two gals are new to my life. We come from different backgrounds, our children are at different ages and stages, our careers are massively different. Yet we all have 2 things in common:

  1. We love to read
  2. We strive for inner growth and change.

I have been reading 419 by Wil Ferguson. There was a single passage near the beginning of the book that made me catch my breath, the character had the task of compiling information for an obituary:

There were never entries for “memory,” or “regrets,” or even “love,” in the lowercase.
It was always “Education (post-secondary)” or “Awards (see also:Best Debut R&B Country CD by a Female Artist, Solo).” Indexes never seemed to get to the heart of the matter. There was never
a heading for hope or fear. Or dreams, recalled. Smiles, remembered. Anger. Beauty. Or even images that lingered, glimpses of something that had made an impression. A doorway. A window. A reflection on glass. The smell of rain. Never any of that. Just a tally of proper nouns and famous names. And why only one life? Why not the web of other lives that define us? What of their indexes”

This made me think. An obituary is typically a list of accomplishments. I remember reading the Toronto paper and remember thinking this people are success driven, there was very little about love and life and endless lists of job related activities and education. Compared to the obituaries I have read in the Edmonton Paper, it was incredibly different. Edmonton Obituaries are typically a laundry list of who died first and who has survived. It seems to be more of a disaster survival list rather than a compilation of words that describe the person. Rarely do you get a glimpse of the deceased’s passions, hobbies or loves. Ferguson makes the same observation. What are our beliefs and how do we define ourselves?

This topic came up in a round about way at Book Club. A few of us are attending a Belief Re-patterning workshop. From what I understand, we have a set of beliefs that we live by. Good/Bad/Indifferent. It is these beliefs that push us forward or hold us back. The point of all this is to discover what it is we truly belive and then taking steps to re-pattern our habits and thoughts to achieve goals.

The conversation then turned to what is it that we would like to change about ourselves. Good question, where do I start? Standing in the middle of me – I find it hard to see what I am, the real deep me. My friends see it. So then what is my belief and what I am striving for?

Then it hit me…after my friend hit me with it. I want to be accepted as I am and I want EVERYBODY to accept me. I want to be perceived as smart and have it all going on. I like being the star of the Robyn Show! Is it happening for me? No, not really. I see my self taking on tons in an effort to show – I have no idea who, perhaps the world, perhaps my mother – and get the recognition I crave. DING DING – Oprah calls this an “A HA” moment, I call it the lightbulb moment.

I see myself discounting rejection, in both my personal and professional life. If I change then maybe you won’t reject me. Sad isn’t it? In some ways it is very liberating. The point isn’t to dig up all the issues of my past, the point is to recognize the pattern and restructure it. One friend hopes this will be a miracle cure, when I see it as more hard work.

If my life is summed up by an obituary or a funeral what do I hope for? My friend wants a balance between family and work. I have a pretty good idea what I would like, the trick is achieving it. I don’t want to look back over my life and say “I should have taken that path”.

I want to look back and think my life was worthwhile.

I’m so pretty and that is NOT a good thing

I feel like the stupidest prettiest person ever.

I have too much on my plate and it’s my phone that’s stupid.  My phone is a 3G iPhone, not 3Gs not 4 or even 4Gs. My stupid phone doesn’t even get software updates anymore. I go to type a status and my fingers move faster than the keyboard, letters get missed, end of words don’t appear and my cousin eats me alive. To be fair, it WAS hilarious. My friend started the bashing. But still…. I HATE IT WHEN I GET CAUGHT BEING STUPID PRETTY!!!!

In my family we have a saying when someone does something … not very bright or less than ideal, we tilt our head, say “You’re so pretty” and smile at them. I don’t think I have ever said this to my son, but my daughter hears it, my father hears it, my sister hears it…. then they said it to me. CRAP!

Here is what happened, a student of mine was doing a puzzle with me. A HARD 24 piece puzzle no less, when he commented that I am so smart. This was ADORABLE! You betcha kid! I am smart because I excel at preschool work! So I brag about being called smart and decided to put that in my resume and WHAMO…. I leave off some letters because it’s my PHONE THAT IS STUPID and my friends says “maybe he should read this status and take that title away” HAHAHA …. hey wait a tic…

Then my cousin weighs in and spells smart S M R T…. nice – again I laughed but geeze…..

