Brand building through storytelling

Revealed! The first day of my 60th year

Scene: my den, yesterday morning, somewhere between breakfast time and flossing time. I’m not exactly sure because I can’t find my watch. But I could find the computer blindfolded because it’s where I start every day, barefoot in my pink plush bathrobe. Including this day, October 20, 2008. The first day of my 60th year. And wouldn’t you know, before I can form a coherent thought (it’s still barely light, after all), my Facebook pals have been firing off birthday wishes. They’re all speculating about how I’m going to spend this day (“you day,” one woman calls it). So for them, and anyone else who might be wondering, here’s the no-holds-barred story:

7:25: Start chopping onions and garlic for recession-era dinner of lentil soup with Italian sausage. No more last-minute dashes to the market for sashimi-quality tuna and baby green beans. I’m pulling out the rib-sticking, cheap-and-cheerful recipes. Mother would be so proud of the new frugal me. Tuck my pot of nicely softened lentils away in the fridge (must get home in time to brown my sausages).

8:15: Ransack the fridge for those slices of ham I planned to use in my brown-bag sandwich. Turns out my husband ate them.

10:00: Cheque arrives at the office for a magazine piece. First thought: Terrific! (And it sure beats a bill.) Second thought, on reading the fine print: Hey, this cheque is five months late and I didn’t even notice. Is this what it’s like to start losing your marbles?

10:45: Phone Rena, the tax auditor at Revenue Canada, to discuss her upcoming visit to my office. Discover she plans to bring her laptop and review all my records on site. Struggle to conceal my dismay. “But I’ve got nowhere for you to work except a couch! This is a very small business. I don’t have a meeting room or even a conference table!” She is quite understandably not keen to work while stretched out on my couch, with her (my) papers perched on a sliver on a table just big enough for a book and a cup of coffee. Realize I don’t own a second mug for Rena’s coffee (note prospective deduction for my 2008 tax return).

11:30: Husband calls to wish me a happy birthday. By his definition, I have now officially reached my late 50s (mid-50s being 55 to 58).

1:00: Go home to make sandwich and finish the morning paper, stopping for ham and dish detergent on the way. While savouring my first bite, realize I’ve forgotten the detergent.

2:15: Start blog post about Rachel Getting Married, the exuberantly edgy movie that we saw on Sunday. Am just hitting my stride when the computer crashes before I clicked “save” even once. (Will get back to Rachel and her wedding, I promise. It’s still on my mind.)

3:20: Sister e-mails her birthday greetings.”I hope you’ve got your absentee ballot!” she adds. Oh, Joyce! Do you think I’m absent-minded or something? I mailed it over a week ago. Cross my fingers that Joyce, whose birthday is November 5, gets a Democratic president to celebrate the day.

3:25: My philanthropist friend Lia calls with birthday wishes and good news: she’s just been invited to talk about her cause, homeless women, to two groups of influential people. “How wonderful!” I exclaim. “I’m thrilled for you!” Lia wants to know my big plans for this day. “I’m going to Pilates,” I tell her. Pause. Then she says, “Doing something for yourself is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday.”

4:15: Pilates instructor isn’t pleased with my feet and ankles. Such deterioration since we last did this move! Time for therapeutic exercises! Oh. At this rate, when I’m not chopping veggies for enormous pots of budget-friendly food, I’ll be flexing my reluctant, soon-to-be-sexagenarian joints with Therabands.

5:30: Pick up my favourite walnut/raisin bread to enjoy with the soup and a ripe avocado for salad. Decide I deserve one more treat with dinner, a magazine to read while husband attends his genealogy meeting (much as I love this man, I also love a quiet evening with the place to myself).

6:20: Tramp away on the elliptical machine at my gym while watching Hillary Clinton campaigning at an Obama rally in Orlando. Wonder why she couldn’t summon this ease, this expansiveness, this confidently presidential air while she was still a contender (and my choice) for the Oval Office. Can’t feel rueful for long; I’m too uplifted at the sight of Barack embracing Hillary as everyone cheers wildly.

7:10: Rush to answer the phone with sausage juice all over my hands. My son, the happy birthday greeting. Finally! Let the mild rumpus start!

7:30: Pour myself a glass of red wine. Finish the soup with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a generous handful of parsley. Pour myself a brimming bowlful. Mmm…this puts tuna steak to shame, especially with good crusty bread to soak up the last meaty drops. Flip through my magazine, deciding where to start. Happy birthday to me.

9:25 Husband is home. Finds me at the dining room table in my half-open bathrobe, eating dried fruit compote topped with peach and mango yogurt. Reaches inside my bathrobe. Yes, everything’s still there, just a little lower. “You should dress like that more often,” he says.

Click here to read my post about my friend Lia Grimanis and here for one about Hillary Clinton. If you’ve visited this site before, chances are you’ve found posts about my sister. If not, you can start reading here.

 

Posted by Rona

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