The simple life

Its been ten years since I began writing. It was one of those things that I didn’t intend to do. I started as a way to get out of my head and work through problems. I began to understand the importance of reading my thoughts. I didn’t always know what I was thinking until I wrote it down. I know that sounds strange but its a way for Myself to communicate with me.

I turned 53 today. I remember when my grandpa was 54 and when my dad turned 50 and when my great grandma turned 88. I don’t remember all my birthdays but I remember a lot of them. I turned 11 on an airplane home from London. I turned 16 sitting on the steps of the Paramount theatre watching Risky Business. I turned 5 in my grandparents three season room while my auntie led party games. I turned 50 talking on the phone with an HR recruiter thinking my life was about to change and it did. My 14 birthday was spent jumping off a snag hanging over a creek in Montana and swimming with my family. My 48 birthday was at Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco eating Francis Ford Coppola’s mediocre Italian food and feeling scared about the impending future. Most birthdays I spend at the Edmonton Fringe Festival with Guys in Disguise laughing my ass off.

Each birthday I was very present. I wanted to remember every moment and for the most part I did. I spent about 8 birthdays wishing certain people would acknowledge me and I spent about 10 birthdays taking for granted those who did. Today I am not at the Fringe. It is named ‘The Fringe that never was’. Covid-19 has changed my life and made it better in many ways. I am sitting in my backyard listening to the kid down the block play his recorder. Some guy is mowing his lawn a few blocks over. Birds are signing to each other in my trees. Apples are hanging low on the tree and my cucumbers are about an inch long on the vine. My pal Cap is lounging on the lawn. The table is set up outside and cleaned for my birthday dinner from Fox Burger. The parents are coming for a visit. This will be my third socially distance visit with humans outside my family since March 15.

Ten years ago I was at the same park I was at for my 50th. It was my brother-in- law’s birthday and my sister included me. I was in the middle of a dark and deep depression before I know I was. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I needed. All I knew was that I wasn’t living it.

I began writing, taking risks and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. One reader left a comment and said, “I think you are depressed and hate your job.” I stared at that comment for a very long time. I am grateful to that reader. They were right. I went back to school, changed careers, tried out some new friends and ran a half marathon and finished it with a stress-fractured foot. I learned I was made of some tough stuff, I loved my family and I had some remarkable people in my life. I figured out my values and removed people from my life who required me to compromise them.

52 was hard. But not as hard as 42. 42 was dark. 43 was darker.

I know 53 will be what I make it.

My plans and goals for 53 are simple:

  1. Meditate every day. I have meditated every day since December 13, 2016. That equates to 1361 days. It has opened up my world and provided clarity on everything. It is the greatest gift I have ever given myself.
  2. Practice being mindful and present. It reduces stress and anxiety.
  3. I will write and finish the YA novel I am working on. It will be my fifth novel. Maybe one day I will get one of these published.
  4. I will continue to surround myself with people who bring me peace. You know who you are <3.
  5. Laugh often and hard.
  6. Tell people why I appreciate them. I started doing this about a year after I began meditating. I don’t always, but I am much better at it.
  7. Love people even though they aren’t good for me or in my life.
  8. Love me.

I went to See Oprah when she was in town and she said (I am paraphrasing) “Your 40’s are for figuring out your life. Your 50’s are for practicing your new life and your 60’s are the best you can ever imagine.”

I believe it Oprah.

Wishes on Stars ALWAYS come true for me

wish-upon-a-starI know a lot of people don’t believe in wishing on stars, people are hopeful, they want to believe but it usually doesn’t work out for them. I have wished twice upon a star. Both times they have come true. That is a 100% wish successful rate. So one would think that if you wished on a star for everything you want, you would be filled with bountiful wishes right? I don’t think it works that way. I think you have to respect the star and respect the wish.

My first wish is turning 17 tomorrow.


My second wish turns 15 in two weeks.


I am thankful my wishes came true in separate pay periods, that was just smart planning on my part. This weekend’s events have me thinking about my birthdays as a teen. I cannot remember my 17th birthday nor do I remember my 15th birthday. Odd. I usually have a very vivid memory of my past. What I do remember are not major events but incidental moments that make up my childhood.

