I was casting around, trying to figure out a birthday celebration that felt like “me.”

“New York. Montreal and Ottawa are boring,” said Becky.

But New York is kind of boring to me. A 16-hour round trip for—what? Skyscrapers? Broadway? I like artists, but I can see artists in an hour or two. New York’s work to reward ratio is too high for me.

The only birthday celebration that felt even a little bit me was this one: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/MayaStein/type-rider-cycling-the-great-american-poem

I like that Maya Stein started her birthday with an adventure, that she was bike-riding, that she was meeting new people and taking chances. But I wouldn’t take 40 days off to ride a bike, and having someone follow you in a car means that your global footprint is as big as if you just drove the whole way. (“I don’t think the point is to be eco-friendly. I think the point is to be weird,” said my unromantic husband, Matt.)

A friend of Denise’s rented the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa and showed The Princess Bride. I like that idea, and the book and movie, but not enough to have that as my own personal be all and end all.

In desperation, I even read an unintentionally hilarious article about how to celebrate your 70th birthday with tips like “lots of seniors have dietary restrictions.”

When I asked my friend Geneviève, she said that for her 40th birthday, she plans to have 40 celebrations.

As soon as I heard that, my entire body said, YES. That way, you get more treats with every year, as it should be. That way, it’s not one big party to build up and let down, but a series of wonder. If one happy noodle doesn’t work, just move on to the next in the chain of treats.

My new friend Amber, who did an exchange from Australia for a year with her family, said that her year here was her year of yes.

So this can be my year of yes, with no yes considered too big or too small.

My Year of Yes, 2013

  1. Making homemade dumplings with Becky, using the recipe from Jen Lin-Liu’s Serve the People—absolutely f-ing delish
  2. Partner yoga with Matt last night–uncomfortable for him, fun for me



Vodou exhibition at the Museum of Civilization

Nuit Blanche in Montreal


What’s your year of yes?