Today is the eve of my 43rd birthday. I share my birthday with a TON of people famous and not so famous- well, who are we kidding- the not famous at all, like family and friends of mine. I find a couple of things very interesting about August 16th. First of all, the King of Rock and Roll died on my 10th birthday. I remember that I felt like HE RUINED my birthday. Forever more, my birthday will be filled with Elvis movies and music. This is awesome for those of you who are in fact fans. But sadly, I am just an impartial friendly. In case you need an explanation, that just means, his music does not hurt my ears, however, I am not a rabid enthusiast either. Now that title belongs to my father. He loves Elvis. Although he wont admit it, Dad will just stay cool as a cucumber and say “Oh Elvis, he was goooood”. But in my opinion, anyone who OWNS the Elvis Pez collector series is a serious fan. To be fair, dad owns EVERY Pez collector series. So maybe that isn’t a great measuring stick. Pictures of my dad from the 60’s was him dressed like Elvis. Suspicious Minds was one of the very first songs I ever knew. In the 80’s when the Fine Young Cannibals did the cover, I already could sing along! Viva Las Vegas introduced me to Ann Margret who beget Bye Bye Birdie, who beget Dyke Van Dyke who introduced me to my beloved Mary Poppins. This is the readers digest version of the start of my Disney obsession. I digress….
If you google August famous birthdays on the 16th, you get old people – with the exception of Rumor Willis. She thinks she’s famous because of her acting career. But secretly, its because of who her parents are, and more importantly, who her step father is. Seriously OLD people share their birthday with me. Fess Parker – old, now dead. Ann Blyth – NOT the Anne of Green Gables Blythe, but Ann Blyth – Broadway Star – old. Eydie “Blame it on the Bossanova” Gorme – old. Madonna – 51 – who are we kidding – old! Does that mean we are a dying breed? This concerns me. I always figured I would live until I was 53. That gives me 10 years, TEN YEARS LEFT!!! Holy Old Age Security Batman!
So if that gives me 10 years I need to seriously look at what I have accomplished. Well, I have all the stuff that people say they appreciate on their death bed. You know what I mean, great family, happy life, great friends. But seriously, what have I done? I don’t think my copious visits to Disneyland count as an accomplishment. Nor does my fantastic antennae head collection. I have tried doing the Oprah thing, I am participating in Project 365, I like to think I am well read, I have a job where I know I make a difference to the families I work with. But on a personal level, I feel like I am(to use a phrase of my fathers) frittering it away. This past year I have reflected on that, so tomorrow starts the first day of being a Tourist in my own life.
You are thinking, TOURIST?!?! What the…..
You heard me, a TOURIST IN MY OWN LIFE. I have been fortunate to have been able to travel the world with my family both as a child and an adult. There is something about traveling that allows you to explore and try things that you likely would never do at home. Ding Dong! Now you get it!!! I am throwing caution to the wind, taking the plunge, allowing my free spirit to stretch and run. AND it starts tomorrow on my 43rd birthday. My inspiration will be pulled from books I have read, people I have met in person and on facebook. But most importantly, the inspiration for my Edmonton Tourist Project, will be me.