Birthday Hijinx and Shenanigans May 2018

After my last post in April about irrational fears, my sister/best friend reminded me that Grandmother Zenobia (from Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes) also has a phobia of the number twenty-three. It’s called Eikositriophobia. Google it, I dare you. I didn’t see the movie “The Number 23” starring Jim Carey when it first came out, but I remember researching the superstition about the number. When the time came for me to decide the birth date for my cursed twins David and Anton, the answer was crystal clear to me: 5/23. Born under the sign of Gemini, it would be clever that they are twins under a twin sign! Without revealing any spoilers, I threw as many weird things as I could at the boys. There were lots of strange facts that sparked my imagination, such as each parent contributes twenty-three chromosomes to their child, or that it supposedly takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the body.

This peculiar date was perfect!

In my excitement it didn’t dawn upon me that there was an even greater significance to May twenty third. What could be greater, you might ask?

It’s MY birthday.

So yea, the twins are cursed, and blessed. Blessed I say, because I love my birthday. It isn’t about receiving gifts; however, if you give me a present I will graciously accept it (wink wink). To me it’s about celebrating your personal New Year. What were the astronomical odds that you were even born? You made it this far and thank God, you’re fortunate to experience another year.

It genuinely makes me happy when someone – anyone – wishes me happy birthday. I do my best to acknowledge other people’s birthdays too, especially on social media. If we’re friends on Facebook, I will wish you all the best for your special day, even if I might be a day late.

This year I turn 298 (or something there about) so I have many fond memories of my personal New Year. My most recent, favorite birthday memory happened in 2016 on Bourbon street in New Orleans (no shocker if you know me and my love for NOLA.) I wandered into Maison Bourbon http://www.maisonbourbon.com to hear some old school jazz. There was a delightful four-piece jazz band, playing great songs to a packed bar. The band leader asked if anyone was celebrating an anniversary or a birthday. Not a soul spoke up. I was solo, and didn’t want to draw attention to myself but the band seemed disappointed that no one responded. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Nervously I raised my hand and said “It’s my birthday.” People applauded! The band asked for my name. I smiled and answered “Sunny,” a nickname that fits my personality when I’m not writing dark, paranormal stories. The band broke into a lively version of “Happy Birthday” and the entire bar sang along. To my delight and surprise they then sang “When the Saints Go Marching In”. My heart soared.

The next night, two of my gal pals flew in from Los Angeles and I took them back to my new favorite spot. When we walked through the door, the band remembered me. “Sunny’s back!” they exclaimed before playing “Let’s go Fly A Kite”. It was the best time ever in terms of birthday shenanigans! The memory still brings me tears of joy.

I enjoy receiving gifts and using celebratory coupons from my favorite restaurants for my birthday month. (A little known fact unless you’re one of the cool ones born under the sign of the twins: we Geminis celebrate for a minimum of a week.) However it’s the wonderful memories I get to reflect on and share with others that I treasure most.

Regardless if you are a Gemini or not, I hope you take the time to celebrate YOUR personal new year too.

Thinking outside of the Box March 2018

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Roosevelt the Blue Crab. At my day job, we ship lots of the cranky crustaceans every morning.  Roosevelt caught my attention because A) when the crabs do escape, they are very, very angry, and freak me out (I will chat about irrational fear in next month’s blog), and B) he reminded me to appreciate freedom and to acknowledge one’s life path.

Lucky little Roosevelt managed to get free from his brothers and sisters.  Whenever challenged, he wielded his sharp claws. I was too scared to put him back in his box so I asked one of my co-workers to help me.  Jokingly, my coworker gingerly picked him up and instead of Roosevelt being returned back with the others, he found himself perched on a yellow, 10 inch wide pole.  He got to see life as I do, my view of an open space with fresh air, instead of his view in a dark, cramped, smelly box.

Eventually he was put back in his box, safe and sound (no animals were harmed!).

The moment he sat on the pole made me think about how lucky I am.  Instead of being stuck with wherever life finds me at the moment, I have the freedom to challenge myself and I can encourage other people to do the same. I can change my view. There’s no way to escape the end of our path (poor Roosevelt couldn’t change his fate that he was going to be someone’s meal), but we can try to enjoy our path while we’re here.  We can appreciate moments like enjoying great conversation with a friend over a steamy cup of coffee. We can be brave and push ourselves to learn new things instead of sitting on the couch watching negative news. Chasing our dreams and working towards our goals, while still remembering to hug loved ones, makes our paths more interesting. Instead of daily grumbling about punching a time clock, I’m inspired to create stories for Grandmother Zenobia and the characters of Carrefour County.  I savor the times I get to binge watch Supernatural or something on Netflix, rather than feel guilty that I’m not “doing” anything. I no longer complain about being bored; I get out and walk, appreciating the sun on my face and the birds that fly in the sky.

Our paths are not easy; I’m pretty sure the Universe does that on purpose.  Delightful things, heartbreaking things, sweet things, and horrible things pop up all the time. I think it’s okay to be happy or sad, angry or fearful, as long as we experience those emotions and then move through them.  Life is meant to be experienced and savored, not disregarded or ignored.

So friend, I ask what will YOU do on your path? I’d love to hear about it!  When you are freed from your box, like Roosevelt the crab, I hope you have the time of your life.