 

We were all in the car and having a discussion about various sciences – that’s right, I live in THAT family. I had asked my son what science Meteorology falls under and before I could explain what I meant, my son says very dry and very sarcastically… “meteorology” Damn… I was caught with my pretty on.

What I intended and what I said were very different things. I meant to ask him what science class would it be in Chem, Bio or Physics. Ya… too little too late, I was busted pretty and they had the last laugh. For the record I hate kids. Especially mine. I wanted a baby not a teenager.

I work hard at being smart. Smart does not come naturally to anyone. Smart is not a measure of intelligence, smart is thinking before you speak. I got caught being pretty for DECADES, then I started to engage the brain. Some pretty examples for your viewing pleasure:

  1. My Ex father-in-law had a thermometer hanging out his truck window…don’t ask, but I looked at it and asked how could it be that accurate when you are driving? I did not mean the AIR MOVEMENT that creates windchill, I was thinking in terms of vibration. The possibility of the alcohol or mercury vibrating within the tube. Ya… he assumed I meant windchill…and he laughed his head off and I was forever branded the stupid one. Ya well… dude you had NO ROOM TO TALK!
  2. My girl say’s ManScans count as being pretty. A ManScan is when you can’t find something because you don’t look well enough. Therefore that makes me Pretty
  3. My boy claims me not taking the time to set up MSWord and adjust fonts, headers and have him do it makes me pretty.
  4. Apparently, the headset and mouse not working because they are plugged into the WRONG USB makes me pretty. I think that just makes me lazy…not pretty. I also think I am resourceful to make someone else do the work for me. That makes me GENIUS not pretty.

Note to self: Think before you act, proof read from the smart stupid phone and lazy=pretty in my children’s eyes. It’s going to be hard work not being pretty now that my kids are smarter than me.

9/11

Today was one of the days that felt like a week. It made me tired in the back of my eyes. I told my team I was leaving the room to visit the bathroom and if anyone was going to offer me a job between my classroom and the ladies room, I was taking it.

No one did, so I guess I go back to the same routine tomorrow.

My drive home today I was listening to CBC radio – that’s right I have become THAT person, the old crotchety non-NDPer (non- New Democratic Party) who listens to CBC radio. Why? It’s calm and unusual. They played k.d. Lang and interviewed Laurie Greenwood from Greenwoods Books. I love hearing about new books I might want to read. Today she talked about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It is  Longlisted  for the Man Booker Prize. I want to read it.

It is about a fellow in England who retires and has nothing to do. He sits in his chair while his bitter wife does the chores and he wonders what is he going to do with the rest of his like. He gets a letter from an old friend he hasn’t seen or thought of in 20 years. The note says the this friends was dying from cancer and she wanted to say good bye. He writes a note and goes to the post office to mail it. He decides to go to the next post office instead. He ends up several post offices away and stops at a gas station for a cup of coffee. He meets a punk-rocker and tells her his story. She tells him the power of thought can heal. So Harold decides to send a postcard to his friend saying he is coming for a visit and just wait for him. Harold then begins to walk 600 miles across England, to meet his friend thinking this might heal them.

Sounds like an amazing journey. It made me think about other journeys and stories I have heard. I know several New Yorkers who have shared with me their story of 9/11 11 years ago. That made me think of the journey of the survivors and the victim’s loved ones. That made me think about the millions of people in New York. Then I thought about Harold Fry and his metaphoric journey.

I remember this day, 11 years ago very clearly. I was still in bed listening to the news when the unthinkable happened. A plane hit one of the towers. I got up and turned on CNN. I then watched the second plane hit the second tower. I couldn’t process what I was seeing. I went to work and my brother was listening to the news, eager to hear what was going on. Were we at war? What was going to happen?

I drove out past the airport to make deliveries for our business. These were the days of still working in the family owned business. I had stopped teaching for a while. I looked at the hundreds of airplanes that were parked at the airport. Flights had been re-routed from the States and brought to Canada. The passengers where sheltered and nurtured here in Canada while they worried frantically about their country, friends and family.

Eventually the world got back to business and airplanes went back into the sky. Travel became a hassle and people began to complain about the pain in the ass travel had become. Life went back to normal and people hated their jobs, their lives, their situation once again.

I remember thinking, I need to be more intentional about gratitude.

