Birthday and New Year Rituals

I've always enjoyed having my birthday between Christmas and New Years because it means that people are in town and have a little free time. I've done a lot of things in birthday years past and when I thought about this years, I decided I wanted to have a day where I could connect with friends that I love to have conversations with. Not wanting anything large or fixed on a specific time period, I decided to have an open house/ party based around a filmed ritual at the park, a potluck, and a potlatch.

At 2:30 Cam and I met, at Tower Grove Park to do a test shoot with our Super 8 camera. After Cam had finished recording me dressed as a crow/hawk, a handful of friends and family members showed up. I enjoyed the random and brief spontaneous acting at the park, it was a nice shake up to my usual rhythms of the day. As I returned home, BJ showed up in a volcano costume and Cam and him had fun running around the neighborhood. Meanwhile I began to cook and welcomed my oldest friend Jenn (since pre-school!) and her co- worker. After much talking, I returned to the kitchen to start the Paella joined just in time by my friend Amy who assisted in prepping the food. From then on people slowly began to show up and the table filled with good foods. Conversations, eating, music, followed. There was always the right amount of food and by the end of the night there were just a few leftovers.

Additionally people walked away with coats, clothes, and books from the potlatch. (A Native American gift giving ceremony in which items are redistributed) In our case, friends brought things they did not want and then other friends could take them. I was left with only a milk crate of items for the good will!

The only drawback of the night was that our dog growled and barked at people, so Cam had to keep a close eye on her. This proved to be another journey in learning to responsibly socialize a rescued dog.

After a New Years connecting with friends about our New Years intentions, listening to an African Choir, and enjoying fondue and conversations at Chris and Jessi's house, I am feeling really happy and supported. I am thankful for all the amazing friends I have around the world, that I have come to know in long and short spans, and I love that ending this year, my heart is thinking of all of you.

As I look to the New Year and consider my intentions or resolutions, I've come up with the following three ideas.

Frugality- I've got to start putting money aside for our trip to Paris, also I want to continue to pay off my credit debts, I'd like to embrace a more frugal lifestyle this year and really enjoy the things I have instead of focusing on what might be missing.

Sustainability (personal)- I want to continue the positive habits I've developed the past years, eating right, regular exercise, personal quiet time for art, reading, and writing, and connecting with friends, all these things keep me going and keep me energized about the world around me.

Intuition- I'd like to listen to my gut and heart this year. I want to follow my instincts when I am making decisions and trust that I've acted following my conscience and needs.


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