Monday, December 01, 2008


I was going to start this post with melancholy reflection - only because that's the emotion my birthday tends to prompt these past few years.

But then I experienced an unexpected series of events this morning, and thought I should reflect on that.

My day started with the unfortunate chore of having to clean up three piles of dog poo and a little pool of dog pee.

Such are the trials and tribulations when you are house sitting for two dogs, and though I was very disappointed and highly disgusted, I couldn't help but think to myself, Only on MY birthday would this happen.

Most people start their birthdays with a special cup of coffee or perhaps breakfast in bed. Me? I start mine with cleaning up crap.

To make matters worse, I couldn't find a pair of rubber gloves, there were no paper towels in the house, and the poop was kind of mushy (sorry for the over sharing). The whole scenario was a little bit, uh, undesirable.

So, there I was in my pajamas, my hand wrapped in two plastic grocery bags, using toilet paper to clean up the mess.

The whole time I was cursing the dogs and thinking about how I had planned on curling my hair and putting on some makeup that morning. I mean, there's no better time than a birthday to put in a little effort in one's appearance, right?

Instead, I was nose deep in mushy shit that I had to clean up myself. Not a stellar start, but at least I knew the day could only get better.

Now for the melancholy reflection...

Curiosity raced through my veins for the very first time on this day in 1976. After a long day of procrastination, I finally made my debut at 10:10 pm in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A bloody, cone-headed mess, my eyes were wide open and dancing around the hospital room, taking in the bright lights, the many faces, and of course the two people who gave me life - at least that's what I'm told. The story is always the same. I was checking the place out, looking around with unabashed interest in my surroundings, and I guess it's been that way ever since.

This passion for discovery, understanding and experience has offered a thrilling journey during these 32 years.

And though today marks the anniversary of my birth, I am all too aware of the fact that I am dying with each breath. It's a very morbid way of looking at life, but I am cognisant of the fact that we're all getting closer to death with the sweep of each second hand.

It's that acknowledgement that I suppose fuels my eternal hunger for life experience. I don't know the expiration date of my life, and so I am working damn hard to savor every taste while I can.

This sense of adventure, paired with low expectations and a laid back attitude, have served me well thus far. Sometimes life hands me a great moment, like walking down the steps of the Eiffel Tower, a special moment of bonding with my family, or savoring a spectacular dinner with my closest friends and an almost limitless supply of wine.

Other times my life is all about cleaning up the shit.

I guess it's the balance and the ability to take it all in stride that makes me grateful.


Donald said...

I can't believe that I'm going to be the first to leave a comment wishing you a (now belated) happy birthday!!!! I hope the day ended better than it started!!!

You've obviously come a long way from the "bloody, cone-headed mess" days.... :-)

WestEnder said...

...all too aware of the fact that I am dying with each breath. It's a very morbid way of looking at life...

I once wrote "One day closer to death!" in a datebook on my birthday. I was just being stupid and didn't expect anyone to see it but my gf saw it and got upset with me for having a bad attitude.

Sorry about the dog poop. Happy b-day, though!

Denae said...

I love this post. I once was dog sitting for my friend Adrian. Her dog was allowed to go in the front lawn to pee without a leash. Jack went outside and took off. I spent 2 hours searching for him...had to call Adrian in Colorado...she started crying and I went to wake up the neighbors at 8am to help me find him. I wasn't asked to dog sit again. Perhaps a good thing? This is going to be a great year, hon. Full of opportunity and possibilities.