I also am on a journey. Mine is not the same as Harold, I am not walking 600 miles to see a dying friend. My journey is simply to understand why I am not satisfied with fine. I feel an inner pull leading somewhere and I have no idea where it is taking me. I don’t understand it, I am frustrated with it, yet I follow that pull as it leads me to destinations unknown. I think it is called faith. I have faith that I will figure it out at the end, since I haven’t figured it out yet, I can’t possibly be at the end. I have faith things will work out the way they are suppose to. In the mean time I feel the pull pushing me into finishing my degree, I feel the pull pushing outside to run, I feel the pull to be compassionate and understanding, and I feel the pull to help pick up the pieces and put them back together to support those who need the help.

I need to remember that this is my journey and excess body fluids may be part of it. I don’t have to like it, but I have to keep moving forward. Perhaps I will end  up walking 600 miles to meet my friend who needs me. But I am lucky, because I am here being needed, unlike the thousands of people who went to work that day 11 years ago and never went home to finish their journey.

I need to remember to be grateful.

Superman is a Tool, Wonder Woman can do better.

There I said it. He is my least favorite super hero. I know 2 men who count Superman as the best hero of all time. I must disagree.

For those of you not in the know, Superman has now hooked up with Wonder Woman and I went on record as saying, “She can do better.”

She can and should.

Here is the deal with wonder Woman. She was created by W.M. Marston based on Greek Mythology of the Amazons. Wonder Woman is a warrior princess of the Amazon, distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men. All very cool attributes and she was smokin’ hot in a stupid very unfemininest super-suit. Edna would not approve. She was drawn to attract men, the majority of Superhero fans.

So given those qualities, why is she choosing Superman as her love interest? Lest put the need for D.C. Comics to compete with Marvel aside for a moment.

Superman was a alien baby adopted by American Farmers with a wholesome upbringing. So far so good. Because he was not from around here, he experienced super strength. Also cool. I liken it to Neil Armstrong jumping super high on the moon. The gravitational pull was less on the moon than earth, there for Neil was superman on the moon. Earth does not have a ready supply of kryptonite at it’s disposal. That was Superman’s regular gravity. When exposed he became weak – not even “normal human strength” which was weird and tells me all Kryptopnite men are wusses. They can’t even hold their own heads up? How unattractive. At any rate, this made Superman the MAN here on Earth and more importantly, in Metropolis the Big Peach.

Now, Superman was in love with Lois Lane. She might as well been called Plain Jane. She was smart, top of her field, cunning and crafty. She was a woman who knew what she wanted, set goals and was supportive of Superman. All the things any boy’s mom hopes her son will find. Superman agrees and asks Lois to marry him and she accepts.

He says thaat to her and she says yes????

Superman was never happy with being with a woman who was smart, funny a perfect match for him. She wasn’t stunningly beautiful but he said to her, it’s what inside that counts. Really Superman? You fed her a line and she bought it. She was pretty enough but not quite what Superman was looking for. Sure she went a little Batshit crazy – who wouldn’t? The circumstances were difficult. But underneath it all she was who she said she was and loved him unconditionally. Likely the greatest love he will ever know. Soon Superman became bored with Lois. She challenged him too much, she supported his choices and loved him unconditionally. She lacked the hotness factor. Superman was looking into his past and started to rekindle a love lost. 

Enter Lana Lang, childhood Vixen. Okay, she was sweet and slightly more vivacious than Lois. But she wasn’t as smart, or as devoted. Superman dumps Lois and has an emotional affair with Lana. Lois blames herself, Superman blames Lois, fans think Superman should have never married Lois in the first place.

Not sure what happens next but I woke up this morning to find out Superman was snogging Wonder Woman and all I can think is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO don’t doooooooo it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He can’t be trusted. Sure his outward persona is all upstanding and honorable, but the man inside is a lying cheat listening to his manparts sans the brain. Seriously! What the hell is she thinking? Sure he is successful - always wins. He works hard, there is no doubt about it. The guy has two jobs and one is physically demanding! If her job is to bring love, peace and sexual equality to the world, why pick a misogynist like Superman? Everyone knows you cannot change your man!

I get the attraction, I get the feelings and emotions, I get wanting to be needed. But a person can only take so much rejection. Wonder Woman would be better off with Batman or Ironman. They are smart, successful men WITHOUT the superhero persona. AND if things go south – and it will, Superman will dump her for not being somethingenough - she at least will get a decent settlement so she doesn’t have to take a shit job to feed her babies. Superman is a journalist. We all know the piece work pay is crap for writers.

