Five on Friday: Birthday Edition
I’ve been recovering from a really fun bike ride from this past Monday. I led a ragtag bunch of folks from San Francisco down to San Jose on a quest for phở! Yes, we all rode 60 miles for Vietnamese food. They are amazing fun folks for sure, and everyone made it (except for two who dropped off at Palo Alto), and no one died. Well, I sure tried to kill them all, including not stopping for any rest or snacks for the last 20 miles, but somehow everyone still made it. They were pretty unhappy and tired, but they made it. I’m insanely proud of each and every one of them, many of whom were strangers to long distance riding. Really, I’m so proud they all made it and could still smile at the end.
Oh, and I randomly tipped over on my bike when my wheel caught on the curb and landed directly on my knee. I saved the bike and sacrificed my knee. The darn thing then swelled up, so Dr. Franny decided that I needed to rest at home for two days (one of them was a vacation day too!) and then that he would chauffeur me to work the rest of the week. I still need to take the train home and walk home from the station. I think it takes me a good half hour to walk that mile home. The good news is that my busted knee is finally starting to look about the same size as the other one again, so it’s only a matter of time before I’m back to being my regular active self.
Yes, on to better times. It’s my birthday this weekend, and I’ve been planning a very fun party and some very tasty pies to share with friends. Since I’m completing yet another lovely year on this earth, this week’s list will be a random list of things I’ve enjoyed about this most recent year.
1. The bikey life
Yes, I know I am a broken record about this, but I can’t help it. This past year, I have really enjoyed riding my bike so much. I’ve gone from simply riding to and from work to riding longer distances with others and alone. When there’s too much noise in my head, I take my bike out to calm myself down, to think things through, and to relieve stress. I’m sure at some point I can find some other alternate outlets, but for now I’ll enjoy the bike rides.
I have not been doing as much photography this past year, but it’s still there in my life. I think I’ll always be one to document events, even the seemingly insignificant ones, and photography is my weapon of choice. This is mostly because I can’t draw worth a damn (other than the odd, uneven stick figure) and sometimes writing just can’t cut it. I can say much more with an image than I could ever write. That said, sometimes photography is so frustrating because I just don’t have the skill to capture the image I want. Sometimes it’s a matter of technical knowledge, but sometimes it’s a matter of timing. I can definitely learn the former, but I don’t know that the latter will ever become second-nature to me. Just need to keep practising.
In the end though, I think I will always be one of those photographers that needs to combine words with images to get the point across. I am just not a strong enough photographer to rely solely on the images, and I can freely acknowledge that.
3. Loving and learning
In terms of my romantic relationship, this past year has been tumultuous to say the least. Since I’m not one to air my laundry online, I shall completely fail to go into details, but I will say that I think our relationship is stronger now than ever. This year we will celebrate five years of marriage, a small milestone to some, but forever and a half to others. I don’t know that the number of years is such a big deal to me personally, but I have felt that the memories we are making together are becoming richer and deeper and more of an ingrained part of myself. When we first got together 10 years ago, I would say we were more like two very individual people whose life path happened to travel next to the other. Now I would say that our lives and personalities are more interwoven. We are still separate people with separate identities, like two coloured threads, but we are also building an identity and knitting ourselves closer to one another.
4. Just being
This past year I’ve worked hard to just enjoy life right now. The moment is what I am living in, not the future or the past. I can’t worry so much over what I cannot control in life. All I can really do is do what makes me happy, build relationships with others, and quietly live my life in a satisfying way. And by satisfying, I mean only on my own terms. I can’t worry if my life is satisfying to others; I’m the one living it, so as long as I can still find adventure and happiness, then that’s all that matters. We may be embarking on our biggest adventure yet in the coming year, and I can’t wait to see what happens.
I actually wrote this item first because I have so much to be thankful for with regard to friends, old and new. I’ve met a lot of new friends this year and become closer with friends who are so supportive and fun. I cannot stress enough how much I love and adore my close friends and how much I enjoy meeting new friends to get to know. Hey guess what, my mum was right (again): people and our relationships with them are what really matter in life. As a blatant extrovert, I wholeheartedly agree.
Note to self: listen to mum more often.