09 January 2015

Because Birthdays

As children, we were taught there were four seasons. As a child growing up on the East Coast, I witnessed those seasons. Today, I submit to you a different reality. I posit there are actually only three seasons.

Selfish Season | January - June

The first six months of the year are when we adults are able (allowed and even encouraged) to be selfish. This is time when you can put your health first, meet your goals and pursue your passions. 

Social Season | July - October

During these four months, we get really social. We go to barbecues. We skip some of our selfish routines to accept invitations and go on vacations. 

Sharing Season | November - December 

Two intense months of loving everyone who has had a positive impact on our lives. We host parties. We attend parties. We buy presents. We gift people with our time. We swap stories and share germs. We accept every invitation and run ourselves ragged - because we know Selfish Season is just around the corner. 

03 November 2014
I get into Sharing Season mode immediately after Halloween. I check my goals for the year. I begin planning how I'll celebrate the holidays. I begin sending and accepting invitations. November 1st to me symbolizes the start of a sprint that lasts until the first Monday after my birthday. I wake up after Halloween thinking "it's go time." And I am prepared. 

08 November 2014
We celebrated Christine's birthday with popped bottles, singing and dancing. Christine always has good birthday parties. I've been going for the last four years and have yet to be disappointed. Also, I really like her friends.

You should already know I love birthdays. I especially love celebrating with people who also love birthdays. There is a certain level of ridiculousness that becomes the standard. Anyone could say "I want three celebrations," and that would make perfect birthday sense. 

Christine goes for quality over quantity, generally have one fun & fancy event. Cate (whose birthday I missed because of the last minute trip home) prefers flexibility. She'll have numerous celebrations to provide the most flexibility for the guests. 

Basically, there are no rules for your birthday. And really, that's my favorite part. 

10 November 2014

I finished my most intense class. It was grueling and pushed my adult student self harder than any other class my adult self had taken. The purpose of the class was to learn how to both build and lead high performing teams. The techniques I learned put me on a path that would genuinely change my life. When it was over, some of my classmates and I went to a restaurant where I think some expected we would have drinks and a raucous good time. But we mostly just sat and stared at each other while repeating "it's over." In case you're wondering, yes, I'd do it again.

My amazing class inspired me to take the advanced class, which was focused on personal influence. The professor promised it was only a tenth of the work of the first class, and I decided that to be the right amount of work I could handle as we were getting deeper into the holidays. Also, I was still thinking about leaving the Bay Area. Taking the advanced class immediately following the first class meant even though I was adding a new duck, I would still have time to get him in a row with the others. Taking the advanced class also meant I'd be taking two classes at once, and that a lot of the free time I had planned to have during the Sharing Season was no longer free.

I mean those two meet procreation criteria...
#JustSayin
Exempli gratia: Melissa's birthday party. It was on a Saturday and well established in my calendar before I became so deeply inspired to learn. Originally, I wanted to make more of a day out of it, but by the time I got out of class, into a car, on the road and up to Sacramento there were only a few hours left in said day. Obviously, we made the most it, laughing and guessing what the future would bring.  (The answer: babies. The question: whose? Note: I am not in the running.)

Happy birthday Melissa (observed)
15 November 2014

Dinner Damage
16 November 2014
Yrama was also born in November and also had a birthday party. Hers was a lot more physical. It started out simple enough with a giant breakfast. Afterward, we rented bikes and biked down to and over the Golden Gate bridge. We rode into Sausalito, took a ferry back to SF and returned the bikes before inhaling a lot of delicious food at +Tony's Pizza Napoletana. It was a full and amazing day and even though there were a few times when I thought my heart was going to explode, I enjoyed myself.

The birthdays were disrupted by Thanksgiving. I observe Thanksgiving from the fourth Thursday in November through the following Sunday. I think that's pretty impressive for someone who has never cooked a turkey. 

Paula & Tyrone hosted the main event.
I love the junk out of this picture.
27 November 2014
28 November 2014

I had a migraine the day after Thanksgiving, which forced me to skip one of my planned events. Cate basically forced pills into me so we could go to the late dinner with Christine's family. I'm really glad she did. Thanksgiving with friends is fantastic. But Christine's family made it feel more like home.
29 November 2014




The third Thanksgiving was with Courtney & the physicists - which is an actual group of people and not a band.

I used to work with Courtney. She's what Andria calls "Hipster Martha Stewart." She and her husband make delicious, pinnable things using plants and herbs grown behind their house. It's a #ClassicBayArea thing to do. Cate, Andria & I descended on her fine fare like a pseudo civilized pack of wolves. It was the best we could do. By the time we got to dessert, I'm pretty sure we were moaning. I don't really remember, so strong was my food coma.
Friendsgiving. The icing on the Thanksgiving cupcake.
30 November 2014
Cate decorated her apartment and put up her tree while the rest of gossiped.
#ClassicAllOfUs
30 November 2014
On the last day of the month, there was only one birthday left - Angie's. We're not good at big on giving gifts, but I there was obviously one thing I could give her. I'd had the thought in October and worked on it throughout November. By lunchtime on Angie's birthday in New Zealand, blog posts from our trip to South America were blowing up her news feed. I mean we were approaching a year after the trip. It was then or never. I chose "then."

Ang was pleased. I was pleased. Those curious friends who remember this blog's heyday were pleased. 'Twas a miracle right in time for Christmas.