03 October 2013

the days of my life

Like sands through the hour glass, my time is running out. Seriously, my birthday is going to come and go before I even realize it. A few years ago I forgot how old I was. I had a lot going on in my life at the time and, though I'm pretty sure I must have celebrated somehow, I forgot about the actual number. I hit fast forward and was suddenly 28 instead of 27. It wasn't until my actual 28th birthday was approaching that I realized what I'd done. So for two years when people asked how old I was I replied '28.' Yikes! Well, 30 is a much bigger deal than 27 or 28 in my opinion and with all this hemin' and hawin' I better make an effort to savor every moment of it. Hence, my dirty thirty bday countdown. How am I doing? Let's look to numbers 61 - 90 to see how we're progressing...

#61. these guys! here's an embarrassing picture.
now we're even!
61. Forgive your parents - For what? They never really did anything wrong. Well... Let me take this moment to publicly forgive Lizzie B and Daddy-o for a few things - not letting me play the drums; refusing to let me eat fruit roll-ups and gushers; keeping the house so chilly that Tricia and I would fight over who got to sit on the heater vent, then making us say something nice and hug; not letting me have a kitten because I was "allergic"; letting me get away with all kinds of things I probably shouldn't have gotten away with. Seriously, I jokingly hold a grudge against them for this meaningless list of "wrong-doings" but most of them were actually ok. I have very few cavities, I love my sister a whole lot, I now have a kitty, I'm energy efficient and aware of the value of a chunky sweater in the wintertime, and I've learned a lot from everything I got away with. So there's no real need for them to be absolved of anything. The drums though... I only begrudgingly forgive you for that. 
62. Stop chronic over-apologizing - Sure there are a lot of things I'm sorry about and, when it's necessary and right to apologize to someone because I'm at fault, I will not hesitate to utter those two little words. But there are a lot of things I shouldn't be sorry for and you know what? #sorrynotsorry I'm proud of my accomplishments and I know when I'm in the right so I will not be shamed into saying sorry. I'm sorry, did that sound too mean? Just joshin!
63. Be a dork - Have you met me? Have you been paying attention at all? I let my freak flag fly high and am not ashamed of my dorky, dweeby, nerdy, geeky, or goofy habits and hobbies. I can't help but give Miss Zooey Deschanel credit for introducing the world to the term 'adorkable'. Yup, I like to think that's me to a tee.
#64. life lessons learned from Mean Girls
64. Stop slamming other women - I am very very very anti-bully. I was bullied as an adolescent (at various times and to different severities,) and it led me to be an anxious, self-conscious, and confused lady for a long time. It was awful but I toughed it out. Over time I've grown out of most of my insecurities and I've become the best version of myself; confident and content with who I am but still wanting more in an unselfish way. But it was hard for a long time and I don't want any other woman to feel the way I did. Because of that I refuse to contribute to any conversation that could actively or passively lead to another person, not just women, feel bad about themselves. Stop hating, dissing and envying each other and just be supportive and loving, it's a lot easier.
65. Get waxed down there - TMI but we'll just check that off and move on...
66. Adopt another motherland - So long as it isn't Brazil! (see above) My first solo travel adventure to Spain was incredible. I still plan on spending a year of my life there, even if I have to wait until my 80th birthday to take that plunge. The beautiful countryside, the vibrant cities, the food, the warm and generous people, the culture! That beautiful place stole my heart and I dream of it often, awaiting my return.

