Another year older
We seem to be attending a lot of birthday parties lately. Mine was last week.Leading up to the day, I kept getting questions about what i wanted to do, but never had a good response. I'm already spending everyday being creative and soaking up/spending time with friends...its hard for me to conjure up some event that's more perfect than that. Especially in the week of the 4th when we already find ourselves bbq'ing and partying with loved ones, simple pleasures seem huge and profound.
We've been hopping from bbq to bbq and happy hour to happy hour. Life in Portland still continues to provide whatever it is we are seeking right now and we are having the time of our lives. Sadly, its all happening way over the budget we set for ourselves (which was WAY over the budget we had while on the road). We are burning through money too quickly and have to figure out a way to stop the bleeding...but since since jen is running numbers this week; i think we likely have a budget-focused post coming soon. I'll save some of the gory details for later.
When the actual day of my birth finally came, we gathered some friends for a really unhealthy breakfast (portland-style), spent the day in the sun at the park, a happy hour with family and then the evening on the front porch playing games until the wee hours. Indeed a perfect day, and all the exact things we came back to portland to do.
We have friends of all ages, and it seems that most of us are getting older....comes with birthdays i guess. Many friends are reaching 40, which always seemed impossibly far off but now is a reality. For many, this milestone triggers an emotional trigger, and i guess i cant speak for how i will react in three more years when that threshold comes- but i cant say i feel "old". I feel like we're just figuring things out...only just now coming of age. Maybe that's supposed to be done in your twenties, but i’m honestly not sure i ever expected find an age of clarity.
People always talk about wanting to go back in time to their 20s or teens...some better time in life. No thank you. There's no other point in life id rather be in than right now, and as long as every year keeps getting better than i say keep bringing on the birthdays! It's also the 11year mark for Jen and i! That one is pretty easy to count since our relationship "began" on my birthday 11 years ago.
I did throw my back out last week picking up some oak slabs for our second furniture project (we rummaged around for a few hours in a salvaged wood warehouse and finally decided on some reclaimed oak flooring from freight trucks...perfect for our project but apparently bad on the back). I'm aware that throwing your back out sounds like an old man trait, but i’ve struggled with back pain forever. For 15years or so anyway, since a college trip to Italy where a obesely large woman tripped and fell on top of me. Literally.
At the time i thought i would be fine and heal...but a few years ago the pain was worse than ever. The old injury combined with frequent travel and constant stress from work did not form a healthy combination. A few years before our trip i was fighting daily muscle spasms and was terrified that i'd be a decrepit old man before i ever turned 40. In that period, if you asked me what i wanted for my birthday i probably would have said an epidural.
But things are different now. Through a process of acupuncture, chiropractic, and stress reduction i started to feel better. I also started to believe that it was possible to be pain free, which it turns out was a big step in the process. I also limited the work stress and travel and things are VERY different now.
My biggest surprise when hurting my back last week is that it was a reminder. A reminder that i had actually forgotten what the pain felt like. The very feeling that a few years ago ruled my life, was a constant 24hour battle and provided my greatest fears- i had actually forgotten about. While i wish i hadn’t injured myself, i will take away the positive that i am far far away from the misery i had a short while ago. A healthy reminder at how quickly the mind (and body) can move from one place to another and how life’s major hurdles/decisions seem impossible to overcome when you’re staring them in the face, but very small from the “other side”. Good reminder...the current back pain can move on now. Thank you.
Speaking of hurdles, we finished our second piece of furniture yesterday. What an awesome feeling to finally pull all the pieces together and assemble the thing you just built with your hands. Truly one of life’s great pleasures...especially when it turns out mostly as planned!
This one is a kitchen island/food prep station that we built out of the oak flooring and steel. I allowed myself a bit more freedom in design after gaining welding confidence on the first piece, and i have to say- i’m pretty happy with the result (which almost never happens).