Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tuesday's Child

I was born on a Tuesday. July 24, 1962.

According to 'Monday's Child,' the classic children's poem, Tuesday's child is full of grace.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

You knew this about me, right?
Who hasn't heard that phrase....  "Oh yeah, that Barbie! She's so full of grace."

JFK was president.
On the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Tiger.
The Rolling Stones debuted. 
To Kill a Mockingbird was in theaters.
Marilyn Monroe died.
Julia Child first appeared on television.
Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as Beatles' drummer.
John Glenn orbited the earth.

Closer to home, Seattle hosted The Century 21 Exposition.
More commonly known as the 1962 World's Fair and the opening of the Space Needle.
For her 50th birthday, The Space Needle was recently painted Galaxy Gold.

Fifty years later, 2012, July 24th fell again on a Tuesday and I'm 50 years old.

I could see it coming from a distance. My 50th birthday. Peeking at me from the horizon. Of course I wanted a celebration. But I felt some pressure to make it my celebration. Something specifically appropriate for me. Symbolically radiating my energy.

There would be a couple of events to commemorate the actual day:
An evening gathering with friends.
A sweet 'Barbie-esque' family occasion.

Such memorable birthday celebrations are wonderful, but still I sought something more. Short of painting myself Galaxy Gold, I was sure there was a unique idea waiting just out of my creative reach.

A few months ago, in a casual conversation completely unrelated to birthday thoughts, I happened to mention to someone at work that I'd never ridden on a Harley Davidson. Other motorcycles, sure. I'd even driven a dirt bike back in high school.  But that I'd never even been on a Harley. We continued our friendly discussion and after, I didn't think about it much.

Then a few days later, that co-worker came over to my department and said "Justin said he'd give you a ride on his Harley!!"
"Justin? Over in delivery 'Justin?'"
"Yeah, Justin."
"I didn't know he had a Harley."

Now, other than the occasional "Hi, how ya doing?" in the halls at work and the fact that his wife is one of my favorite co-workers, I didn't know Justin and Justin didn't know me.
But I'm game, right? Right. I went to him to make sure he'd felt no pressure and he convinced me that he was fine with it. We'd pencil it in for a few weeks out.

Then this single 'Thing I've Never Done' (riding on a Harley), sprouted and took root.

My mind began to wander.
"What other things have I never done??  Hmmmm?"
"Well, let's see...I've never traveled anywhere by train." 
It was kind of fun, this line of thought.
"What else?"
More thinking...
"Ummm, I've never gambled in a casino." 
It became a welcome and energizing distraction, this mental list. My imagination began to act like Hermione Granger when a professor asked a question, to which of course she knew the answer. The right hand of my imagination shot up in the air.."Oh, I know! I know! I've never flown first class!" 
Things snowballed from there.
"I've never been in a hot air balloon."
Mental click..
"WAIT! My 50th birthday!. I'll come up with 50 things I've never done before and do them in my 50th year!"
And the angels sang in joyous harmony................."Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Fa la la la la, la la la la!"

50 New Things in the next 52 weeks.
So that's the plan. The plan that rang bells within me the moment it gasped its first breath!!

I'm so excited! Who knows what lies ahead...
Fifty Shades of Galaxy Gold.

I have more to write about the plan, the couple of non-rules, the recruitment and inclusion of my Band of Merry Followers, Friends, Pranksters. The Dream Team. Their role. Their generosity of spirit and passion.

Stay tuned for such details....right now I need to go write about The Very First of My 50 New Things, which happened two days ago!!

You know, I have no problem turning 50. I'm elated, in fact. Maybe that's because I still think of myself as a child. Tuesday's Child.

Thanks for reading. Check back soon.