My dad married the girl next door, down the street and around the corner when he was a kid. After 46 years of happily-ish married bliss (lets be honest, 46 years is a long time to be happy every stinking day. It doesn’t happen like that. But my parents ARE great friends and still do TONS of stuff together. Luckily they don’t play old people sports like bridge, lawn bowling or canasta. There is still time for that though…) When I came a long, we lived within walking distance of both my grandparents homes. I was one of those lucky kids who had 2 grandmas, 2 grandpas and a great grandma and a great grandpa. Most of my friends only had one or two, I had the collectors set.

I remember Sunday dinners, sleep-overs, craft days, stages productions, Barbie bliss and general good times at both homes. Eventually we moved away to the Arctic (I know, insert pity party here —>     ) and what I remember most was missing my grandparents. When we moved home, my brother and I were placed on an Airplane and met in Edmonton by my Grandfather. I remember the sense of relief at the age of 6 to be met by that hug. They took me home to their house and the fun times resumed. But I missed my other Grandparents terribly. When I eventually saw them, more fun times ensued.

When we moved back to Edmonton for good (I know…but it is PARADISE compared to the Arctic) I lived a bike ride away from my Grandma. Believe it or not, I was the opinionated kid of the family and often disagreed with the way my parents bestowed RULES upon me. Injustice raged through my veins so I always called my Grandma – she loved me and she would rescue me.



I would ask if I could sleep over. The answer was always yes. The green chip bowl was always ready with Old Dutch BBQ and Carol Burnett was always brought to you by Kraft. When I wished upon the star many years later, that was part of my wish. For my wish to have the same relationship with their grandparents as  I had with my grandparents.

It mostly came true. The grandparents were only on my side, but they came with extras. One great grandma each and a great grandpa who was EXACTLY like Carl from UP.


My grandpa and my son


I moved down the street and around the corner so my wishes could visit and run away every chance they got. One wish goes there after school every thursday to hang out. One stops by for milkshakes on a regular basis. There was a suitcase packed and one ran away to grandma once, and many movie and sleepover nights were held. The grandchildren even had their OWN bedroom at Grandma’s house.

So now that my first wish is 17 tomorrow, I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday. The reply was, “Dinner at (favorite restaurant) and invite Grandma and Grandpa.” No family or friend party? No cake or donuts?

“No, just a really good steak and grandma and grandpa.”

I am living proof that wishes come true. Sure I augmented it by moving close to my parents but what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t at least try to provide the circumstances that enhanced my childhood?

Happy Birthday Wish #1 xoxoxox

The Princess Party with Diana Princess of Wales.

I belong to one of those kooky families that actually like doing stuff together. Weird and unusual, but true story. Friday night the women of my family planned and executed a birthday party for my mom. Like all great parties it was well themed. There were 4 generations present and all female. Girls night – girls gone wild tourist style.

The cast of characters:

GG – Great Grandma and mom to my mom.

Grandma – grandma to the grandchildren and mom to me.

Aunty – Sister to Grandma

Sister – My younger sister

Sister Wife – My brother’s wife

Niece – Sister’s daughter

ChatterBox – My kiddo

ET – The Edmonton Tourist (Me!)

Theme: Princess Party. When my mom turned 60 we had a Barbie themed party. This year we chose Princess themed, why? Well, Diana Princess of Wales Exhibit was in town and my mom, gran and aunty are MASSIVE ROYAL WATCHERS. I mean HUGE. Gran is kinda British. I’m not really sure, but lets say sure! It’s complicated and for the purposes of this story – YES she hails from a British heritage.

Dinner: Princess themed, so High Tea? Nope. Pub food? Nope. The local Chippy? YES! We went to Brits for deep fried everything. I had fish and chips – as did everyone else. No deep fried mars bars today. Now if they would deep fry a Cadbury Easter Cream egg…I might be in.


