Birthday Goals and Serendipity
Say, you should know this post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society as part of their More Birthdays campaign. This is their logo, which you may choose to click on if you hate Cancer:
I happen to be a big fan of birthdays and the people I love having as many of them as they can get their hands on. Also, paper hats.
This is me and and Evany with our phasers set to stun.
I make my goals for the year on my birthday, and this year I thought a lot about my friends while I was planning. I’m a big fan of a tidy list, but Evany not so much. The first time I suggested she write a Life List, she made a face like there was something alive in her mouth and it was trying to struggle free.
Evany’s instinct isn’t to plan, she just surrounds herself with interesting people and tries to say yes. In fact, you may recall that time I talked her into leaping to her death while she was still having adrenal flashbacks from the 40-hour labor she’d endured a few weeks earlier. She’s a trooper.
I thought of Evany when I said yes to Geri-Ayn’s last-minute suggestion that we spend my birthday in St. Lucia. I thought of her when I was making yet another birthday list, and I realized that lately the world has cooler ideas for me than I have for myself.
Remember when we talked about guiding principles, questions you ask yourself when you have a tough decision? You guys had some useful ones:
-“Is this worth the energy I am going to put into it?”
-“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
-“If not now when?”
-“One year from now, will this matter?”
At Camp Mighty, Evany suggested a great one too. She gave a talk about how we all have friends who choose partners or make decisions that only cement their worst qualities. For all of us, there are forks in the road where we decide to “lean into the worst side of ourselves or stay gold.” Evany suggested you ask yourself, “Which decision makes you the better version of you?”
And I thought back to myself with a notepad in a hammock on my birthday, asking myself whether this or that activity would make me feel more chilled out. You know, just planning peaceful times, writing peaceful stuff on my tidy list so I could check each thing off peacefully, maybe while I meditated or something.
But now my planning is starting to get in the way of interesting projects that are materializing on their own. And the best version of me really loves other people’s adventures.
So this year, leaving room for serendipity tops my list of birthday goals. In that spirit, I’m wondering what you guys have crossed off your lists that you’d recommend. What have you done that’s worth doing, and next time can I come too?
In the meantime, I’ll just be following Evany around in my space suit.