Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My 50th Birthday Gift to Myself


For my 50th birthday I gave myself a special gift. 

I cut the label off of the curtain in my living room.

It’s been there ever since I hung the curtains.  Backwards.  But it’s a sheer white panel and you really couldn’t tell that I hung it backwards except for that damn label.  When I watched TV I looked at it and wondered how much work it would be to cut it off.

Would the step ladder in the pantry do the trick?  

Or would I need the 6-foot ladder from the garage? 

Can I just wait until Grant grows tall enough to reach up and cut it off…?

Today I decided that it’s time.  I’m not sure why today felt like the right moment.  Maybe it’s related to me turning 50 today.  Maybe it’s not.  It’s possible I’m over-analyzing.

As it turns out, the stepladder in the pantry did the trick.  The whole process took less than 30 seconds.

So my present to myself for the next 50 years is that I won’t have to look at that label anymore and wonder how much work it would take to cut it off.

In exchange however, I will look at the curtain and remember how many hours I spent looking at it before, wondering how much work it would be to cut it off. 

Regret and self-doubt as a replacement for procrastination and inaction. 

This is The Downtown Diner, you knew that was coming. 

You might wonder how any of this is blog-worthy.  And really, it’s not.  I know most people will read it once and then again, and then will ask themselves what the point is.  Then they will shake their heads and close their laptop with a sigh.

But there are a few people out there who will read this and think about me and nod and smile and say, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”  They will think about my quirks and all my posts over the years and how much they love me. 

And you all, you are the best gift I have given myself over the past 50 years.  Thank you for being part of it all with me.  All my procrastination and inaction, all my regret and self-doubt.  My seemingly pointless posts and the live conversational versions of the same.  I love you all. 

Let’s do another 50 years of this.  


8 comments:

Unknown said...

Lovely reflection :) Big hugs, and many happy returns.

KN:) said...

Loads of love & hugs right back at ya!

Melanie Gao said...

Thank you Anon and KN! <3

Cricket Buchler said...

Happy birthday, beautiful. I love your posts. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some damn blinds that I’ve been meaning to replace for the past five years... :)

Samiam said...

Happy birthday!! I never knew you as a procrastinator or someone full of self doubt. That was me. You were my hero. Of course that WAS thirty years ago. And a lot can change. But some things never change - and you are STILL my hero. Welcome to the 50s!

Melanie Gao said...

Thank you Cricket! Can’t wait to see you at REACH this summer.

Sam, you are kind. Thirty years ago I was just better at hiding all my insecurities. :)

Peter Greaves said...

Belated happy birthday Mel, I love your posts, they are very sublime.

Manoj said...

A little late, but happy birthday Melanie!

-Manoj (Luster)