See? Superman is a tool. But for the love of smart women everywhere Wonder Woman, start making smart choices!

The Learn to Drive Milestone

 

A rite of passage happened yesterday. It was a very exciting moment for me.

My son drove a car for the first time.

This was a big deal. I remember being 16 and my dad took me out in his Blue Dodge Diplomat to the church parking lot. He put the car in park, opened the car door and stepped around to the passenger side. I couldn’t wait to get into the drivers seat! My dad is a teacher by trade profession and is one of the best. He explained in very clear detail, my step by step procedure.

When you put the car in drive, it will move forward, so keep your foot on the brake.

As you slowly release the brake, the car will move forward.

Stomping on the brake will cause me to vomit.

Take your time, we have all the time in the world – we don’t have to rush.

And thus began my first driving lesson 1983 – an era before seatbelts.

 

Last night after dinner, I said to my 16 year old. “are you busy? Can you come out with me for a bit?”

He looked at me suspiciously, assessed the situation and agreed. I drove out of the city and to a country school about 10 minutes from my home. I figured this would be a good spot with no pedestrian or motor traffic. He looked at me and said, “Either this is a driving lesson or you are about to murder me and dump my body.”

Me-”Correct, I have a baseball bat in the trunk and a carpet to roll you up in.”

He laughed and climbed out of the car, went around to the driver’s side and waited until i was in the passenger seat before he got in. The first thing he did was put on his seat belt and complain about how weird it felt crossing over the other side of his body. I asked how he felt, the reply was “Nervous and a bit scared.”

Me- “We won’t be going of 10km and there will be no reversing the car today. Just slow on the straight away and turns.”

I gave him the same instructions my dad gave me. Calm and quiet, full of confidence I never felt. I forgot to mention the part about stomping on the brake will induce vomiting. Sure enough, I was thankful for the seatbelt as he tested the brakes. He drove in circles for about a half hour. He tried stopping various times and got the hang of not smashing my face into glass. He actually was a quick study. He pulled up to the fence and I inquired as to how he planned on moving the car since I said no reversing. He said he could either get out and have me do it, or he give it a try himself. I gave him the step by step instructions for reversing, this included how you turn the wheel in the opposite direction of where you want to go. I then heard the Doc Hudson reference from him. The quote from the movie

I’ll put it simple: if you’re going hard enough left, you’ll find yourself turning right.

Ummmm nooooooooooooo. But secretly was happy he used a Pixar reference. When he didn’t shoulder check I made splat sounds and told him that was puppies and babies he ran over. He laughed and put the car back up against the fence and did it again. This time he shoulder checked. About 10 more minutes, and I directed him to park near the gate. We traded places and I asked him how he felt now. His reply was one of confidence. “I don’t feel scared anymore. Just nervous because there is so much to remember.”

I drove down the country road and into Sherwood Park. I found the Dairy Queen where we planned to celebrate. He asked if this was the one his Grandpa took me too. “Nope, that one is an insurance company now”. We had blizzards to celebrate. He told me he hated the licence plate cover on my car. It says “I’d rather by in Walt Disney World.” I told him I hated the Datsun B210 I had to drive when I was a kid.

You never get to drive the cool car when you are young because it is too expensive. Once you can afford it, you look like a ridiculous old dude trying to recapture his youth. He laughed and agreed that bald guys are hilarious in a convertible. I rest my case. I reminded him to look at the cars the high school kids drive – if they are lucky. He laughed and said, “you’re right, they are all beaters or mommy vehicles.”

Now my boy is motivated to get a job. Insurance is expensive, now that he has a glimpse of the freedom of the future.

 

My Fictional-Bucket List

Today bit. Not that I was surprised, but holy hell it hurt. The weird part was nothing negative happened. Just good stuff was said, yet the outcome was not one I had hoped for nor counted on. I fell for the 8th time and picked myself up for a 9th. I’m at a loss for direction at the moment, but there are some good things that came from this.

  1. I didn’t eat my emotions.
  2. I swam for 75 minutes instead.
  3. I engaged my kids in conversation about books.

I know that last one doesn’t make sense. I am the master of my thoughts. I can choose to wallow in self-pity OR I can change my thought patterns and move forward. I had been reading a cool list on Pinterst called Fiction-Bucketlist.

