Family · Running · Women

Joyful June

There comes a point in every woman’s life when she decides whether she wants to start fibbing about her age, or celebrate every inch and second of her birthday.


At this point, a woman must search her soul, closely examine the reflection in the mirror, plumb the depths of her heart, and at last muster up the will to say, “Screw it! I’m doin’ both!”


It’s this kind of nobility that I seek.


Before I start officially fibbing about my age, though, I’ll truthfully tell you all that I’m turning 31 this year. For some reason, this birthday feels just as important as turning 30 did – maybe because calendar months never go past 31? I dunno.


At any rate, the occasion demands celebration. I know at least my very-fabulous hot air balloon pilot friend Charity (go check out Blowin’ Around) agrees with me; she supports the idea of BIRTHDAYS (as opposed to birthdays). I try to get my other friends on board with the birthday enthusiasm idea.  It’s a work in progress. I want to say to them, “You are allowed to celebrate yourself.”


This year I’m taking it a step further:  I’ve embarked on a project I call “Joyful June,” which entails doing something fun every day this month, no matter how small. I’ve painted my nails. I’ve met friends for dinner. I’ve gone on cool hikes. I got sushi when I was too tired to cook. I went to San Francisco and lost a piece of my heart to my newest nephew. I ran on Stinson Beach and felt like a puppy who’s been let off leash. I walked through the doors of the exorbitant-yet-EXQUISITE Lululemon for the first time, took a deep breath, and let myself spluuurge on new running clothes. I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge with my dad.


The project has been working well so far. The big reason I’m doing it, other than my birthday, is that each year, when June becomes July, I’ve kicked myself for not having given my favorite month its due attention. I love June. June is that magical month in Albuquerque when a breeze turns from an annoyance into a saving grace. June is the month when people say “Ahhh…summertime” but before they say “Uggggh, where the *&##@ is autumn?” June is when mouth-watering summer produce starts popping up aplenty at grocery stores: cherries! Corn! Peaches that you have to eat over the sink!


Sensational, festival-filled, blueberry-pie-in-the-sky JUNE.


So what am I going to do on my actual birthday? I’m going to combine three of my most-loved things: 1) travel, 2) family, and 3) trying something new. I’m heading up to Colorado, where I’ll meet up with my sister and her husband. We will then drive a little ways, make camp, and climb…a 14er! I’ve hiked up mountains before, but none over 14,000 feet high [14er, get it? Oh those clever, original frontiersmen]. Who knows what will unfold? I just hope I don’t get knocked over the edge of a cliff by a chipmunk gone berserk.


In any case, it will be a birthday to remember.


** Special Note to my Dad: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to a great man who encourages his kids to climb every mountain. Love, Shannon.


11 thoughts on “Joyful June

  1. Enjoy your birthday. Among the many things I did yesterday on mine included a group run with my Black Girls RUN! family. We only get one birthday a year, so live it up.

  2. I love you, niece! Embrace those birthdays and celebrate as much as you can. I’ve had mine last as long as 6 weeks. Going for a 2 month celebration next year!

  3. I recently heard a quote that caused my dreading-getting-older mindset to do a 180. It went something like: “Celebrate getting older. It is a privilege not afforded to everyone.”
    I’ll never complain again.

    Happy Birthday! Great post!

  4. This is an amazing and inspirational way to spend June. You should try this for every month. Well, maybe not January. I hate January, lol. Love this!

  5. Very cute post and happy birthday! A friend of mine chose to celebrate her 31st by having a birthday 5k and I’ve been in love with that idea ever since! (Think I might even steal it when the time comes…) Good luck on your 14er. 🙂

  6. Hi Shannon! Thanks for stopping by my blog, AmbleAlong. I love your June plans and will hope you keep us updated on the “new thing each day” (at least with a recap at the end of the month)! Keep up the great work and keep inspiring all of us to enjoy life and celebrate the small stuff… :O)

  7. I ran the Peace Bridge in Buffalo as part of the marathon course for the 1980 Olympic Trials. It was quite a thrill, but the Golden Gate is a different story. Good for you and happy birthday!!

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