The Art of Birthday Bargains: A Lens, Popcorn, and Affirmations

You did not wake up today to be average. Confetti popcorn on gold background. Vim and Vibe

Many years ago I read the line, “You teach what you need to learn.” While there are some examples where I find this claim to be accurate, especially in the self-help space, oftentimes people are simply experts in their field, and their pure motive is to teach so that others can learn from them, or be inspired by them. 

Because of my passion for writing and inspiring others, I want to delve into the backstory of this image and its accompanying quote.

Earlier this month I celebrated my 58th birthday, (which I happen to share with my mom), and in usual form my thoughtful husband asks me what I want for my birthday.

Me: “What’s the budget for my birthday present?” 

And Russ says, “No one asks for a budget for a gift.” 

Well, I do want something, and it’s expensive: a 24-105 mm zoom lens for my camera – as I continue to hone my craft and learn more about lighting, photography (which translates to video/film production) and editing. These skills are invaluable as I write and direct the projects we produce. I can certainly hire people with these skills, and I do, but when I can download what’s in my head through educated communication the result is always better! 

If you know camera gear you know these lenses are not cheap, and  it’s weird to make a request for something expensive, but I don’t really want bath salts or another bracelet.

I don’t know if you’ve done this, but I start a bargaining dialogue that sounds something like this: 

“If I get this lens, you don’t have to get me anything for the rest of the year! This will count for Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, AND our Anniversary…” I stop at three. 

Fast forward to the day of my birthday, and after shopping around, Russ says to me:

“I tried to find your lens, but there’s such a range in price!”

So what does he do? He gives me a budget. 

I spend hours upon hours, days apart, perusing pre-owned lenses and deals offered for new ones, then, BINGO! I find one on sale and I have a credit so I end up getting this lens for almost half the regular price. There’s something I love about feeling like I got a deal!

I get the lens and I’m ecstatic. 

Over the course of birthday get togethers I have two dear friends give me separate items: 1) a bag of funky chunky confetti popcorn with white chocolate and 2) a deck of cards that are titled, “Affirmations for a Badass”.

To sum it all up, the graphic for this post is a birthday gift amalgamation. A close-up photo of the last bites of my indulgent popcorn taken with my coveted lens with an overlay of today’s affirmation I pulled from the deck (sans the f-word before the word average). 

There you have it. I hope you feel inspired today!