"Give me a minute," I often find myself saying. "I need to figure it out."
I am 48. 2015 minus 1967 equals 48 - that's how I know. I turned 48 yesterday and it was a delightful birthday.
In the age of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, kind messages seemed to be streaming in from all directions over the last couple of days. Not only was it my birthday, it was also my one year anniversary of having started with The United Way of Fort McMurray. Thank you to everyone who sent a note - long, short or otherwise. They are all appreciated.
It was a great day, with a few surprises and highlight moments.
Diane Shannon passed me her phone at one point during the day and said "It's for you."
"Who is it?" I asked.
"Dan?" I said. "Which Dan is that?"
It turned out to be my cousin Dan from Victoria, who I had not spoken to in years. What an absolutely wonderful thing for him to do - reach out on my birthday. It was definitely a highlight of the day.
I was about to leave the office when Constance Scarlett, Executive Director of Arts Council Wood Buffalo ran out into the hall to implore me to come back into The Redpoll Centre for one last piece of business. I walked into their office, right across the hallway from mine, and the three lovely Arts Council ladies sang me a delightful rendition of the Happy Birthday song. It was such a treat.
I got home and brightly coloured wrapped presents were on the table along with a nice card. The gifts were also a surprise, connected to something I had said months and months ago. My family got me a really cool meat thermometer and cast iron pot. But as often is the case, it was their words in the card and their presence that meant the most.
Thanks again to each and every person who reached out.