Birthday Cake and Navel Gazing, but Mostly Cake. NaNoWriMo Day 14

Words today: 3380 

Total Words: 34,474


Today I’m 6.143 in Dog Years. I think I’ve earned the right to pretend to know some things about my life and dispense folksy wisdom, gentle grumbles, and all-around charming bons mot about Life that apply to exactly no one, but will encourage a lot of people to tell me to be grateful I’m alive.

This is, of course, because whenever one ponders aging , there’s always an indefatigable elf who simply has to ruin a good birthday grumble by bleating, “You’re alive! Isn’t that blessing enough?”

Well, yes, if only because the Internet/Death situation is unclear at best.  How am I supposed to blog and reaffirm my faith in humanity via reading the Yahoo News comments section with no Afterlife WiFi?

Of COURSE I’m happy to be alive, Mary Sunshine, and one of the things I like the most about it is being able to suss out what is good, bad, and in that wide nuanced area in between.

When the Earth reaches this general point in its travels around the sun, I allow myself the conceit of straddling the present moment, with one foot in the past year, one foot in the next…sort of a navel gazing Warrior Pose.

In short, here’s what I think about and have learned about the whole damn living thing so far:

  1. Put lists in no particular order.
  2. There are certain ages, and I’m just starting one, that are not fun. They aren’t divisible by 5, they don’t connote the arrival of privileges, they aren’t milestones. It is then we search for significance in pop culture. The good news is that you quickly forget how old you are and what you were doing on the internet in the first place. At that point, it is wi—HEY, GET OFF MY LAWN!
  3. Patty-whack machine jokes after a certain age (yours or mine) will earn you a restraining order. And a fedora.
  4. Facebook has simplified and complicated birthdays. My personal rule is, everyone on my list gets a birthday wish. If I hesitate at all, or if I don’t want to take fifteen seconds to write a message, then I don’t deserve to have you as a friend. I understand other people have other personal rules, which is why this is my rule and not something I am imposing on all of humanity.
  5. I do not and probably never will enjoy going to a salon for a manicure or a pedicure. I do my own nails. I feel silly if someone else does my nails.
  6. Number 5 above will probably invite several comments about how people love their salons, their mani/pedis, their “me” time, and also how could I not?
  7. Number 6 will irritate me to an irrational level.
  8. My birthdays are more fun for my kids than they are for me. I, in turn, enjoy being a source of enjoyment and cake.
  9. My family worked hard to give me gifts that are things I love/need. There was a coffee and wine theme that brings me great mirth and mild concern that I’ve become a cliche. I still insist that because I don’t drink Chardonnay, I’m not quite at Suburban Mom Level: Meme.
  10. I am starting to wonder about what my headstone will read, and have already expressed my wish that the word “Henpeck” is not on there.
  11. I’m no longer saving my “good stuff” for company or special days, which is why I’m wearing my my bedazzled Crocs and that one bra that doesn’t need safety pins.
  12. A knack for putting my foot in my mouth has taught me to apologize quickly and deeply. If you aren’t a master-through-experience at the art of apology by my age, you either haven’t lived an exciting life or you are an asshole.
  13. Family is a choice.
  14. Love is always the right choice.
  15. I’ve received a lot of messages today wishing me well. The words that have made me feel like maybe my time wandering around my own life haven’t been all in vain (or vainly done) are “kind” and “funny.” These words are the fastest way to my heart, unless you prefer the more direct route of cracking through my rib cage.
  16. In line with that, sometimes it takes a lot of courage to be kind, and definitely courage to be funny in a way that punches in the right direction. I’m feeling bolder being myself every day, and enjoying it immensely. It is this kind of small courage that has allowed me to submit my writing to several editors — and have it accepted; to say yes to myself and no, thank you to others when for so long it was the other way around; to do more for those causes that I believe bring good into the world.
  17. Stop lists at random numbers.

Yes, aging is not for sissies, but youth is also too often trying to balance on stilts while standing on a trembling fault line.

I’ve got this.

Who wants some cake?


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