Apparently your golden birthday is when you turn the age of your birth date, which means our girl is celebrating her golden birthday today. She has a huge case study to present for work this morning. She worked on it through her birthday weekend, in between bunch with her girls on Saturday, a birthday party with friends on Saturday evening, after which they all went roller skating, then brunch with friends again on Sunday, followed by a basketball game in the evening. She still got the deck done for her presentation. I know because she FaceTimed me last night near 11 PM, exhausted, hoping I would consent to stay on the call with her as she worked through final details. She calls it body doubling. Her love was behind her on the couch, no doubt also worn out from so much extroverted activity all weekend. They're both introverts with extrovert tendencies, meaning they can party with the best of them, but they need to recharge away from the madding crowd afterward. At that moment, her love was also gaping in shock at the unfortunate Will Smith-Chris Rock spectacle being broadcast from the Academy Awards stage. But my girl couldn't focus on that yet. She needed to finish up her presentation deck and email it before midnight.
I'm brain dead and out of words, she moaned. But I need to write a little something about myself and why I'm interested in this case.
Why did you leave it till so late, I asked her, trying to assess whether I was brain dead myself at that hour.
Not helpful Mom, she said ruefully.
Dig up some old cover letters for jobs, I suggested. See how you presented yourself in them, and crib from that.
That seemed to spark a crack through which words could flow, and in no time she had composed three short paragraphs, which she then read to me out loud so she could hear and fix word repetitions and phrase echoes. I saw the final version of the deck she created. It was appealingly designed, beautifully OCD in the layout of each slide. Maybe my real calling is graphic design, she said when I complimented the appearance of the work. I'm sure the content was on point, too, but it had to do with conclusions drawn from marketing profiles and data points and might as well have been written in Urdu.
I think you should put your head shot on the right because of the way you're leaning, I suggested for her required opening slide.
I know, she said, but the next slide has a big graphic on the right, so the eye needs some relief before that.
Can I tell you how much it thrills me that she takes such care not just with content, but also with how her work is visually presented? She got that from me, I told my husband with no false humility after I got off the call. With no pique whatsoever, he agreed.
But what makes me happiest right now is that she seems to be in a happy and connected period of life. She weathers her stresses, wades through her anxieties, but overall, things seem good for her in this moment. For this zest for life and sense of joy to always fuel her days is my primary wish for her on this, the golden birthday of our golden daughter.