Single, Double, Triple Threat

I don’t believe the Mayans. 2012 can’t be the end of the world. Things just got good. Plus, Prince didn’t make a song about 2012. He did one on 1999 and that came and went without a wrinkle. Not even one dove cried.

2012 was the year that my sister gave birth to the first grandchild, I quit my job and started my own business, and my brother graduated from college. My mom, much like a room full of labradoodle puppies, is typically wired, bouncing from one topic to the next. One room to the next. One website to the next. But with her kids becoming an entrepreneur, a mother and a graduate in the same year, that woman doesn’t have one nerve left. IMG_1442

This isn’t the first time my sibs and I have done this. A few years ago, I got a promotion, my sister got married and my brother moved to another state. All within months of each other. Prior to that, I moved to another state and my sister graduated from college, all within a 12-month period. I can’t remember what was going on with my brother at that time, but being the boy and the youngest, whatever it could have been, it was remarkable.

What is it about me, my sister and brother that makes these events all trigger at the same time?

It’s not terrible problem, obviously. However, my promotion to Principal, a role I felt was quite an accomplishment, being celebrated in the same conversation as the discussion about whether we should fire the florist (again), did leave me feeling a little cheated. Or maybe that feeling was anger over how difficult it was to find a competent florist. Next to impossible, in fact. (Finally, we were forced to settle on one simply because it was three days before the wedding.)

I thought about why this phenomenon keeps happening to us. Could it be competition? Did the knowledge of my sister having a baby compel me to change careers and encourage my brother to wrap up his studies? Did we not want to be outdone?

Maybe now that my little nephew was going to bear witness to my life, did I want to be a good example? That’s a pretty thin explanation  The only thing I’m concerned about regarding my little neffie is whatever I need to do to keep him from having a Houston accent.

Could it be that we are inspired by each other? One of us gets on a roll and the others feel a fire in the belly? Maybe that has some merit, but I don’t see babies and weddings being things that require inspiration, necessarily.

Could it be that we’re all just coincidentally on the same cycle of success? Perhaps.

Then it hit me. The real thing that’s going on here. It became clear when one of my brother’s professors said that he overanalyzed everything. My sister and I immediately rushed to his defense. Clearly, we all have the same problem.

So I’m going to chalk this question  up as an example of overanalysis. Instead of continuing to meander down this path, I’m going to be grateful for an amazing year and toast to whatever’s coming up next.

On Losing the Age Complex

I have a legendary age complex which means that, clearly, I hate birthdays. The first time I cried on my birthday was when I turned 10. The injustice of being double-digits was just too much to take. 13 wasn’t much better and at 18, I had a total meltdown.

Obviously 30 was a big deal (which seems so ridiculous now). I planned a trip to Northern California to distract myself into being happy. Between the beautiful views, constant wine drinking and debauchery that my friend Michelle and I always got into, I thought I was going to avoid falling apart. On the morning of my birthday, we were driving to a winery in Napa Valley when I spontaneously started speaking incoherently and spouting tears like a Peanuts character. This wasn’t drunk waterworks, but it sure looked and sounded like it.

One reason I have this age complex is because my birthday is in October. This meant that I was always one of the oldest classmates. Turning 16 was the only time being the oldest came in handy. That year, I was one of the first to get my driver’s license — well, second to Geri Stolar whose birthday is in September.

Being the oldest kid in my immediate family is a contributing factor to this complex. So much older that I don’t want to mention how much. Let’s just say that my brother, sister and I never share the same decade.

And finally, I have a really young mom. In fact, we discovered last year that we were using the exact same age when we lied about our age (clearly, she must trend UP now that she’s a grandma).

This year’s birthday rolled around this past weekend, and for once, I didn’t have to fight back tears. Sure, I felt the standard “I wish I would have…” and “I can’t believe I’m so old,” but no quivering lips every time I glanced at the calendar and no tears and no need for a rocking chair for self-soothing.

I’ve LOST all of that this year — and more:

  • I lost my workaholic ways and gained time for things that are more meaningful to me.
  • I lost my excuses and gained new strength, endurance and flexibility from spending time in the gym.
  • I lost my solitary focus and gained time to spend with my friends and to make new friends.
  • I lost the thought that I needed to be tied to a company in order to be successful and have stability and that I owed it to myself to break through the glass ceiling, and in the process gained my own business and a life of instability and the chance to put the ceiling where I want it!
  • I lost being concerned about it being too late to try new things I’ve always wanted to do — like riding a kickscooter and taking ballet and thereby gained joy and creative expression!
  • And check out the photo, I’ve lost some weight and gained a better health and a whole new outlook!

I spent my birthday with friends and found some time to squeeze in half an hour of shopping in the Meatpacking District. From the fitting room, I paid for the outfit, had them snap the tags and wore the outfit right out the store. That’s true birthday girl style.