I had another birthday. Can you believe it? (Oh you can? Okay.) Looking back at my previous two birthday posts, I noticed both contained the word “marred.” As in, something went awry. This time, I think the whole year was marred. In the last twelve months, our house was burglarized, my husband was laid off, and surely some other less memorable but still unfortunate shit happened too.
When looked at in that particular light, I am not sorry to see the year go, despite the fact I’m not super fond of the fact I keep getting older. Though smarter people might choose not to define a year by negatives, I’ve decided to see my new year as a gift. A time to take the crap that has happened, crumple it up, throw it away (no recycling here) and move on to better things.
In the last quarter of my year, I did something kind of interesting. I took a very short, one-month contract gig grading the essay portion of a standardized test. This was truly a weird job. But I like weird. All the best stories come from weird. And this job hired many, many new people all at once. That made it was easy to make friends, not only because we were new, but because, weirdly enough, everyone was great.
When my birthday crept up, I decided to invite a couple of new friends and a couple of old friends to a tea party – sans little ones tugging on our shirts every five seconds. I cleaned my house, I got out the good plates, I made my favorite appetizers, and I had a great time. It was, to me, the perfect little gathering and an auspicious way to start a new year.
The effort I put into the party paid off in happy vibes and leftovers. It was just another reminder that the good things are the things you make. My other favorite revelation of the year was when I used the men’s room in a Starbucks because it was unoccupied and I got tired of waiting for the women’s room. You know what happened? Nothing. My friend boiled the essence of that life lesson down to, “do stuff, no one cares.” I think that’ll be my new year mantra.
So here’s to a new year of happy vibes and doin’ stuff. Happy birthday, moi!