My face doesn’t show up on this blog often because I’m usually the one taking the pictures. I just had a birthday so I thought I’d come out from behind the camera for a moment while I think about being 32. Having a birthday in early July means that when you turn the corner to calling yourself a new number, you are also turning the corner on half of the calendar year’s passing. I have always found this time of year to arrive with the same feelings as a year ends and a new one beginning–it makes me look forward and backwards at the same time.
31 was a great year. Many of the best moments were spent enjoying time with Bjorn, with family and with friends near and far. Some great additions to the last year of my life occurred by design. We got to travel to see new places and friends who we don’t see as often as we’d like–this was thrilling after several years without. I made more time for hobbies, a little reading, lots of cooking and more writing. Some of the best times were day-to-day moments at home, in our garden, or banging pots and pans in the kitchen making dinner. Trying new things like preparing a meal for a youth safe house in our neighbourhood, Bjorn brewing beer (more on that some other day) and striving for more simplicity have enriched our routine. Some memorable moments were the result of surprise–in one week going up on stage to “spin the wheel” to select the set list at a Yo La Tengo concert at the 400 Bar, and not long after, having my name pulled out of a hat and winning a Minnesota Vikings-sponsored trip to Cancun. I have a feeling that this year will bring unexpected high points–surprises borne seemingly from coincidence and others from the predictable–doing the things I love, being with the people I love. One realization I had recently after watching the Walkmen perform at First Avenue a few Saturdays ago was that seeing a great band perform is still worth staying up late for and even made me feel like I dialed back my age a few years. Another realization I had is that my ideal birthday is spent in the lake, floating, swimming and enjoying the day in the presence of family and good friends. I look forward to new discoveries, both small and great. I am grateful for 31 years rich in family, friends, fun and happiness. I am happy to welcome this new age. As Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen sang with determination and intensity a couple of weekends ago, ”I know that it’s true –it’s going to be a good year!!”