Monday, July 28, 2008

And Many More

Today is my birthday. I am a whole quarter-century old as of this afternoon.

In some ways I don’t feel like this day is different because it’s a Monday and I’m at work. But I figured I should take a pause to do some reflecting. My friend Gwen made a list of 34 goals for her 34th birthday, which I was considering doing, but instead I have made a list of my 24 happiest memories of my 24th year. Which would have been probably more appropriate to write last night, as sort of a farewell to that year, but…I was eating brownies last night. No time for blogging.

And so, in no particular order, are my top 24:

1. Visit to Colorado. Two weeks ago, as an early birthday present, I got whisked off to Colorado Springs to be with my girls. The first time in 5 years we’d all four been together, as a unit, which we are in spirit. Those 2 days probably had 24 happiest memories in themselves.

2. Anne moving to DC. I missed her. I love having her close.

3. Jan’s visit to DC. See above.

4. Andrew and his wife visiting/ASP Reunion. Getting to sit in the same place with Andrew and Colleen was amazing. Getting to have a beer with Andrew at my neighborhood bar was…perfect. I love my Harlan family.

5. Spending Thanksgiving with Robin & Co. Turned my perpetually least-favorite holiday into a fantastic and wonderful weekend. I don’t remember the last time I’ve spent so much time with complete strangers and felt so comfortable. And Robin’s futon and dachshund give me joy in equal measure.

6. Getting to spend time with my brother, both over Christmas and for his 22nd birthday. Those times will always make my top list.

7. Halloween. Which is really to say, any amount of time I spent at Tonic in general, but that one night was particularly memorable. Jared might argue that it was negatively memorable, but I sure had a good time J

8. Road trip to Vermont in the fall. For all of the reasons that trip would be awesome to anyone, but with the added bonus of Kevin and Chelsea (and their menagerie), road time with Aaron, and pumpkin pancakes with local maple syrup. When I think about that I feel the air temperature hit that perfect autumn-in-New-England note. Perfect perfect.

9. National Aquarium in Baltimore, for Aaron’s birthday present. We went to the Dolphin Show. No, you don’t have to be a small child to find it amazing.

10. Camping in Shenandoah. The first time was a near disaster that was actually really great. The second time was really great despite my near-death experience exploring the limits of my own hiking exhaustion. Camp food. Mountains. Bears. Dozens of deer.

11. Calling in sick to work and spending the whole day going to the movies with Aaron and playing in the city. (Shhhh don’t tell)

12. Letting Philadelphia grow on me. It does indeed have character. I’m finally learning to love it. (and trying Philly cheesesteaks, that’s a singular top memory)

13. Seeing the Tragically Hip. Twice. Year 25 promises to be even more stunning than 24 as far as concerts goes, but it really takes a lot to top the Hip.

14. Seeing R.E.M. Which got a boost from the presence of Johnny Marr. I was a complete fangirl wreck.

15. Finally working up the guts to get involved in my local Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. Turns out drinking beer and crocheting with interesting, funny, smart people my age is pretty much my number one way to spend a Tuesday.

16. Developing my own crochet designs. I’m inordinately proud.

17. Opening my own etsy store. (and making my second sale this morning for my birthday!)

18. Getting a new job. Loving my new job.

19. New job led to two other related happy memories: getting to organize, facilitate, and manage two Colloquia on Buddhism, and being invited to attend a farewell dinner party for a faculty member. There are smart people who work here who treat me with respect, and will actually have conversations with me. I’ve learned so much just by osmosis.

20. Kayaking on the Potomac after sneaking out of work early. No one’s out on the weekdays, except for the crews but they come later. Just me and the river. Saw two deer (!) gracefully walking to the edge of Roosevelt Island to get a drink of water. Became so entranced that I forgot what time it was and had to paddle so hard to get back to the boathouse on time that I wore blisters on both hands and my shoulders ached for days.

21. Learning to sail. Impressing my sailing certification test instructor. Talking to my dad about sailing.

22. Watching television shows with Aaron. Which is an ongoing activity and may or may not involve brownies, but it’s the couch time and Aaron time which I love.

23. Seeing a chipmunk at the zoo. No, the chipmunk was not in an exhibit. He just ran across our path as we were walking to the lizard house. I had never seen a chipmunk for real before and I got a little overexcited. Fortunately Aaron did too. We have pictures. (that memory is happy mostly because of Aaron, it really has very little to do with the chipmunk)

24. Rehoboth Beach. We went there on Saturday. This year started and ended with a beach. Last year Anne had come for our birthdays for a visit and we went to Ocean City, and I remember looking into the ocean at the end of the day and tearing up, because I knew she was going to leave soon. This year our beach evening ended with some Mexican beers with my DC Foursome (including Anne), and then a little skeeball, for which I won a stuffed sea turtle.

I think it’s a good sign that this blog post is so infernally long. I’m being brief too.

Thank you Year 24! You were so good to me!

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