Sister took on the responsibility of Loot Bags, because we all know you can’t have a party without them! There was a choice of Red or Blue boxes – colours for the Union Flag (not Union Jack because we aren’t at sea. Look at you learning something new! STOP CALLING IT THE UNION JACK – unless of course you are on a boat…then its fine). I also enjoy Tardis Blue and Converse Red for the 10th Doctor…but that is just me, and ChatterBox…and other Whovians who were absent from this party.


Each box had lip gloss, nail polish, a glitter emery board, bubbles, a ring and a TIARA! Grandma started blowing bubbles right away and was joined by Niece and ChatterBox. My Bubbles were deficient and broken. But I put on the Tiara!




Sister and Niece dressed up in Tiaras and rings too!

The Box also had GORGEOUS Princess Di Rings – not the famed Engagement Ring – The Althorp Family Rings! Those are pink (look at you learning new stuff today!)


Here is the Birthday Princess in all her Royal Glory!


Here are the Old Birds looking like the Divine Diva’s they truly are!


After dinner we loaded into the Bus  Sister’s truck that seats a football team (she has a LOT of kids) and we headed to THE MALL (Edmonton Speak for West Edmonton Mall). We bought our tickets ($23.10) and walked the 15 miles to the exhibit – so I exaggerated  It was down to Phase one and up stairs past all the bridal shops, almost to the new Target. It was FAR from Guest Services.

I was taking a pic of the entrance when ChatterBox photo-bombed me


Then inside we went. There were no signs say no photography so I took some.

I drooled in front of the Tiara. It was prettier than the ones we wore. I bet hers was heavier tho (yes we were still wearing our tiara! It was a birthday party for crying out loud!)


The wedding dress was not as fabulous as I thought the night I stayed up to watch the wedding. I loved her cocktail gowns and the jewelry was spectacular. After she divorced, her fashion sense improved! The gal had fabulous taste.

Was it worth it? If you are a Royal fan YES – if not it was worth it just to see the music hand written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin and the score for the funeral by George Martin. That was so COOL!

Go wearing tiaras and rings. The staff treat you like royalty.

Happy Birthday Mommy!

The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in List

My buddy Paul sang this for me today:

That’s right, shameless plug, I am having a birthday. Half of 90, so I guess it’s official – I have reached the middle-age plateau.

There are a few birthdays that stick out for me, only a few because as you get older the memory fades and everything blends together. I cannot for the life of me remember what I did on my 40th. But I remember my 21st like it was yesterday. I was a camp counsellor and was thrown off the pier by my pals. All the little campers made me pictures and the I received a special camp cake – it was gross but oh so special!

I remember my 16th birthday. I sat on the steps of the paramount theatre in a mini skirt to watch Risky Business, they over old seats so I sat on the sticky floor with my best friend. We went of for drinks – the alcohol kind and I had a Chi-Chi. My first underage public libation – good times.

I remember my 43rd very well. My kiddos brought me breakfast in bed that was cooked! When they were little they were not allowed to turn on the stove so they made “egg bread” soaking bread in raw egg – the preamble to french toast. My kids have always been so thoughtful.

Typically I have always been on vacation for my birthday. Not this year, I’m just back. I share this day with Fess Parker – Davy Crockett and of course it is Dead Elvis Day. All Elvis All Day – bring it ON!

I often indulge myself on my birthday, I never use to but I treat myself now to only do things I want to do. This includes NOT HAVING A PARTY. I hate parties. But I love spending time with a few well chosen chums and loved ones. I love little surprises like birthday fairies leaving treats on my porch without ringing the bell, magical coffee appearing and free junk. Sephora sent me an email to pick up lip balm from them today – free! Sure it will be a tiny sample, but it’s free!

Today I will go for a bike ride, spend some birthday money on an umbrella stand for my Mary Poppins Umbrella (Thanks Mom and Dad!!!), have dinner at the Keg, go Fringing, eat cake pops and perhaps read in the tub with candles and bubbles up to my eyeballs.

