August 27th, 2018
Today is my 42nd birthday.
I write this as I gaze at Mongaup Lake in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York after an intense day of hiking. One of my birthday presents. It’s Monday, and instead of being in the office – I’m here. It’s a PTO day.
This is one of my two birthday presents. This year I gave myself time.
Time to think. Time to plan the new year. Time to go hiking. Time to try kayaking for the first time. Time to talk. Time to listen. Time to be offline without any fear of losing anything, no FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Where I am now, there is just no coverage, period.
From childhood, I have always approached the day of my birthday with mixed feelings; with a unique combination of joyful anticipation and sweet melancholy.
I approached my birthday with anticipation for things such as a large outdoor birthday party with a myriad of children, plenty of games, music, a water balloon war, and the ever-present fruit cake with jelly. And of course lots of presents!
I approached it with sweet melancholy for the awareness that “Summer is ending and a year goes away” as the song goes. (It was a big summer-hit in Italy from a band called “I Righeira.”)
My birthday marked in advance the end of summer and the beginning of a special countdown: the one for the beginning of the various commitments such as school, dance classes, and the overall routine of September to June.
Nowadays “anticipation” means expectation for the start of the New Year. For me, the school is not starting anymore, yet September still carries with it the magic of the beginning of something new. The beginning of “a year” – September/June – which cuts across the year marked by the calendar.
Today, September is the month where everything starts again. Today, September is the month of opportunity. Today, September is the second chance after January. A sort of “last call” before the end of the year to “start again”. To face the four months that separate us from December 31st with renewed determination, passion, and positivity.
A second opportunity to restart with lots of ideas, projects, and plans that we may have lost along the way. A second opportunity to give the right value to our time.
I gave myself time for my birthday.
In September we start again with the new Comfort Zone Shake-Up website, my second birthday present.
Photo Nousha Salimi