Friday, July 25, 2008

I Heart Bureaucracy

As my 40th birthday looms approaches, I have progressed through a series of ideas on how to commemorate it.

The first idea (hubby's actually) was to reserve 5 or 6 sites at Big Sur campgrounds, invite everyone we know to come camping with us, and see who shows up. I liked the idea, but worried that a.) no one would and b.) it would be a lot of work. The huge fire down there nixed that idea.

Also considered was a longer length triathlon (longer than the fairly doable sprint ones I've done in the past). But the shark attacks and my general laziness ended that worthy goal.

I've never wanted a party, because I generally do not enjoy parties. I'm kind of lame that way. I'm much better one to one. In big groups I tend to clam up and drink too much.

Most likely I will have a special date with Hubby and each of my close friends. And perhaps a party with my extended family.

But what I've ended up with as a way to celebrate my 40th meaningfully is to serve. I plan to go to an orphanage Rancho de sus Niños in Mexico, just south of Tijuana and serve there with ARG for 3 or 4 days. It'll be a great chance to lube up the rusty español and to practice having a servant's heart. It feels pretty good to focus on giving instead of receiving at this point.

HOWEVER. Let me tell you. The hoops I'm having to jump through to get down there are multitudinous (isn't that a fun word? it just cheered me up to use it).

Application. Letter of recommendation from Pastor. Essay on my Christian beliefs and background. Criminal background check. Passport.

Everything was fine until I came into contact with govt. bureaucracies. Ugh. I bounced from my local sherriff, to the next city's police dept., to the US Dept of Justice. Made the calls. Filled out the application. But no. There's a new criminal background application now. OK.....I'll fill out the new one. (heavy dispair laden sigh)

For the passports I researced online, printed out forms, filled out said forms, wrote checks, took 10 million photos to get one good passport shot - but NO. The photo was rejected. Reason? It does "not contain a plain light (white or off white) background".

I suppose it's not exactly snow white, but I think it definitely falls within the off-white range. Don't you? C'mon.....

Guess they only mean passportphotofacility white. Urg!

I feel called enough to do this that I will keep jumping to make it happen. I feel like there is something for me there - don't know what. At the very least, ARG will get an up close and personal view of what some children have to go through. I'm hoping it will help him realize how incredibly blessed and privileged he is. (a little gratitude goes a long way with me). It's also a great chance for him to get hands-on practice serving others.

Just gotta get through those hoops.


Mike said...

Wow, that's an impressive 40th.

Sue said...

Mike - I suppose it seems that way. But it sure doesn't feel that way. I can't wait to here about YOUR marathon!

Megan S. said...

Hi Sue! I am so impressed with your 40th birthday!!! I'm older than many of you (turned 18 in the middle of my senior year) so I'm sort of used to it.

I had great plans fro my 40th but I think Mr Big had to work late so we had pasta and a bit of vino, watched an old X Files before crashing into bed. The best laid plans LOL...

Somewhere I made a list of "40 things I have learned by age 40" or something like that I'll have to post on my blog. I do want to run a marathon, right now I'm busy running after my new puppy and little children at the park. Not to mention my 17 year old daughter who has her first boyfriend. Yipes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I Love being 40, I'm sure you will too!

Meg Smetzer

Sue said...

Megan S.- thanks. I enjoy being 39 and holding.

No, seriously it's OK. I certainly wouldn't want to go back in time.