Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just Write {7}: Birthday Musings

My birthday was on Monday and I'm still thinking about it.

One of the things rolling around in my head is the fact that out of the roughly 75 people that wished me happy birthday on Facebook or via text, only 5 of them were from college. And of those 5, none were my roommates or closest friends. I won't lie: this hurts. I know that birthday greetings on Facebook aren't always the most sincere or accurate gauges of friendship, but it still feels like a kick in the teeth. Yes, I've not done the best at keeping in touch and maintaining relationships. And yes, I wasn't the best version of me during college. I lacked self-confidence, using bitchiness and sarcasm as defense mechanisms. But I thought I was a loyal friend. I don't like feeling insignificant (who does?).

I am aware of my tendency to over-analyze everything. It's part of who I am and I would have no idea how to not do it.

Every year I find myself wallowing by the end of the day of my birth. I try really hard not to get too excited, not to build unrealistic expectations, but every year I feel disappointed. I guess I will never out-grow the desire to feel special for this one day. To feel it is MY day. I don't want big parties (and never, ever do I want surprise parties) but just a little fuss would be nice. This year I didn't even get a meal out at a restaurant of my choosing.

I really wanted to take the day by the horns and ensure my OWN happiness this year. But I'm not good at standing up and potentially inconveniencing other people. I'm very familiar with the path of least resistance. I also just wasn't sure how to go about it. I thought about baking myself a cake, but then I forgot to buy supplies when we grocery shopped. And I don't have the money to buy myself a birthday present, a little something only I know I want.

So now I have a year to try to think of ways to make MY day special to ME all by MYSELF. Since clearly, I can't figure out how to let go of my childish desire to be special, if only for one day...

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This is my 7th installment of Just Write, "an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments." You can link up with the latest Just Write post by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary here. You can read my first six installments by clicking on the Just Write tag.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Last Week and a Half in Pictures, Mostly

I've worked more hours in the last week than I have in over three years, so my brain is a bit fried. All I want to do is watch mind numbing TV and eat piles of chocolate.

Here are some images of life since I last posted because I am too lazy to include more words:

I walked around a lake.

I jumped off this.

I walked in the woods near this lake.

This house centipede hung out with me at my office.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This weekend was for...

...old friends and new. Recently an old friend from college found me through Fitbit. He and I had lost touch, as he is one of those rare people who refuses to join Facebook. It had been as much as 15 years since we last saw each other (I was still living in Florida!). He and his wife came to town this weekend to celebrate their 5th anniversary by attending a lacrosse game at the university. On Friday night we met them downtown for dinner and drinks. Eventually we were joined by another classmate who I had not seen since graduation. It was really great to see them and catch up. It was also lovely to meet my friend's delightful wife. I hope we can manage to get together somewhat more frequently now that we've reconnected!

...volunteering. My sister's company participated in a clean up effort of the downtown area where they have their office. I joined her and my nephew to help pick up trash. With so many volunteers on the job, we really had to search hard to find anything to pick up besides cigarette butts. We finally made our way towards the highway where we were able to find the usual assortment of discarded beer bottles and drug paraphernalia. We were given t-shirts and free lunch for our efforts, but by far the best part was my nephews enthusiasm for the task. He was so proud of his new shirt!

...dining with friends. Saturday night we went out to dinner with another couple, the woman who performed our wedding ceremony and her husband. We talked about boats, dogs, yoga, green smoothies, and lots more. They are such genuinely good people and always leave me feeling refreshed and somehow lifted up.

...being outside. We spent hours outside on Saturday picking up trash, eating lunch on an outdoor patio, and walking to get ice cream after. Sunday was even warmer. I walked for almost an hour in my neighborhood and spent a couple hours sitting on the front steps reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry. I wore shorts! It was fantastic (less fantastic is the snow that will be falling later today, ugh). I definitely have spring (summer) fever.

Picking up trash with my nephew.
Linking up with Amanda.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Walking

Yesterday I took advantage of the mild weather and headed out to the woods to one of my favorite spring hiking spots. None of the spring wildflowers were up yet, but I'll go back over the next couple weeks and keep an eye on their progress. One of the best things about hiking at this time of year is the bugs aren't out yet. No mosquitoes! No blackflies! No deer flies!

The disadvantage of where I went walking is the gunfire. I had to modify my intended route because someone was training their hunting dog, and at one point guns were being fired on both sides of me. Needless to say, I hightailed it in the opposite direction.

Later in my hike I was turned back by trail closed signs, presumably for nesting Canada geese. I prefer loops whenever possible, but even with having to double-back along the same section of trail it was still a lovely day for a walk.

I heard peepers and wood frogs and saw a painted turtle and a garter snake. It felt blissfully good to be in the woods again without wearing a coat!

Monday, April 07, 2014


This weekend was for... a surprise 60th birthday party for my mother-in-law... a visit to the mall with my sister and nephew, complete with carousel ride and soft pretzels and Cold Stone Creamery... checking out our friends' new house... getting the camper out of winter storage and dropping it off at the marina until our yard firms up enough to bring it home... trimming the bush that scrapes the siding near our bedroom window and keeps us awake at night... sunshine and blue skies on Sunday, a particular relief after the snow/rain/grey on Saturday... homemade Sunday sauce simmering on the stove top... the solar panels cranking out my beloved warmth... getting in two sessions on the elliptical... bottling some of our homemade wine... finishing The Maze Runner by James Dashner...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring Cleaning

I've never been one to get behind the concept of spring cleaning. It's just not my thing. So this year I'm trying something new (to me)... an April Purge.

I have way too much stuff. I have whole rooms devoted solely to storage of STUFF. Boxes and bins and piles of stuff. The majority of which never get opened, and certainly never get used. So the obvious question is why? Why do I have all of this stuff?

So for my April Purge, I will get rid of ONE item EVERY day in April.

It doesn't have to be monumental. The idea is to make this task manageable. I don't want to get burned out by setting this goal too high. The item of the day can be thrown away in the garbage or set aside to be donated and at the end of the month I will take whatever I have amassed to the Salvation Army. The goal is to get it out of my house.

One piece at a time.

If you are anything like me and could stand to get rid of some stuff, please feel free to join me in my April Purge. I will post updates as the month progresses.