I asked my kids what would be on their list. The only rule was it had to be book-fiction, not movies or TV. Genetic Offspring immediately said “Walk into Mordor and say ‘Whatsup Bitches?’”. That was awesome.
We discussed various possibilities and Chatterbox wanted to follow the White Rabbit.

As a kid I would have loved to be Mike Mulligan and dig the basement faster and straighter than 10 men or drink raspberry cordial with Anne and Diana. I would have loved to be as eloquent as Charlotte living in the barn doorway or go to Kenner boarding school and be roommates with Sheila. My kids wanted to send a howler, be a starcatcher or a demigod and defeat medusa and fight Aries and send him to tartarus, and of course, drink ambrosia. Best of all, they wanted to scam Huck and Tom to paint the fence. I created a monster because they played this game for hours. It was great to hear them discussing books.

When I read a particularly great book, I think about the characters for days afterwards. I get swept away in story line possibilities and fantasize about outcomes that star me. This is something I often did for as long as I can remember. I have imagination down to an art. Some people call it fan fiction, but I never wrote these stories down. I would just play them in my head before bed and dream happily about the events that were unfolding. This made me think of my favorite ideas for my own fiction  bucket list.

  1. Visit Quinten’s to see who is sitting in the secret booth and have dinner with Ria and Colm.
  2. Nurse Jesse back to health and have him rescue me from myself.
  3. Go after Rhett until he gives a damn.
  4. Run through the Fire Swamp with Wesley.
  5. Paint London red with Aishling and Elizabeth.
  6. Walk in the garden with Mr. Darcy and encourage him to steal a kiss.
  7. Spend the day with Tony at Coney Island.
  8. Go back through the stones to find Jamie.
  9. Spend my summers on Martha’s Vineyard with Caitlin and Vix.
  10. Live in New York and chum around with girlfriends while having fabulous careers and a Mr. Big who pops round every now and then.
  11. Sweep Sirius off  his feet and save him from Bellatrix
  12. Sitting on the bench in the park, thinking my life is in tatters when he sits down beside me, takes my hand a smiles.

 

Compliling this list made think about re-reading some of my favorites, like Tara Road, The Other Side of the Story or Brooklyn. It’s a perfect night to do that.

What is on your fictional bucket list?

 

The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in List

My buddy Paul sang this for me today:

That’s right, shameless plug, I am having a birthday. Half of 90, so I guess it’s official – I have reached the middle-age plateau.

There are a few birthdays that stick out for me, only a few because as you get older the memory fades and everything blends together. I cannot for the life of me remember what I did on my 40th. But I remember my 21st like it was yesterday. I was a camp counsellor and was thrown off the pier by my pals. All the little campers made me pictures and the I received a special camp cake – it was gross but oh so special!

I remember my 16th birthday. I sat on the steps of the paramount theatre in a mini skirt to watch Risky Business, they over old seats so I sat on the sticky floor with my best friend. We went of for drinks – the alcohol kind and I had a Chi-Chi. My first underage public libation – good times.

I remember my 43rd very well. My kiddos brought me breakfast in bed that was cooked! When they were little they were not allowed to turn on the stove so they made “egg bread” soaking bread in raw egg – the preamble to french toast. My kids have always been so thoughtful.

Typically I have always been on vacation for my birthday. Not this year, I’m just back. I share this day with Fess Parker – Davy Crockett and of course it is Dead Elvis Day. All Elvis All Day – bring it ON!

I often indulge myself on my birthday, I never use to but I treat myself now to only do things I want to do. This includes NOT HAVING A PARTY. I hate parties. But I love spending time with a few well chosen chums and loved ones. I love little surprises like birthday fairies leaving treats on my porch without ringing the bell, magical coffee appearing and free junk. Sephora sent me an email to pick up lip balm from them today – free! Sure it will be a tiny sample, but it’s free!

Today I will go for a bike ride, spend some birthday money on an umbrella stand for my Mary Poppins Umbrella (Thanks Mom and Dad!!!), have dinner at the Keg, go Fringing, eat cake pops and perhaps read in the tub with candles and bubbles up to my eyeballs.

There is one thing I want for my birthday. I wish on a star for it every year. I have told the universe about it. I will likely never happen, but I keep hoping. This might actually be the year. However I am patient and can wait another 45 years for it. I will never speak it out loud because that will ruin it. People who know me well will be able to figure it out. When it happens I will cry. It costs nothing. There is not a dollar amount to be had, yet it would be priceless to me. I tear up thinking about it. Sigh…..

