A friend, who just passed the age to qualify for a senior discount at the movies, told me: “From now on, I’ll start counting birthdays only by 5’s and skip the years in between.” I use that same metric for throwing big bashes, so this July 29 I quietly celebrated with a long walk along the fog-shrouded ocean at Bodega Dunes Beach.
One should always be grateful for another birthday, especially considering the alternative. But often I am (and maybe you are too) always “on to the next thing” without giving even the slightest acknowledgment of what I’ve already achieved. Why not take just a few moments, or even a whole day, to do a “celebration of myself”? (Not on the level of Walt Whitman’s monumental poem, of course.)
As my birthday approached, I made a quick list of: the things I had intended to accomplish and did; the things I planned for and executed well; and the things that fell upon me by grace and luck that I had the good sense to notice and be grateful for. Maybe it’s something only a double Leo would do, but I recommend it for your next birthday, along with enjoying good food, satisfying beverages, candle blowout wishing and the company of friends.
This is not bragging any more than posting pictures of our European vacations on Facebook is bragging. It is a sharing, something to which we lift our champagne flutes.
Here’s my list, since last birthday, in no particular order:
–I intended to revise my Advance Health Care Directive, make a new will, and set up a Living Trust by my 71st birthday. I sign the papers this Thursday.
–I planned to research and create a crowd-funding campaign to help me pay for participating in an Arthur Murray Ballroom Dance competition. “Help Fund Jennie’s Chance to Dance” has a lot of moving parts, but is currently in process and getting responses from donors every week.
–With the expertise of Ned Buratovich, I revamped my website to emphasize my freelance commercial writing, posted samples of my work, and re-started my blog.
–With the help of Geo Howard, I updated my computer equipment and software and navigated the disruptions and challenges those changes posed without getting TOO agitated.
–I partnered with Sonoma Conservatory of Dance to write several grant proposals. So far, The Conservatory has received a significant amount of money from Creative Sonoma/Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. We hope to get additional positive results from other grants I have prepared.
–My article “Hularama: My Hawaiian Dance Adventure” was recognized in the Arthur Murray Marquee as “well worth reading” because “Jennie is a fantastic writer” and will be published in the testimonial book that goes to all the national Arthur Murray studios.
–I renewed my passport before it expired. Even though the passport book I turned in had no stamps in it, I’ll need the new one for the return trip to Italy I’m dreaming about… for the 75th anniversary of my birth.
Now there’s an intention I hope to celebrate accomplishing in July 2021!