Welcome back (or welcome, period if you’re new here!) to my Birthday Gratitude Series. If you missed the earlier installments, they’re here and here. As you may have noted, I started celebrating my birthday several days before the actual day (which was Wednesday). On Wednesday I treated myself to a facial at Creme De La Creme, per my girl Joelle‘s recommendation. They do a nice Groupon for new clients, and I got a bunch of fancy treatments, including a microdermabrasion. I’d never done that before. It felt like a cat licking my face. And I liked it. I am filing that under one of life’s many mysteries. Dan treated me to possibly the best present anyone has ever given anyone in the history of presents. I know I’m prone to hyperbole but it left me speechless. It was that good. I promise I’ll tell you what it was soon!
But picking up where we left off…
Having little kids is exhausting. Thankfully, their shenanigans leave them fatigued as well. Our kids (ages 1.5 and 3.5) are usually in bed by 7pm. Theoretically, Dan and I could watch a movie after they go to bed. Realistically, if we watch anything, it’s an episode of something on Netflix because it’s way shorter than a movie, and like I said, we’re exhausted. Most of the time, I’m doing the same stuff I do during nap time (see #22). Sometimes I am mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed for way too long but that always makes me feel like I binge watched The Hills while inhaling a box of Wheat Thins (e.g. gross).
21) Aziz Ansari
He’s funny, he doesn’t use superfluous curse words, he’s not racist, sexist, or anti-semitic, he’s all over Netflix (stand-up, Parks and Rec, and recently, the hilarious series, Master of None) and all of his work is on the short list of Things Both Dan and Pam Want to Watch.
22) Living in Boulder
I took this amazing bike tour in the fall of 2007 across Arizona, where I made friends with a guy who lived in Boulder. At the time, I was living in Rhode Island, and I was planning to move to California. I’d even obtained a license to work as an occupational therapist there, which requires fingerprints and all kinds of other nonsense. And then my friend was like “I live in Boulder! It’s the best place ever! You should move there!” I’d never met anyone who loved their hometown so much. I was intrigued, and rightly so. The sun shines almost every day. I see the sunrise glowing pink on the Flatirons from my bedroom window. The other day, I ran into no less than five of my neighbors waiting for the light to change, while biking our kids to school.
As much as I love it here, I miss the beach and I miss my family. I miss other things too, like Dell’s lemonade, Caserta’s pizza, the Seven Stars almond croissant, and running without the threat of dogs off-leash. And as much as I complain about air travel, it’s as close as I’ve ever come to experiencing magic.
24) The internet
Speaking of magic, it is also pretty unreal that you can get or find virtually anything you want (or don’t) by pressing a few buttons. I remember when my friend told me about email. I had never heard of it before. It was 1989 and we were in the sixth grade. My friend said you could have mail, but you would only know about it if you turned your computer on and checked for it. My twelve year-old mind was blown. If it weren’t for the internet, I would never have started a blog, and if I’d never started my blog, I may never have realized how much I like to write, which is such a source of joy for me.
Blog friends, IRL friends, training buddies, work friends, old friends, new friends… They feed my soul. I love this friendship quote:
“Some people go to priests. Others to poetry. I to my friends.” —Virginia Woolfe
No one’s family is perfect and mine is no exception. I actually have a theory that the more perfect a family appears, the more messed up they actually are. I probably created that theory to make myself feel better. Imperfections notwithstanding, Dan’s and my family show up for each other.
Family made me think of my father-in-law, who is working on his fourth (!!!) book, which made me think of how much I love books. I always have. I suspect I always will. I feel naked when I don’t have a compelling book on my nightstand or in my bag, along with a stack of at least three on my dresser, waiting to be read. My list of books to read is way too long, thanks in large part to Goodreads and the blog Great New Books.
28) The library
Because free books. As much as I love the internet (see #24), there is something to be said for the feel, the look, and the smell of a real book. And nothing can replace the people you meet at the library. My librarians rule. (I’m giving a big shoutout to my girls Linda and Stella at the GRB!) This is an actual conversation I had with Linda, who is my favorite librarian because she loves the macrabre even more than I do.
[I’m holding a Lucky Day copy of Everything I Never Told You]
Me: What do you think?
Linda: Do you like stories about dead girls?
Linda: You’ll like it.
I loved it.
Lady Bug didn’t sleep through the night until late September. She was nearly 16 months old at that point. It was a long 16 months. There are people who do well on 6 hours of sleep. They feel great, they look great, and they get so much done (Specifically, my friend Kirsten). I am not one of those people. Once I started sleeping 7-8 hours in a row on the regular, I started feeling like myself again. It has been glorious.
To be continued!