Five years ago, I launched a project I called 40 x 40, in which I had one new experience a day for each of the 40 leading up to my birthday. It was an incredible experience, the subject of my forthcoming book (just made that part up), and you can check it out here to soak up all the adrenaline.
Forty five days from today, I will be turning 45 years old. That seems impossible, and also kind of hard to admit. But I’m trading comfortable for courageous and I'm sharing the truth, even if it gives me hot flashes. Yes, that is happening.
With this new lens, I also feel the need to mark this occasion in a completely new way. This year, inspiration came late, as in yesterday, and I came up with a project to celebrate these 45 revolutions around the sun. The lame working title is Pay it $5ward and here’s the deal. Today, I’ve mailed a $5 bill to 45 Laurie’s around the country who are also turning 45 this year, along with a special request. The ask is that they spend the money not on themselves (unless they really need it) but that they use it to make a little difference in their community. I’ve requested that they take action in the next week, and email me stories and photos by October 15th.
So, my next blog will be all about the results of this social experiment. I’m excited to see how it goes! My hypothesis? That people are naturally creative, resourceful and kind. My worry? That people will be creeped out that I found out their name, address and age and report me to the authorities. Stay tuned!
Wonder what happens when a beach-loving runner breaks her toe at the beginning of summer? I didn’t, but I found out anyway.
It’s been three weeks since I accidentally kicked our coffee table and my left toes went all “live long and prosper” on me. F you, ring toe, I thought, who needs you anyway? Turns out, I need you, like, a lot. Urgent care x-rayed and taped my fourth toe to its middle sister and told me that I could not, would not be hitting the road for 6-8 weeks. I started to believe this because I could not, would not take my foot out of a boot due to the enormous amount of pain this bitty meat stub was causing me. It was excruciating to the point of embarrassment actually, and that’s when I stopped fighting and began to give in to the inevitable. I’m calling this my Slow Period because I’ve had no choice but to take things at a much calmer clip. It all started with my movement, of course, but three weeks in, the pace has extended to other areas of my life. Usually frenetic and fast, it feels as though my metabolism has slowed down (beginning to look that way too, actually) and so has my mental pace. I don’t usually identify as perpetually anxious, but this forced movement sabbatical has made me realize that there was more to my pace than just an affinity for speed. Then yesterday, on a short walk with Talulah (our puppy), I saw something that took my breath away. I had been enjoying the sunshine-y weather and the quiet when I looked up and saw her: The most gorgeous old tree proudly presiding over my neighbor’s front yard. She was stretching her arms out wide, her heart shaped leaves dancing in the tiniest of breezes. I stopped cold, found my breath again, and my heart just filled with gratitude. Not that phony Hallmark channel bullshit but deep, soulful appreciation, and also a little sadness, This tree is one I’ve passed every day for years while running, or walking the dog while checking my phone or being consumed by thoughts and only just noticed the beauty right in front of me. How many more things in our lives are just like that tree? How will we ever know unless we take our time? I have been rushing because I don’t want to miss out on anything. Ironically, going too fast has caused me to miss out on so much.
Breaking my toe was no happy accident, but maybe in a way, it was a necessary one. I’ve been moving quickly for so long; a change of pace has brought an unexpected but welcome perspective. I plan to relish in it and enjoy the rest of my summer slowly, and maybe fatly (yep, just made that up). Cooking for friends. Languishing at the beach. Turning up the music and dancing. Or at least hopping on one foot to the beat.