There is one thing I want for my birthday. I wish on a star for it every year. I have told the universe about it. I will likely never happen, but I keep hoping. This might actually be the year. However I am patient and can wait another 45 years for it. I will never speak it out loud because that will ruin it. People who know me well will be able to figure it out. When it happens I will cry. It costs nothing. There is not a dollar amount to be had, yet it would be priceless to me. I tear up thinking about it. Sigh…..

Meanwhile, I am thankful for so many wonderful friends and family, my cup is really over flowing. Now that I am 45 have figured out what is important to me, what I dislike and will no longer tolerate and what I cannot live without. Well… I could live without it but I choose not to. Here is my list, The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in list:

  1. Long lovely chats with friends. I have a few friends who I NEED to spend time with. I need it like I need air to breath. I will stop everything to answer their call, text or email. I will not give them up in spite of how crazy they make me. I love them and they love me. I will defend them to the death and I know they have my back too. In fact I have had war of words and made enemies with people because of my need to defend and protect these 3 people. I won’t say who they are, they know it and that’s all that matters.
  2. Music. I had lost music for a while and I blame myself when I want to blame that fellow who TOOK my stereo to his office to use for the switch board and never replaced it until a decade later when I received my first iPod. But really…I should have told him to fek off and demand music in my life not TV. I am  not a TV watcher. I watch movies and news and even not so much news because I read my news on social networking sites. But Music is my passion, it lifts me, it relaxes me, transports me to other places, dimension and feelings. I have everything from Disney to ZZ Top in my rotation and tons of other genres in between – except Michael Jackson. I never enjoyed his music, even when he was a black dude. His “woos” and “aaahhhhs” make me want to punch him in the face. I endured 2 showings of Captain EO and that is 40 minutes of my life I will never get back. NEVER. Today will be about some Disney ride soundtracks and park loops so I can reminisce about birthdays past and future.
  3. Bikes. in high school I would ride my bike from Sherwood Park to Edmonton through the river valley. My babies stopped me for a while, mostly because of cash to have the proper safety equipment. I gave up my career to be the best mom I could for them, but that meant giving up other stuff so they could stay healthy and have things like food and shelter. I’m going for a bike ride today and I cannot wait! I’m taking Chatterbox’s bike because Genetic offsprings bike is too big and he doesn’t share. I have no idea where I am going but that is part of the adventure of cycling.
  4. Books. I am reading my 30th book of the year – not including text books and books for my classes. 30 books for pleasure. |I have expanded my genre horizon and tried books that scared me before. I read books that bored me, scared me and horrified me. I read books that made me weep, made me explore my sexual side and taught me new lessons. I read books that made me want to travel to distant places and stay away from places. Today will be spent with Steve Jobs. I am half way through his biography and am shocked, enthralled, inspired and motivated.
  5. Arts. Today is about dramatic Arts. I will fringe today. I haven’t been able to get to the art gallery in quite some time, but i am going on Monday. I write daily on my book, blog and in letters to friends. I am working on a painted piece for a friend. I draw, sketch and paint on a regular basis. Being creative releases the ugly and keeps me smart and focused. I use it to take my mind off anxiety causing events, to be closer to people from my past and present and people who are no longer with me. i do it because i think of them and in return, they inspire me.
  6. Snuggles. There is nothing finer than having your kiddos meet you at the airport and hug you in public, except when they let you kiss them on the cheek.
  7. Laughter. I had lost this for a bit during my depression. I would laugh, but never hard. I missed it. I get the occasional note or text from a friend that makes me howl and brings tears to my eyes. Keeping it light and silly is fun for me. Now that I have climbed out of the dark abyss I am laughing again. Love it!

Seven things that I indulge in always. I know the list will grow as I figure out stuff. I indulge in things that make me smile and say no to those things I hate, that I use to do because it was expected. Well I am I 45 now, time to put on purple lipstick and get my cranky pants on because just because YOU expect something from me doesn’t mean I will indulge you. Find the things that make you happy – they are events, circumstances not stuff you buy, things you make people do. Having someone do something for you un asked and uninvited is lovely beyond words. I have discovered my life is to short to waste on things that have no meaning for me. 45, my life is half done – if I am lucky, so I will spend the next 45 years extending my 64 days of awesome into a life time of awesome.

