I don’t celebrate my birthday, for a variety of reasons. Mostly it’s because the dates of September 11 to November 3 are something of sore spots for me; not to mention, it seems like every year something insane happens between those dates (this year is no exception!) that shake things up in my life. That being said, since my birthday has passed, let me take stock of the past year.
10 Things That Happened When I Was 37
1. I participated in a 5K (November). It was for a local crisis counseling center. I also participated in one the following weekend, for a local nature center. Interestingly enough, in December I stopped working out altogether, as it was obvious that I wasn’t going to be at my goal weight (105) by my self-imposed deadline (December 21).
2. I adopted a cat (November). Bear started hanging around at the end of September, but it wasn’t until I had him neutered and then took him to the vet to get him all of his needed shots that it was “official.” Part of it was my hesitation in owning a pet again (I will never, EVER forgive myself for my rabbit, Winni’s, death. I still believe I don’t deserve to own a pet because of how he died). Part of it was knowing that, if I took this leap, I’d have to move. Turns out, that was in the works anyway…
3. I had my upstairs neighbors evicted (January). The Worst Neighbors Ever moved above me on Halloween of last year (fitting!). From the night they moved in until I had them evicted (54 complaints later!), I survived on 2 hours or less sleep a night. Between their awesome early-morning gatherings, to their lovely child that they “couldn’t control”, it was a nightmare. After they were evicted, I was assured that no one would be allowed to move above me, that Apt. #7 had been turned into a demo model. In August, new neighbors moved upstairs. They’re not as bad as the Worst Neighbors Ever, but I’m way too old to live around society’s excrement and its lack of consideration for anyone but themselves. I want a basement. And room for Bear to roam outside in an open-but-enclosed area. I’m done compromising. I’m moving. Soon.
4.I bought a Nook Simple Touch (February). In December, I’d received a 1st generation Nook from a friend of mine who was upgrading. I thought I’d try it and see if I liked it (since I was completely anti-eReader at the time). Turns out, I liked it, and when Barnes & Noble sent me a coupon for a Nook Simple Touch, I took the bait. It’s allowed me to sell or donate about 50% of the books I owned a year ago. Yes, I still buy regular books, but I’m more inclined to buy them if they’re available in Nook format.
5. I started volunteering (March). I hadn’t volunteered since I lived in another city and it was 1999. So, in February I started researching different places to volunteer and in March I started volunteering with Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue. It’s been one of the best experiences of my life so far.
6. My dad was diagnosed with, went through treatment for, and declared in remission from bladder cancer. In April, a tumor was found and removed from my dad’s bladder. In May, we found out it was cancer, but in a very early stage. Shortly thereafter, my dad underwent treatment for said cancer, and in July he was declared in remission. From here on out he’ll be monitored, and will have more treatment if needed, but I feel like we all seriously dodged a bullet.
7. I went brunette (June). I’d hated my natural hair color for close to two decades, even though I’d tried coloring it different shades of blonde at various times. In June, I decided to take the plunge and go darker. I loved it, and have continued to have it colored darker, although it’s always been non-permanent. Soon, like next week, it’ll be permanent.
8. I attended part of my 20-Year Class Reunion (July). I was both talked into attending part of the reunion by a childhood friend that I hadn’t seen in 18-ish years, and also curious – a tour of my former high school was offered as one of the events, and I wanted to know how much had changed since I left (I was also hoping I could let go of some ghosts that had haunted me for 20+ years). When only one other person showed up to the high school tour, however, I decided to attend the informal gathering at a local watering hole later that night. Things weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated, and I do wish I wouldn’t have had to leave at 11:30 p.m. (I had a 7-hour drive ahead of me the following day). Maybe I’ll attend the 30-Year Reunion. I’ll see where my life is by then.
9. Went tail-gating for the first time (October). I’d never been tail-gating, so when someone requests your presence at their tail-gate for a Big 10 University and asks you to make your “famous taco salad”, you go. Even though I’m not a sports fan, it was fun to sit around and talk to people I didn’t know and eat a lot of good food. And although I didn’t go to the game, I had a great time in the autumn sunshine. Turns out, it was one of the last days before the chill of autumn firmly set in.
10. I became more vocal about women’s (specifically, pro-choice) rights (ongoing). This has been a while in coming, since 20 years ago I was heavily rethinking where I stood with pro-choice rights, but it’s taken me a while to get vocal, partly because of how I was raised (be neither seen nor heard!), and because I’ve always been incredibly insecure. It’s a role I’m slowly, but steadily, growing into.
Yeah, I know, pretty boring, right? That’s my life.