Celebrating life on my birthday!

and here's some things you may not already know

Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research

~ Carl Jung

Hello Friends!

How’s your summer going? It’s been a while since I popped in to say hi, and I miss you! But/and/also -- today is my birthday!!!

I enjoyed a lovely morning walk on the beach, where the sunrise was hiding behind a thick layer of fog. But, hey -- after spending several years on the west coast, I’m not going to complain about some water hanging around the atmosphere!

Later, Jason and I are going to hit up my FAVORITE lobster shack right on the water. Beach, shellfish, more beach! It’s a true Cancerian birthday bash.

Even if today isn’t YOUR birthday, I hope you find some reason to celebrate. It’s so, so important!

Every day when I walk outside, I look to the sky and say thank you for this wild and beautiful life. Highly recommend this practice!

Seeing as how today is a special day for me, I thought it’d be fun to do something different.

38 things you may not know about me:

1 - I’m not yet 40, but 38 is prettttty close, and I thought today’s quote was appropriate considering how much I talked about Carl Jung in my last newsletter!

2 - I was born in Long Island, New York

3 - I got my love of gardening from my great-grandma, Blanche Steinheimer. She was an amazing woman from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which she pronounced “Greenpurnt.”

4 - I’ve been blogging off-and-on since the days of Livejournal

5 - I just started blogging again recently. You can read my opinion of the Sha’Carri Richardson drug test drama here

6 - One of my earliest memories was trying to squeeze myself into the bookshelf in my preschool classroom to hide from the other kids

7 - Several years later, I met that preschool teacher at a summer camp I went to with her daughter. She remembered my name because I was “the shyest kid she’s ever met!”

8 - I still escape into books

9 - I have another early childhood memory of sticking a pair of safety scissors into a power outlet at the babysitter’s house

10 - I wasn’t always a runner — or athletic at all. In fact, I couldn’t handle running a mile during that stupid president’s fitness challenge in middle school.

11 - The one year I actually did jog the entire mile without walking, my gym teacher called me out in front of the whole class (he thought he was doing good), and it scared me away from pursuing any athletic achievement for the next 15 years

12 - But still, basketball was life circa 1994-96

13 - Die-hard Knicks fan, Ewing, Starks, Oakley, Pat Riley years.

14 - My mom claims I used the word “phenomenal” correctly, in a complete sentence, before I was two years old

15 - I have four big dogs, three of which are 55-90 lbs, one is 125 lbs

16 - I’ve also had a pet turtle, Bowser, for nearly 20 years

17 - I have one brother who’s two years younger than me and a Gemini

18 - My husband is also a Cancer

19 - I was in my high school marching band for one year (alto saxophone)

20 - My sax’s name was Lisa

21 - In my late-20’s, I bought a tenor sax and named her Big Lisa

22 - Lisa Simpson is one of my all-time sheroes

23 - One of the reasons I bought said saxophone was because I had left a great job to travel in South America for a while, and people who couldn’t understand this were asking me, “what are you going to do when you get back?” After a while, I got so annoyed by this question; I started telling them, “I’m thinking of taking up the saxophone again.”

24 - I haven’t played in a while, but used to drive out to an abandoned farm, stand on the top of my car, and let her wail into the wind

25 - I spent my 30th birthday working on an organic vegetable farm in Eastern Washington (actually right in the middle of the state, but they call everything east of the Cascades Eastern)

26 - I’ve lived in many places, including Washington, California, Arizona, New York, and New Jersey. Now, Maine.

27 - I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in biopsychology and some graduate coursework in public health. I’ll probably never turn those credits into a master’s degree because I’m so darn jaded by the system

28 - I withdrew from college twice before I stuck with it

29 - When I did graduate, it was from a high-ranked public college I would never have gotten accepted to right out of high school

30 - During my time at The College of New Jersey, I spent three semesters working in an electroencephalography (EEG) research lab, sticking electrodes on people’s heads and faces and studying their brainwaves

31 - My first job after college involved managing the EEG lab at a neighboring, ivy league university. I had major imposter syndrome until I realized most other people there felt the same way.

32 - My first experience traveling abroad was to South Africa right after college graduation. It was a scholarly-ish trip focused on global public health. We visited Soweto, orphanages, private and public hospitals, Robben Island, and the Apartheid Museum

33- We also went on a safari and saw lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, you name it!

34 - Aside from freelance writing and neuroscience research, I’ve had many other jobs, including dog walking, outdoor trip guiding, outdoor retail, teaching English as a second language, and delivering mail

35 - But my absolute FAVORITE job was working in my college library

36 - I still love hanging out in libraries

37 - I also love hanging out in graveyards

38 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been a HUGE influence on my life

Man, when I started this, I was sure I wouldn’t make it all the way to 38! Phew! What a wild ride this life has taken me on so far!

Friends, if you’ve gotten to the end of this list, thank you so much for reading and spending some time with me on my birthday. I love you and hope you do something a lil extra special in my honor today.

Salud! Sláinte! L’chaim! Cheers!

**still cheers’ing with fizzy water bc I’m almost one year alcohol-free!!!**

xoxoxo

Lauren

Photo by Karley Saagi from Pexels