Monday, June 22, 2009

The Birthday Project

Today is my birthday, and I woke up feeling pathetic.  This was annoying.  My reality is that this is the lamest birthday in all of the history of my birthdays, which I could probably handle if it was my 27th birthday instead of my Not 27th Birthday.  I got stuck working, it's going to be a billion degrees outside today, and the AC is non-functional in my house, which means that it will be a billion plus 6 degrees in the apartment, the insurance company denied my appeal and I'm going to have to pull three thousand dollars out of my ass to pay medical bills, and I get the feeling I'll be going to go home to a messy house and kids who will wonder why I'm in such a pissy mood, and those same children will not only do nothing for me for my birthday, but will, in fact, ask me to do some sh*t for THEM, and nothing special will transpire for me all day--I'll make my own dinner, there will be no gifts of any kind, no lottery winnings, etc.
Of course...this pathetic-ness is sponsored by the greeting card industry.  Of course you're supposed to have an amazing, special day, with everyone fawning over and doing nice things for you and making you feel like your being born was the Hap-Hap-Happiest thing to ever happen in the history of time.  Of course you are!  The greeting card industry is counting on your sheer amazingness and vast network of loved ones to bring them out of the economic downturn.  It HAS to be a perfect day!
As I was driving to work, I thought it would be helpful if someone could tell me a story about someone who has it way worse than me, so I could feel lucky.  I know that there are many people facing incredibly difficult situations, far, far worse than mine.  Yeah, I got socked with a $3000 medical bill, but there are a lot of people with bigger medical bills than that.  (Please allow me to repeat--DON'T GET SICK, AMERICA!  I mean, I have insurance, and still got stuck paying 3K.  It is TOUGH out there...).  I know that there are people who don't have a freezer full of ice and no means of relief from a billion degree day, and they live in much hotter places than Minneapolis.  There are people who long to have children and can't, or people who have lost children, who would love to be ABLE to pick up after their kid.  And plenty of people are a lot older than me, and there are plenty of people my age who are in poor health and can't even enjoy being 43.
Those are the stories I wanted to hear today, because I believe that on a scale of pathetic-ness, my pathetic-ness is, well, pathetic.  Lots of people have it way worse, and probably a lot of them aren't nearly as whiny as me.
What I decided to do instead of searching "Really Unfortunate and Sad Tales of Woe" on the internet, was to start listing things that are AWESOME about my life right now.  I want to see how long a list I can make, and here is the dealio--I'll just go until I feel like stopping.  How much stuff can I cram in?  Who knows?  But even a very short list of AWESOME is better than a long list of Lame.  And I'm sure my day won't end up being as lame as it felt this morning... no particular are some things that are AWESOME.
  • My children are healthy, intelligent, challenging, and may have quite literally saved my life, just by being born.  They give me focus and purpose, pride and absolute amazement, every single day.  And they're gorgeous.
  • I have a car that is not making any weird noises, runs great, doesn't have any ominous dashboard lights currently lit, has room for me and everybody who wants or needs a ride somewhere, has a killer stereo, and the AC works like a dynamo.
  • I have the ability to honor all of the agreements that I make, including paying all of my bills.
  • I have the ability to find amusement in the fact that one of my co-workers wrote a letter to a police department, accidentally addressed it "(blank) County Lawn Enforcement" and MAILED IT THAT WAY, alone with many, many other delightful and harmless boo-boo's that happen at the hands of myself and others, every day.  Even when they are damned embarrassing...
  • I have the ability to write and read, which will bring me infinite joy and satisfaction for the rest of my life. 
  • I have an amazing group of friends, who do all kinds of nice things for me all the time, for no other reason than because they want to.
  • I am free from crippling mental or physical ailment.
  • I can hear the birds singing!
  • The world is FULL of amazing, creative, witty and intelligent souls who make stuff!
  • I work in a beautiful, air conditioned building.
  • There is always a good story to tell.
  • We have the ability to instantly communicate with each other.
  • I can make weird, random lists and call it "writing".
  • Somebody invented Pandora.
  • I have a closet stuffed full of great clothes that are all clean and fit me.
  • Coffee is readily available.
  • I mentally sing the alphabet song while filing.
  • Ever since I moved to Minneapolis, I have been losing weight.
  • Nick Cobbing's ice pictures actually make me forget it is hot outside.
  • Dancing!
  • I'm a lot more than what people think I am, and surprising them is not only very satisfying, but also wickedly fun.
  • Playing Monkey-Ball on Game Cube with Punky. (yes, we still have a Game Cube!)
  • I don't have to wear thick glasses or contacts any more.
  • Everything in life comes in heaps and gobs.
  • Every time I date stamp something today, I am reminded that it is my birthday, bitches!
  • It's perfectly acceptable for me to pretend I don't have grey hair and wipe it out with cool hair colors--it's even acceptable for me to pretend any one of those cool colors is my "real" hair color, which I haven't actually seen in years.
  • Most of the time, I get what I want.
  • I have the ability to see past what people say, and get to what they actually mean.
  • I still get hungry.
  • I have access to lots of things that more than satisfy my hunger.
  • There are people out there who's observations of the world completely humble me.
  • Cute Boys.  Cute boys who stare at you across a room full of people.  Cute boys who keep an eye on you and pretend like they're not.  Sneaky.
  • Sunshine.  Sunglasses.
  • I can get on the internet from my phone.  (one of those things I will never take for granted...)
  • Diet Peach Iced Tea is also readily available.
  • People who know things about me that I don't want the whole world to know, and they don't judge.
  • Those little works of art called "shoes".
  • Somebody is making music somewhere, right now.
  • Someone is making pizza somewhere, right now.
  • There is little or nothing that ever gets thrown my way that I can't handle.
  • I am inspired, and also inspiring.
  • Food!  Glorious Food!  Starting with the tequila-lime chicken I had for lunch, and the chocolate chip cookie that I had for dessert.
  • I spend so little money on gambling that when somebody gave me scratch tickets for my birthday, after I scratched them, I had to ask if I won anything.
  • I have a  much better perspective about what I want today than I have at any other time in my life.
  • I have friends I can call when I'm pissed, sad, mopey, weepy, or feeling generally bad.
  • My friends know that they can call me for the same reasons.
  • I have the ability to change my mind about more than just clothes and food.  I can actually change my brain, and turn a lame day into a great day.
  • As long as this list is, it is just the tip of the ice berg


  1. Happy Birthday! Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprise. Maybe.

  2. :-) Pleasantly surprised is the best kind....


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