Happy Birthday, to Me

I’m in a weird spot today. I attribute it to a couple of things. The first being that, in my 31 years of life, the number of surprise birthday parties I’ve had thrown upon me grossly outweigh the number of years I haven’t. When every year you’re expecting someone jump out and throw a “surprise” wish at you, you start looking for ways to avoid it. Long story. The second, perhaps I saw the movie Defending Your Life at too young an age, but I took the part when Albert Brooks says, paraphrasing, “you come into this world alone, you should celebrate it alone,” a little too literally. Either way, my method of aging is something entirely my own. I’ve learned to regard my birthday as a moment of reflection. Every year, I like to sit back and drink a bottle of wine I’ve made, and look back on my life, where I’ve been, and in my own way give thanks for what I have.

Aging to me is something really weird. I’ve always felt much older than I actually am. Statistically, through my family history, I’m probably a little beyond my halfway point. I don’t have any animosity or reservations about this. A lot of people keep trying to convince me that I’ll live forever, and my forecast is a negative. I consider it prudent planning. Knowing that everything will end soon makes me thankful for what I have. Knowing that I won’t be here forever, and I can’t put things off for another day motivates me, because there is no tomorrow. I know I’m going out early, and there are things I need to get done before I do. I can’t keep waiting for stars to align to accomplish what I need to before I die. Some call it a negative, I see it as one hell of a reason to do what I need to, now. Moving on, this isn’t supposed to be a downer… This is supposed to be more uplifting.

Upon my ceremonious, celebratory, annual reflection, I was laying back with a glass of mead while watching Jeff Who Lives at Home, and as I was caught up in the film, I started to cry about how much beauty and truth there is in the movie. That’s what getting older means to me. I can admit that I like pop music, and I’m enough of a man that I can cry whenever I feel like crying. The funny thing is, while I was watching the movie, I wasn’t even entirely caught up in the character’s drama. I was more caught up in being thankful that my family isn’t as fucked up as theirs. That’s mostly what today is about for me. I’m a little older. I have more white hairs, but every relationship with friends and family I have isn’t fucked up, and that’s good enough for me. Thank you everyone for being there, and for making my life as awesome as it is.

“I’m feeling thankful for the small things today.”