#66. viva Espana

67. Tell someone your deepest, darkest secret - It's deep and dark for a reason. You'll just have to trust that it's been told to someone because that someone sure as hell isn't the entire internet!
68. Read your old diaries - How humiliating! I've been keeping a diary since I was in the fourth grade. I remember that first one very well - bought at a stationary store while visiting my grandparents in Chesapeake, VA. It was bound cloth and paper with an antique stamp design and I used multi-colored scented pens to write entries about my earliest crushes, wild ideas of adulthood, plans for my future, fights with my mom and sister, complaints about all manner of inane things, awful school stories, teenage girl poetry, and myriad daydreams. It's funny to look back on them and realize that, though the handwriting and eloquence has changed (drastically,) what I write about hasn't changed too much. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I've shared bits and pieces with people every once in awhile but I still keep most of what I've written to myself. Maybe one of these days I'll pull out one of my earliest entries and share it for you, dear readers. I can't imagine anything more humbling than that!
69. Have your fortune told - I wanted to have this done in New Orleans but I never got around to it. I did have my tarot cards read when I was in college and that was interesting.  I think that counts.
#70. can you please hand me a tissue?
70. Cry often - Is it strange that I love a good cry? Like anyone else I've had my fair share of usual cries - break-up, wedding, life (funeral or birth,) one too many glasses of wine, fight with a friend, injury, et al. But every once in awhile I just need a good cry to let it all, but nothing in particular out. I've got a few go-to sources for these water works including, but not limited to, sad song playlists, saccharine sweet rom coms, favorite books, and baby animal pictures. I still don't quite understand why baby animal pictures open up my flood gates, but a little donkey with pink casts. I can't, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
71. Give yourself flowers - I love flowers. Lovelovelove! In my humble opinion, fresh flowers always make a house seem homier and warmer and more welcoming. When I have the cash to splurge I always make sure that there's a little mason jar filled with pretty blossoms on my kitchen table or end table. When the cash isn't flowing, I have been known to snip a street hydrangea or pop some pretty herbs in a bud vase, which actually adds a lovely and natural scent to a room while still being pretty, green and alive. My favorites, in case you wanted to send some my way, are poppies, peonies, tulips and ranunculus. 
72. Stop looking for a soul mate - I'm a self-admitted romantic of the worst kind. I love a good rom-com, love songs make me cry, I love big bold YouTube proposals (though would never want one for myself,) and I yearn for my very own Lloyd Dobler. But I do not believe in soul mates. There are far too many people in this world, it's just a terribly illogical concept. If soul mates existed that means that most people are settling for something less than that because they've never traveled the world or met millions of people and it's hard to believe that your one-and-only is found as conveniently as they typically are. Seriously, having to live through a bunch of internet dates before finding someone you love is not a lifelong quest to find your other half nor is it that inconvenient (unless you're a Charlotte and no one I know wants to be the Charlotte.) There are many opportunities to love and, if you're lucky, you find an out of this world love that works for you and only you and that's what really matters.