I need to share what one of my awesome friends sent me for my birthday. He lives in Argentina and we share a love of vintage animation. His humor comes through in  translation, Mr. Google translator is our friend to keep the conversation going. Yet Mr. Google is not the best at helping us, it gets the point across. This little song he made for me made me laugh. I can visualize the animation sequence that needs to go with it.

Vocaroo Voice Message.


My life is rich and full with family and friends. Happy Birthday to me! I am one very lucky girl.




I am 16,060 days old.

Shameless Plug —-> Today is my Birthday!

As with all my birthdays of the past, my friends are all on vacation, scattered to various parts of the universe. Lucky dogs are in Vancouver, Newfoundland, England, Greece, New York, Hawaii and Disneyland. Then there is the Entourage, they are in Idaho. So it was a typical birthday for me. Spent alone….awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Until 4:30.

Then I went to pick up my Gran, Mrs. Stadler and the Capo. The Capo is my Favorite Aunt. She is really more like my sister in all ways including age. Just a few years apart. Girls night on the prowl…to a Gay Club to watch a Drag Show.

This was the first time my Gran, who is 84 btw -( sorry Gran, but be proud!) to go to a Gay Club AND watch a Drag Show. She can now cross that off her bucket list! I am pretty sure she loved it, I could hear her howl with laughter. The guy gal female impersonator was fantastic! His Her The show is called EYECONS and she sang all her songs, which is unusual for the drag shows I have seen. They tend to be lip-synced. When she did Judy Garland, I swear it was Judy on stage being channeled. FABULOUS and funny, go see it if it is ever in your town. EYECONS is here part of the Edmonton Fringe.

Our dinner was a healthy Corn Dog and Poutine – standard carne food. I enjoyed libations of Candy Apple – mmmm never had that before- at the club and the it was off to Flirt for a birthday cup cake. I had THE DON, the Capo had a BOOB and Mrs. Stadler had Carrot Cake…boring name but tasty.

We laughed and strolled through the Fringe site where I had my face read by a psychic. She nailed everything and made me cry.  I think I need to ponder some of what she said more thoroughly.

By this time it was 8:30 and the birthday girl was tired. TIRED for crying out loud! 8:30 at night, I didn’t work all day because I watch Sex in the City (I have a thing for Big and men who live like Big in New York) I DID NOTHING!!!! Here was me wanting to go home home and rest!!! My 84 year old Granny said, “well you don’t take after me! I’m up long past 11:30!” Crickey! Middle aged and needing a nap.  NOT COOL!

We piled into the car and I yawned. WTF?!?! I use to be the girl who stayed up until 3! Not this year! I tell myself it is because of all the exercise I do, but I secretly fear it has to do with oldness. 44 is half way to 88. That makes me middle age, because God forbid I live past 88! If I do, I am wearing ruby red lipstick and carrying a cane to whack people with. Just saying…

Once in the car, the Capo talked about how cranky she is getting and it is worse when people ask why. She said ” Oh for crying out loud, I am 50 and menopausal! I have hormones! I am entitled to be cranky!!” She gave me a birthday card that said “Happy Birthday to someone I like… This is a big deal. I hardly like anybody.”  She signed it Aunty. I think I am the cause of her crankiness. I have never called her Aunty in my life. This has ALWAYS annoyed her. Her crankiness is now on steroids due to “hormones”. THEN the topic changed to how many times do you have to get up in the middle of the night to pee! WTF?!?! I don’t want to hear that! It’s my birthday! They talked about the value of a bed pan and how simple it would be to wear a diaper…well not Gran, she said”I NEVER WANT TO WEAR ONE!” I know women my age who wear them on long car trips because their husband won’t stop to let them use the loo. DEAR HUSBANDS who won’t stop, NOT COOL! Asking your sweetie to put penaten on your arse is not sexy and not romantic…just saying. Unless you’re into that – Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Is this what I have to look forward too?? 6 years away of thinking bedpans are a good thing?? Kill me now. Screw dying at 88, I’m good to go now while I am feeling good. But it sucks. I finally have good hair! I just got a personal trainer today! I own a Tiffany necklace and want to get some wear out of it!

