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Thursday, June 7, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME




Monday I turned 48. Same age as Brad Pitt, Michelle Obama, Lenny Kravitz, Whitney Houston and the Ford Mustang.

I didn't feel much different than 47 or even 46. It wasn't a turning-point, eventful, or even recognized very much. Mom and I went to dinner, I got exactly two text messages and an email, and it didn't bother me at all. My best friends forgot, thankfully. If they did remember, then I would have to remember THEIRS! Ugh....

I am the guy who puts more importance on the passing of time than I am to celebrating holidays, anniversaries, or yes, even birthdays. If you aren't in my life regularly, I am not really interested in hearing from you when the reminder comes up in your phone. Just delete it and move on. I won't hold it against you, promise. Maybe it's old age, being alone so long, or a chemical imbalance, but I am becoming so comfortable in life the little things like that don't mean as much as it used to. I was perfectly fine watching reruns of NCIS and trying to write again. (It didn't work!)

I hope I'm not becoming an old codger!

I look around at people my age and notice the differences in their life compared to mine. I wouldn't trade mine for anything, no matter what, though. I have a friend who has money in the bank, like I could have, except I lived much more carefree, much less responsibly, and admittedly, much more stupidibly! Like he said to me many times, “People pay thousands of dollars for an education.... you got yours for much less”. I don't know about THAT, but I do know I can look back fondly. (and when the Alzheimers kicks in I can RELIVE it!) The memories and experiences are priceless. Can't say the same for the souvenirs though! I have been countless places, meeting wonderful people, seeing wondrous things, and have the extra pounds to prove I ate well too.

Yes there are more aches and pains. Yes the vision I have in the mirror has changed and not just because the VISION has changed. (Why do they keep shrinking the fine print????) Yes the dating pool has gotten smaller (late 20's is NOT realistic anymore, silly). Yes the career is.... uuuhhhhmmmmm... stalled. Yes the “have done's” outweigh the “can-do's”. Yes I'm closer to Social Security than to when I had my first job. I'm probably even closer to the end than to my first birthday, yet all is well.

I have my mind (or most of it anyway), my sense of humor, and the new Jim Gaffigan DVD (http://www.jimgaffigan.com) to watch. I have reconnected to old friends that I treasure, made some new ones that I appreciate, owe no money, have clothes that (sort of) fit, can enjoy chocolate without worry of losing limbs, can still cry at a sad story, can still smile at strangers, and still think the touch of a special human being is a gift (unless you pay by the hour, then just how special is it really???)

I am thankful to be exactly where I am at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I am STILL playing the lotto! Life COULD be better with a couple dozen cars to drive and flying first class! I am thankful that I can offer to volunteer at the animal shelter and actually hope to DO IT. I am thankful I still feel like I can make a difference in someone's life. I am thankful to be able to dream, then wake up and enjoy the day. I am thankful I entertain some folks by my writing and hope to expand that to many many more.

I am mostly thankful that I made my Mom's life better by just being around.

Happy Birthday to me... until next year.


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