Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Year of the Bird

Today is my birthday. Which of course, means I'm pondering the meaning of life, and other gigantic questions like when the heck did I get so OLD? And uncool?
At this stage of my life, I don't even pretend to be cool. I (still) barely how to use Snapchat, I won't rock highwaisted pants with a crop top, and...well, I don't really even know about enough cool things to make a compelling list of the things I don't do. But- I do occasionally hear slang from the whippersnappers (aka: my teenage nieces, and a few adorably young-professional friends) and have picked up a couple things here and there. 

So, have you heard of a Jordan Year

I'll save you the trip to Urban Dictionary and explain: 
The 23rd and best year of your life. Named in reference to Michael Jordan, superhero basketball player, whose jersey number is 23.

Well...clearly that ship has sailed for me. Womp, womp. Guess it's all downhill from here. Actually...guess it was all downhill from 10 years ago? Even wompier womp. It's a shame no one told me that I peaked (or maybe, was supposed to have peaked). If I had known at the time that I was having a Jordan Year...I could have, I don't know, made it a Jordan Year. Just dominating life all over the place, making a name for myself, solidifying a legacy.

(for what it's worth, 23 actually wasn't bad...during my Jordan Year, I completed my thesis in fashion design, graduated summa cum laude, got several job offers, accepted a position in a brand new field, moved to a new city, upgraded to a two bedroom apartment, made some new best friends, celebrated my second wedding anniversary, won my Fantasy Football League, and started this blog. So, yeah, as the kids say: NBD.) 

So maybe I had a Jordan Year after all, without knowing it? But rather than basking in former glory (fear not- there is sooooo much sarcasm to be read there), or wallowing in dreams never realized, it got me thinking about my birthday number this year: 33.

And immediately I thought of an iconic basketball player who donned that number: Number 33, Larry Bird.

As a kid growing up in the 80's/90's I watched a good bit of NBA (thanks, Daddy!), and even played my fair share of Jordan vs. Bird on my SEGA, so Bird is a pretty familiar figure for me. And while he may not get quite the attention given to Air Jordan, he's still a legacy in his own right. (I mean...he did guest star in Space Jam!)

So if my Jordan year has come and gone, taking with it the opportunity to be the best ever, what is it 33 going to be about? Well...maybe it can be my Bird Year.

Because here's the deal...there might be some debate around who's the best to ever play the game, but there is no disputing that Larry Bird was incredible (and could rock short-shorts and tall-socks like nobody's business). But here's the thing I didn't know: Bird is the only man to be named an MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year in the NBA.

 That's a pretty sweet trifecta...

And that got me encouraged. Because let's be real. I'm no Michael Jordan. I so, so, so many obvious ways...but really, I'm not the absolute best at much. Or...anything. Don't get me wrong; I'm good at a lot of things. I'm even great at some things. But I'm not the tip-top, mic-drop BEST. EVER.

So a Jordan Year, while a fun idea, seems preeeeeetty much impossible.
But a Bird Year? Being really, really great, at a whole bunch of things? Being individually awesome, but also known for leading others? Being so solid in so many ways that the sum is even bigger than its parts? That feels like something worth chasing.

I'm not going to be the best mom this year. (Or ever. Even if that was a real thing). And I'm not going to be the best client service associate (and if I was, I'd want a snappier title for my trophy). Or wife. Or friend. get it. Nothing. But I can be a pretty dang good one of each. Like, the absolute best I can be at each of them. And then when it all adds up, I could be the only person to be named the top of my game in that specific combo of things...

I could be the only person to ever earn the title of Piper's Best Story Reader, Blondest Worship Singer at North Church, and Funniest Bachelor Commentator on Our Couch.

Or maybe: Miller's Favorite Snuggler, Most Committed to Finishing a Quilt in Under Three Years, and Best Grapefruit Cocktail Mixologist in the 'Burbs.

Ok...maybe my categories need some work. And yes, I realize that Bird didn't need silly qualifiers with all of his titles. He was actually certifiably wonderful at quite a few things. But you know what? So am I. And I've got all year to keep dreaming, keep doing, keep being awesome things.

Yep. I'm pretty sure Bird gonna be an All-Star year.

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  1. Happy Birthday and many successes on conquering your Bird year!! I love the way you put it together and what a crazy fact about him - I learned something new! Enjoy your day!!