Happy Birthday to me 🙂

Another Disappointing Birthday Party

Today was a very disappointing day. It was a birthday party to celebrate all the family members whose birthday is in the Summer Season. I am included in that list. I went to the Winter party to celebrate all those winter birthdays, next year I should host the Spring Parties because my 2 Off Spring are spring babies. Sadly I missed out on the day that celebrated ME!

I was working hard on some papers that were due. More homework then one hopes for in the middle of summer, but I am almost finished. I had high hopes for the presents this year. I was HOPING for a blue box tied in white ribbon containing a numerous amount of things sparkly, or a purse pen or a change wallet (Tiffany blue) or a Tiffany notes Cuff bracelet. Did I get those? No. Not that I should EXPECT gifts, I missed out on a card party.

Aunty Kitty gave me a great card though.

I feel your pain Delores. Maybe next year…

Since When did Old become Middle Aged?

The other day I was chatting with a friend when it was mentioned that a mutual contacted had passed away. I commented what a shame it was for his family. My conversational partner said, “it is, because he was so young!”

The man was 67. In my books that is already old. Young to me is under 30. Under 30’s usually haven’t really figured themselves out yet. I say usually because I believe there are exceptions to every rule. I can list 3 people off the top of my head who are under 30 who have it all together. Good for them! I didn’t. I pretended I did. That didn’t work out to well for me. But as with all things imaginary, that ended and reality marched in front and center and I evolved into what I call middle-aged.

Middle aged to me is somewhere between 35 and 45. I know you are all shocked but COME ON! Middle aged means double your age and that is old age. 35 x 2 =70. 70 is old. The Government of Canada expects you to retire before then and they will happily pay you your old age benefit of $265 plus change. That doesn’t cover my coffee bill for the month, so hopefully I will be dead by then.

People who are 63 and say they are middle age have me looking at them askew. 63 x 2 = 126. WHO WANTS TO LIVE THAT LONG?!?!? Not me. I hurt enough already. My knees will have to be replaced long before then. The body just wears out, not to mention the mind. So get a grip people! Embrace your age!

When my grandma was my age she had 3 grandchildren and another on the way. Aged 43 with grandchildren, FORTY THREE!!! When I was little, Grandma’s were considered old. Are they still? I met a Grandma not long ago who was younger than me. THANK GOODNESS that is not my fate! Listen up Offspring, it better not be my fate for a very long time – if ever.

That is not say that you have to fear aging. My Great Grandmother lived until the ripe old age of 98 1/2. I included the 1/2 like we did when we were kids and couldn’t wait to be old because I think when you are 98, the world deserves to know that you are 98 and “how much”. You paid your dues, brag a little! At any rate, she had a hard time moving around by then but she was still sharp as a tack and hilarious. I loved going to visit her. She smelled of pears soap, always had a box of Laura Secord Jellies, and would comment about the residents dropping like flies. She was a teacher for the Saskatchewan School system and screwed them out of decades of teacher pension pennies. I never heard her complain about being old. I’m sure she did, just not to me and maybe not to her grandchildren either. From her I learned you suck up what life deals you and get on with it. No point crying over it. Laugh at it instead, it makes it tolerable.

So here I sit at 43, half way to 86. I never want to experience under 30 again. I am screwed if reincarnation is true. Between you and me, I have to say I love being in my 40’s. I couldn’t say that about the other decades I experienced. Sure there were moments I loved, some I liked, but mostly I like this decade the best so far.

I like being confident and smart. Those two words never use to be in the same sentence. Even now as I write this, it feels odd to declare yourself as smart without the self-depreciating humor attached to it. Or maybe I can enjoy the self-depreciating humor because I am smart. Either way, I like how it feels. I do need to do something about the vessel that carries me further down the path into senior citizen. I really want to take advantage of senior discounts, and brag that I am on a “fixed Income” even though I currently am on a “fixed income” and work full-time. But to do all this and achieve my dreams of being a cranky senior tightwad, I need to shed some weight. I want to be healthy-ish.