#72. Wild, wonderful, lose yourself, unconditional love is not the same as soul mates. 
73. Give props to a teacher - After I successfully passed my first few college Lit courses, I sent a thank you note to Mr. Schultz, the greatest teach I've ever had. Seriously, I don't know that I would have found my direction had it not been for his instruction. Thanks again Mr. Schultz! You were truly amazing and I'm grateful for everything you taught me.
74. Learn how not to be a flake - I can't take total credit for this as it's actually Lizzie B's doing. She always made sure I was ready and waiting (oftentimes sitting patiently on the bottom step,) when someone was coming to pick me up or meet me for something. Now I'm always the one waiting on other people and lateness/flakiness is something I don't tolerate very well. I will always be on time for everything.
75. Be notorious for something / 76. Bounce back / 77. Develop a Plan B - This is a pretty personal one for me so I won't go into too much detail. This also kind of goes hand in hand with #37 to some extent. I thought I had a plan and I did my very best to follow through with that plan. Needless to say, unfortunately or fortunately, it didn't work out exactly as I'd hoped. But I learned a lot - about myself, about love, about life, about relationships and expectations - from that experience and I think I'm slightly better for it. Did it have to go down the way it did for me to become who I am? Probably not but that's life, right? C'est la vie - #28. What matters is that I did come back from it with a lot of knowledge and experience and new ideas about how I believe my life is meant to be lived. It wasn't immediate, it wasn't easy, it just was. And although those experiences haven't been forgotten just yet, they're fading in the distance of my very bright future.
78. Buy a kick-ass mattress / 79. Build a raging campfire - I can't say that I've done either of these things myself but I'm checking those off because I've found a honey that's done them for me. I had a pretty rad mattress but his was bigger (fit for a Queen,) so when we moved in together it was his that we kept. Though I bought the box spring for it so that kind of counts. As for the raging campfire, how about a bonfire on the banks of the East River at 5AM? Sure it resulted in a ticket for trespassing and a visit to court but it makes for a good story. Plus we got out of the fine for being so adorably romantic and in love; also, we ate delicious Russ & Daughters bagel sandwiches for breakfast after our early morning judgement!
80. Read: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, MD - I didn't read this but I did read The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan and I think that it was an important and educating lady book so I'm checking this off anyway. I'll put the other one on my reading list and be sure to read it by 31.
#81. Brian & Jillian, BFFL
81. Track down your best friend from kindergarten - Thanks to Facebook this isn't that hard to do, you can keep in touch and stay in contact with everyone you've ever known. Also, thanks to the fact that our grandmothers were bridge buddies, our moms have been friends forever, and our birthdays are just about a month off, we're still pretty close. We're almost like brother and sister, really. Hey Brian, I hope you're taking notes because the big 3-0 is just around the corner for you!
82. Jettison your "skinny" jeans / 83. Give yourself a make-under - I'm pretty sure this is called Sunday.
84. Tie a few knots - I can thank Honey for this one, too. Though he can tie his own tie (Catholic school,) and loads of other knots (Eagle Scout,) I've watched him enough to get the gist of it. I'm also unbelievably good at untying knots. I think this is a result of my mop top of kinky curls. Double check for this one!
85. Negotiate for something expensive - I once found the most beautiful vintage fancy cocktail dress, almost a ball gown but tea length. It was so stunning but about three sizes too small (you know how vintage sizes work.) Well, even though it didn't fit my busty, chubby ass I wanted it. But not only did the garment not quite fit, the price was a little too big for my ittybitty wallet. So I bargained for it and I got it! Now my shape has shrunk, my wallet has grown and I wear my fancy dress around to bars every once in awhile just for the heck of. I'm fancy, huh!
86. Perfect your AM stretch - I've learned from my cat, Macaroni the joys of a good, long stretch when you first start moving. Mmmm I love a nice reach in the morning, after a workout, even while standing at the counter making supper. I should go to yoga more often.
87. Stock an emergency disaster kit - My emergency disaster kit contains wine, beef jerky, candy, a deck of cards and a good book. My much more prepared and realistic honey is better about this than me and makes sure we have fire starters, tools, knot skills, food, water, camping supplies, a bow, etc. It's that Eagle Scout instinct, I guess. However, I'm the one with the entertainment!
88. Escape creeps and kick criminal ass - I've fallen in with the wrong crowd before. I've gone places I probably shouldn't have. I've been robbed. I am aware of the many bad things that can happen to people in this unpredictable world. I've never taken a self defense class before, but I'd be lying if I told you that being able to stand up for myself and hold my ground wasn't part of my motivation for getting shape. And now I can beat honey at arm wrestling... well, thumb wrestling at the very least.
89. Research your family's medical history - Now that I have health insurance (#31) I finally have a regular doctor. But until now, I've had to visit clinics and residency programs and hospitals to get my bumps and bruises fixed up. That meant filling out new forms every time I had the slightest of sniffles. Because of that, I'm pretty familiar with the medical woes my family has faced.
90. Get over yourself - I am not perfect. I am not the most beautiful person in the world. I have flaws. All I can do is strive to be my most perfect self and be a positive part of the lives surrounding me. I'll tease about my awesomeness, but I'm well aware that there are millions of people in this world far more intelligent and earth-shattering than me, making differences that I've never even considered. Be the change you wish to see in the world is some pretty good life advice. I try to think of that often. Also, by being kind, humble and gracious the world can be a more loving and beautiful place to exist. I want to live in that world.

Ten more list checks and two more days. Tick tock tick tock.

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