I turn twenty-nine today, and the one thing that keeps running through my head when I think about it is this, one of my favorite moments from Friends:
Chandler says it all, no?
Anyway, birthdays can be a natural time for a little reflection. I’d be lying if I said that my 29th year was an easy one, or even a particularly great one, but despite that, during the past year I have managed to discover a few happy things that have added a little glimmer of joy to my days.
So, in honor of finding the little things that make up a happy life, and in honor of my 29th year, here they are.
Lipstick. This is sort of a recent thing. I’ve never been opposed to lipstick in the past, but it also has never really occurred to me to use it -- except on super fancy occasions (like my own wedding). But I threw some on as an afterthought when I was pretending to be a fancy person for a fundraiser for my husband’s work, and I felt flirty and fun and attractive and confident. It cheered me up and got me in the mood to socialize. Then a few weeks later we were going to a wake and I put some on, and it helped me feel grown-up and a little cheered-up, despite where we were going. Sometimes a little transformation is good for the soul.
Rutabaga. Have you ever eaten rutabaga? It’s like a potato, kind of, or a turnip, but bigger and sweeter and it does so many delicious things. You can mash it or puree it or roast it until it gets all crispy and caramelized. Sometimes I even make rutabaga fries. I used it in a stir fry a few weeks ago and I got so excited about it that I tweeted about it.
It’s a good vegetable to keep in your back pocket when you’re stuck for dinner ideas. (Not literally, though, because that would be really uncomfortable.)
Scotch. Everyone who knows me knows that I love a good cocktail or a glass of wine, but I never thought to try scotch until my brother started getting into it (props to him). I’m still working on acquiring the taste, but sometimes there’s not much that can beat sipping on a classy glass of scotch on a cold winter’s night. In fact, my brother was at my place recently and couldn’t decide what to drink. He turned to me and asked, “You don’t have any Glenmorangie, do you?” and I said yes! He was impressed (and I was impressed with myself). Cheers to feeling like a grown-up with a grown-up drink.
Cats. I’m fudging this one a bit since I actually started not hating cats during my 28th year, I think, but year 29 is the year that I started loving them. I guess it’s really most accurate to say that I love my cat, who came home with us in January of this year and who is maybe two-thirds adorable, one-third terrifying. I don’t really have strong feelings about other people’s cats. But I do love my Magnolia (Maggie), a beautiful mackerel tabby who simultaneously keeps me company and makes me jealous as she naps next to me during my work days (I work from home). I take too many pictures of her. My husband gave me cat earrings as an early birthday gift and I am wearing them now. Something about her soft furry self and her crazy night time meowing just makes me love life a little bit more.
Blogging. Let’s be real, blogging has been around for a long time now, and as someone who has always loved writing, I should have gravitated toward it much sooner than I did. My husband and some other family members have been after me to write in this format for ages. But here we are -- I finally did it -- and surprise, surprise, I love it. It’s rewarding to blog about a topic that has meaning for people in all walks of life, and to hear some of your responses about how a particular post has impacted you or a loved one. And it’s been therapeutic for me to put words and expressions to the illness that has, at times, taken over my life in such a dramatic way. I feel empowered, less alone, more like myself.
So, that’s it. Some silly and not-so-silly takeaways from my 29th year. Thanks for reading and being a part of it -- here’s to starting off my thirtieth with authenticity and honesty, here and in all the other parts of our lives.