Monday, September 10

The birthday.

[Polaroid SLR680SE camera + PX680 V4C Opacification Test Film]

So the birthday has come and gone and now I am 42 although for some reason, I still continue to be convinced that I am 43.

A few days before the birthday week, I was feeling a lot of melancholy. I knew I wasn't concerned about being another year older. I mean, what's 42? Not a big deal. So I finally decided it was coming from the lack of travel. We typically take a big road trip this time of year and we're not doing anything this year. And that makes my heart hurt just a little big. We need the freedom of the road, the escape from our daily routines. And some time with good friends. But finances are tight and there is some other stuff going on that just won't allow travel right now. Or even plans of travel. We're trying to make due by being a little better about taking day trips around the area.

The melancholy passed and I rather enjoyed the days leading up to my birthday.

Birthday treat #1: My husband took my vintage Raleigh cruiser to the bike shop for me because that's the sort of thing that I don't really like to do. It's a sweet bike, but I rarely ride it because the brakes are crap. But after 2 years of not riding it, I pulled it out this summer and rode it some on the bike trail where I don't have to worry about cars so much. And I decided I would like to ride it around town this fall. They put on new brake pads and cables and it actually stops properly now. Very exciting! (And I finally bought a bike helmet too.)

Birthday treat #2: I bought myself a Mint Flash, something that I've been wanting for awhile. It's a bit tricky, but in the long run, I think it'll be a nice addition to my Impossible collection.

Birthday treat #3: I made it to the top of the Aspen Vista trail. I died just a little bit, but I made it. (It's an almost 12 mile trek roundtrip, starting at 10,000 feet and going up to 12,003 feet.) And after I came home and lay down on the floor for a few minutes, showered, ate and took a quick nap, I actually felt a little like a bad ass.

Birthday treat #4: We actually made it out dancing. We almost didn't because it fell on the same day as my 12-mile run and I thought I would be too tired. But in the end, I preserved and we walked downtown to the Rouge Cat for the premiere of 80s night. It was a lot of fun (even though Will only danced with me two or three times), and we had a nice chat with the super cool bouncer lady. She made my eyes pop out with stories about seeing Led Zeppelin in 1969 and the early 70's. And meeting Patti Smith!!

Birthday treat #5: Friday evening margaritas and New Mexican food at our latest favorite place to go, La Choza.

Birthday treat #6: A short day trip out to Abiquiu and Abiquiu Lake so I could take photos and say hello to Pedernal Peak, Georgia O'Keeffe's favorite mountain.

As for my actual birthday, I kind of goofed up by not planning much of anything besides dinner out. I had a lovely run in the morning but ended up spending the day feeling rather restless. For dinner, we went to Geronimo because I've been wanting to try the elk tenderloin that is one of their specialities. And we'd never been there before so we figured we should try it. The food was wonderful, but the overall dining experience left us feeling rather dissatisfied. I shall try to make another post just about the food and the experience. In lieu of dessert, we headed over to our neighborhood pub and had a beer to cap off the evening. That too was a bit disappointing because none of the folks we like to see were there, and, well, we really didn't need the beer!

All in all it was a nice time and I feel good about my life. It's not anywhere near perfect. (Um, hello, where's that part-time job that I need?!) But it's okay. I am content. And yes, sometimes I worry that I am mistaking contentment with stagnancy, but you know what? After so many years of beating myself up for one thing or another, of disliking myself, of being stuck in a mire of depression and/or anxiety, I think I am going to go with content. I am content. And I like who I am, even the not so likable bits. And I am enjoying myself and the life that I have right now. Maybe I am just getting by financially, but that's okay, money has never been the end all for me. I have time to do what I want to do, to explore new things, to have adventures and I think it's pretty awesome. Because this time, this time might not always be available to me. So I am going to love it while I have it. And it's really quite a blessing to get up in the morning and feel good (more often than not). I guess if there's anything I can say about the last year or so, it's that I have learned a lot about acceptance and compassion.

Plus I have a really wonderful husband! But that I already knew.

Now if only I could learn how to write more eloquently...


  1. happy belated birthday, and i love that you had so many birthday treats. and i think you write rather eloquently, and expressed many of the things i struggle with more elegance that i can! cheers to a great 42nd year!

  2. what a great post juli! sounds like you know how to celebrate!! I hear you on contentment, one of the goals i've written for myself for this year is "be happy with what you have" because i'm often comparing and wanting when really, when i look at what i have it's more than plenty (in the ways of love, friends, family and wonderful online friends:)). here's to being happy! XO


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