Meanwhile, I am thankful for so many wonderful friends and family, my cup is really over flowing. Now that I am 45 have figured out what is important to me, what I dislike and will no longer tolerate and what I cannot live without. Well… I could live without it but I choose not to. Here is my list, The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in list:

  1. Long lovely chats with friends. I have a few friends who I NEED to spend time with. I need it like I need air to breath. I will stop everything to answer their call, text or email. I will not give them up in spite of how crazy they make me. I love them and they love me. I will defend them to the death and I know they have my back too. In fact I have had war of words and made enemies with people because of my need to defend and protect these 3 people. I won’t say who they are, they know it and that’s all that matters.
  2. Music. I had lost music for a while and I blame myself when I want to blame that fellow who TOOK my stereo to his office to use for the switch board and never replaced it until a decade later when I received my first iPod. But really…I should have told him to fek off and demand music in my life not TV. I am  not a TV watcher. I watch movies and news and even not so much news because I read my news on social networking sites. But Music is my passion, it lifts me, it relaxes me, transports me to other places, dimension and feelings. I have everything from Disney to ZZ Top in my rotation and tons of other genres in between – except Michael Jackson. I never enjoyed his music, even when he was a black dude. His “woos” and “aaahhhhs” make me want to punch him in the face. I endured 2 showings of Captain EO and that is 40 minutes of my life I will never get back. NEVER. Today will be about some Disney ride soundtracks and park loops so I can reminisce about birthdays past and future.
  3. Bikes. in high school I would ride my bike from Sherwood Park to Edmonton through the river valley. My babies stopped me for a while, mostly because of cash to have the proper safety equipment. I gave up my career to be the best mom I could for them, but that meant giving up other stuff so they could stay healthy and have things like food and shelter. I’m going for a bike ride today and I cannot wait! I’m taking Chatterbox’s bike because Genetic offsprings bike is too big and he doesn’t share. I have no idea where I am going but that is part of the adventure of cycling.
  4. Books. I am reading my 30th book of the year – not including text books and books for my classes. 30 books for pleasure. |I have expanded my genre horizon and tried books that scared me before. I read books that bored me, scared me and horrified me. I read books that made me weep, made me explore my sexual side and taught me new lessons. I read books that made me want to travel to distant places and stay away from places. Today will be spent with Steve Jobs. I am half way through his biography and am shocked, enthralled, inspired and motivated.
  5. Arts. Today is about dramatic Arts. I will fringe today. I haven’t been able to get to the art gallery in quite some time, but i am going on Monday. I write daily on my book, blog and in letters to friends. I am working on a painted piece for a friend. I draw, sketch and paint on a regular basis. Being creative releases the ugly and keeps me smart and focused. I use it to take my mind off anxiety causing events, to be closer to people from my past and present and people who are no longer with me. i do it because i think of them and in return, they inspire me.
  6. Snuggles. There is nothing finer than having your kiddos meet you at the airport and hug you in public, except when they let you kiss them on the cheek.
  7. Laughter. I had lost this for a bit during my depression. I would laugh, but never hard. I missed it. I get the occasional note or text from a friend that makes me howl and brings tears to my eyes. Keeping it light and silly is fun for me. Now that I have climbed out of the dark abyss I am laughing again. Love it!

Seven things that I indulge in always. I know the list will grow as I figure out stuff. I indulge in things that make me smile and say no to those things I hate, that I use to do because it was expected. Well I am I 45 now, time to put on purple lipstick and get my cranky pants on because just because YOU expect something from me doesn’t mean I will indulge you. Find the things that make you happy – they are events, circumstances not stuff you buy, things you make people do. Having someone do something for you un asked and uninvited is lovely beyond words. I have discovered my life is to short to waste on things that have no meaning for me. 45, my life is half done – if I am lucky, so I will spend the next 45 years extending my 64 days of awesome into a life time of awesome.

I need to share what one of my awesome friends sent me for my birthday. He lives in Argentina and we share a love of vintage animation. His humor comes through in  translation, Mr. Google translator is our friend to keep the conversation going. Yet Mr. Google is not the best at helping us, it gets the point across. This little song he made for me made me laugh. I can visualize the animation sequence that needs to go with it.

Vocaroo Voice Message.

 

My life is rich and full with family and friends. Happy Birthday to me! I am one very lucky girl.