Birthday Resolutions


In less than a week, I’ll turn 40.

I’m leaving for France on Wednesday, and I’m as excited about this trip as I’ve been for any in my whole life. Still, I know when I get home, I’ve got a bit of hard work ahead of me.

This whole “aging” thing is doing a fair job of catching up with me – it has for years, really, so the fact that I’m turning an age that ends in a zero doesn’t mean I’m going to feel any different than I do right now. And yet? It seems like a good time to have a come-to-jesus talk with myself.

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, as they seem like they’re destined to make me feel like a failure, but I think I might be making some birthday resolutions this year. There’s some stuff on the “keep the body in good working order” list that’s been neglected for, well, awhile. It’s time for that to stop.

  1. I need to go back to the dentist regularly. I haven’t been for a couple years now, for no reason other than I keep forgetting to make an appointment. That’s stupid. Done!
  2. I’ve got to schedule not just an annual exam this year, but – hello, 40! – my first mammogram. I’m dreading this something fierce, and yet I know it needs to be done. Sooner rather than later, methinks, so there’s not much time for the dread to continue building. Done!
  3. I need to lose weight. I hate the gym. Hate. It. So I need to figure out something else that works for me. This will not be as easy as making dental or mammogram appointments.
  4. I need to learn to love how I look, no matter how I look. This feels a bit like it’s my fall-back position for item #3, and I suppose in some ways it is, but the bottom line is that I’m extremely self-conscious about how I look, to the point where I desperately hate being photographed or filmed, and I’m annoyed with myself every time I dodge a camera and need to explain why I’m doing so. “I just hate being photographed” is a lame excuse, but “I hate the way I look” would bring out comments I’d probably take as pitying, which would be worse. I just need to get over this. And yes, I realize this will be the hardest thing on this list to accomplish. I don’t expect to be able to check this one off this year. But I’d like to say I tried.

There are other things I’d like to do, too, but they’re smaller. And, really, far less important.

So, for a couple more weeks, I’ll enjoy my birthday celebrations, and give myself more reasons to not let body maintenance slip so far in the future. After all, I’d like to be able to take momentous birthday trips for many more years to come.

photo by sahlgoode

Help Me Plan My 40th Birthday Trip (Please)


I’m turning 40 soon. By which I mean in about six months. Which gives me just about enough time to plan a big trip for my birthday… If only I knew where I wanted to go.

This is why I’m asking for your assistance.

My birthday is on February 25, which means I’m sort of thinking about the Southern Hemisphere. I’m a Euro-phile, and my only Southern Hemisphere experience is Australia and New Zealand way back in 1992. This, my friends, is not going to help me pick a vacation destination.

What I’m hoping for in a vacation spot is listed below. What I’m hoping you’ll be able to do, oh Person Who Knows Continents I Do Not, is look over this list and say, “Oh, such-and-such country/region/city would be perfect.” I’m open to just about any suggestion destination-wise, although I’ve been eyeing maps of Central and South America primarily because the airfare wouldn’t be as monstrous as it would be if I wanted to (for instance) re-visit New Zealand. I’ve even considered going back to Scotland or France or going to a new-to-me country in Europe, such is my love of the Old World, so I’m really all ears at this point.