I have a great start, and shed a few pounds this summer. I need to move more. So that is what I am going to do. The next stop on my adventure is not going to be a stop after all.

I will keep moving.

Everyone Needs a Rumpus Room

So it happened. My birthday arrived. It had a fair bit of fanfare thanks to the wonderful people in my life. I know the burning question on your mind is…well? Do you feel different? I think not. Kind of disappointed actually. When I turned 5, my birthday was held in my Grandparent’s Rumpus Room.

Noun 1. rumpus roomrumpus room – a recreation room for noisy activities (parties or children’s play etc)

Do you know a single person OTHER then a grandparent who uses that term? Maybe my mom, but I digress…

My Aunt, who was 15 at the time, my Mary Poppins, and was the party planner. My friends from school came, we played party games like pin the tale on the donkey, we all wore party dresses, knee socks and black patent shoes. We drank pink lemonade and ate cake. At least I think we ate cake. I clearly remember the party, opening gifts but don’t remember the food.  I do remember thinking I wish could see these friends more often – and not just the one my mom thought I should play with (I never liked her, but our families were friends – you know how that works). Having a birthday in the summer was not optimal for returning social obligations. Friends were away, or I was away and often it made for a lonely party, but I always FELT different. Older, smarter, taller,  and happy.

Today led me to wander down to the Edmonton Fringe Festival in Old Strathcona. For those of you who are new to this lingo – The Fringe is described as a Theater Arts and Entertainment Festival.  You see street performers and show up at venues to watch plays. You take your chances and can see the best show ever or one that makes your ears bleed. Either way, worth the time and effort to find parking. I brought my 12-year-old daughter. She takes all day to get ready so we arrived about 4.00pm. Too late to attend the kids Fringe. So we hit the main stage. There was a gal who traveled all the way from New Zealand to be at OUR Fringe – that amazes me – Edmonton’s Fringe! She was standing on two fellows, Kyle and Sam, and hooping with 6 hoops. Very amazing. At the end she spoke of the degree she has and how proud her parents were when she became a psychologist. Then she went to clown camp and had way more fun. She said DO what you love and love what you DO.  It was an “AH HA!” moment for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job. It affords me the summers off, I meet amazing people with extra ordinary lives, it lets me appreciate the life I am given, but I don’t love it. Not once have I ever woken up from a deep a fabulous sleep dreaming about Chris Pine saving me from a Borg ship and thought WOOHOOOOO I get to go to work today! Yeeeeessssss!  I cannot wait!!! But I do wake up, drink coffee – copious amounts really – and think hmmm it is a nice day, maybe outside for gym. But I have always wanted more.

Due to circumstances in my life that have led me to this point, I never finished my degree. If I regret certain things, then I would be missing out on the wonderful things I have.  So I am not going to waste time going down that road. However, it is not to late for me to change that small detail. So, in keeping with my goal of being a tourist in my own life, I Robyn – the Edmonton Tourist – am going back to University at the age of 43. Now lets not get all crazy and think this is my dream degree. Noooo  sirreeeee bob! To do that it would mean leaving my family and moving to Toronto to go to Ryerson. Sometimes you have to compromise on the goal to make it work around the people you love most. For me, the degree is huge. The extra cash that comes with it will be sweeeeeeeet! Will I love my job? huh…. likely more than I do now, but I seriously doubt I would choose it over fighting Davy Jones with Captain Jack all warm and cozy in my dreams. How many of you out there are living the dream? How many of you cannot wait to get to work every morning? If I held up the Romper Room mirror whose hand would I see? OH COME ON! You seriously LOVE your job? If it’s true then tell me about it!  I would love to hear how you choose that career path and what makes it so fantastic! But if you are like me and just like your job, I think we are pretty damn lucky.

So back to your question: Well? Do I feel different now that I am 43? Bravery has poked its head out and is taking me by the hand to seek out new adventures and challenges. So, here is me changing my tune. Do I feel different? Yes.