This year my birthday, November 7, falls on a Monday. I arranged weeks ago to take the day off work. Though I hadn't planned anything special--certainly not a surprise party--I planned to relax, sleep in at least one of the three mornings, see Hacksaw Ridge, enjoy a rare restaurant meal...and spend happy hours on my Work in Progress.
But I remembered my little black book...though I couldn't recall where I'd put put it.
Years ago, in Charlotte, NC--one of the unhappiest times in my life--I listed in a black notebook like this a hundred things I wanted to do or felt I must accomplish. During that difficult time, I checked off a couple dozen goals. And, since the move to Seattle two years ago, I've checked off a few dozen more. Others will get their own checks in short time. But a small core of die-hards remained--things I keep telling myself I 'can't' do. As I reviewed the list now,in Seattle, I knew: they can't ever be accomplished unless I tackle the roughest, toughest of them all.
Pardon my vagueness. But being too specific here would be unfair to you. In this one instance, generality is good and necessary. I have my One Thing blocking me as it has for many years. But common sense tells me I'm not alone in this: we all have our own One Thing, the big bad mother of them all that mocks us and torments us and blocks us from our other goals.
This year, remembering that black book of accomplished and neglected dreams, I swore to throw myself the best goddamn birthday party I have ever had, taking myself by surprise. I would do the very thing that's been spitting in my eye for years.
I'm on my way to Renton, Monday morning, to cross the blinkin' Rubicon.
If this works out, I expect to start throwing more surprise parties throughout the new year. And I hope you all do the same.