Yesterday was my birthday. I’m not sad. Not manic, either. Just celebrating aging and a joyous day. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. It went on for three days, beginning Saturday. I had my hair cut. Very short. It’s a brush cut. I love carefree hair. Who has time to fuss with hair, so every eight weeks, I’m buzzed.
2. Then, I met my closest girlfriend and we walked to a tiny perfect new sushi spot for a delicious Bento Box lunch. Very intimate. We had the place to ourselves. This is our annual ritual because our birthdays are three days apart, though I’m one year older. We exchange small gifts ~ I knit her a scarf in her favourite colours ~ and we celebrate our friendship. Without fail.
3. Then I went home, worked for a bit – I never feel right unless I work everyday. We watched a great HBO documentary about Ethel Kennedy, made by Rory Kennedy, her 11th and youngest child born six months after the 1968 assassination of her father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Celebrating With Friends and Family
4. On Sunday night, my youngest sister threw a birthday party for her daughter and me and our October birthdays. The two “birthday girls” plus my mother, middle sister and brother-in-law, my husband and a close family friend sat around a big dining room table and celebrated. Three generations. The food was scrumptious. All prepared by everyone except me. What a treat.
5. Yesterday, my actual birthday, I worked really hard – researching, interviewing and learning more about construction and mining safety and the focus of my new career as a 21st Century freelance writer. My co-writer and former Toronto Sun colleague, Ian Harvey kindly spent some time mentoring me. He’s a highly successful professional freelance writer and a terrific reporter. What a gift to renew our friendship through a professional working relationship. Mixing business with friendship is the way of the world today, especially for small businesses where social media naturally knit business and friendship together.
Wisdom and Learning
6. My longtime friend and new boss Susan McLennan started my day with a touch of her particular brand of wisdom:
“My friend and business coach Steven Rosen helped me drive business like I never thought possible. He has a new book coming out next week called 52 Sales Management Tips. Here Tip #12: Proactively Manage your Boss. Your boss is no different than you. All bosses want to know two things: one, that you know what your issues are and, two, that you are doing something about them. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. S/he has enough to worry about. If your boss is spending time wondering what you are doing about your issues than they are really questioning whether you are effectively doing your job. Before your boss figures out your issues, communicate and demonstrate that you have a plan to proactively address them yourself. Remember, the best defence is an offence.”
7. Acting on Susan’s advice, I sent her a note about a few issues and she responded with encouragement. I love working with her. She believes in me more than I do and she’s patient beyond words. Another birthday gift.
Focusing on Work
8. As a result of Susan’s expertise, I focused and worked productively yesterday. Streamlining my energies. I brainstormed with leading Alberta-based safety manager and author Alan D. Quilley and Boom, Bust and Echo author David K. Foot responded to a question I had emailed him on Sunday. A Harvard-trained economist, David explains everything through demographics. Now, I feel I can write more confidently about occupational health and worker safety in two industries I know nothing about for the brand new jobsafety website – a microsite/magazine, really – that Susan and her team just launched on October 1st.
9. Last night, we went to my favourite Toronto restaurant, Allen’s. That restaurant and I date back to its roots at Manhattan’s renown Broadway eatery, Joe Allen. We celebrated how much better this birthday was than last year’s when I wasn’t eating anything anywhere. I was struggling with an eating disorder and I’m still in recovery. I was obsessing about my weight. Now, I never weigh myself. That’s one number I don’t need to know. Last birthday, riddled with anxiety, I was waiting to start the Toronto General Hospital Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. It saved my life. I had no life last year. Now, I love my life and food and eating, guilt free.
A Better Year
10. I’m even beginning to like my body.
Take care and be well.
Image via Etsy