Longtime readers of this blog know I’m not a big fan of birthdays. Well, more accurately, I’m not a big fan of my birthday. Other people’s birthdays are great. Mine not so much.
Today I turn 38. I told Marathon Girl that I can no longer say I’m in my mid-thirties anymore. Instead I’m officially in my late thirties.
Usually on January 31, I find a poem about growing older and post it on this blog. I was going to do that this morning but then something happened that altered my plan.
After my four mile run this morning, instead of searching cyberspace for a poem, I sat down and did a little reading. But this morning a couple of sentences stood out in the book I was perusing that gave me pause. I was reading a little about life and death which seemed oddly appropriate considering what day it is. But somewhere along the line the book started talking about the challenges and trails we face and the choices we make in response to them.
As I put the book down I spend a couple of minutes pondering what I had read. My thoughts turned to the experiences I’ve had over the last year then on back through the last five years, 10 years, and so on. Like everyone else on this planet, I’ve had my share of good and bad things happen to me. And for the most part I don’t have a lot to complain about. Much of my life has been one of blessings and abundance. But even when dark times have come into my life, those experiences helped me become more compassionate and understanding to the trials and heartaches of others. They’ve made me a more patient father and husband. They’ve made me extremely grateful for the blessings I do have.
Each year, I realized, I’m not only getting older but (hopefully) a little wiser too. Each year brings new experiences and chances to prove to myself and others the person I really am. I’m not the same person I was five, 10, or even 20 years ago. Next year I’ll be a different person because of the things that will come into my life over the next 365 days.
Instead of being depressed on my birthday, I should be grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend on this earth, all the wonderful people that are part of my life, and all the knowledge and experiences I’ve accumulated over the last year. If anything, today I can look back on the last 37 years of my life and be grateful for the people and experiences that have shaped my life and helped mold me in to the man I am today.
So Happy Birthday to me. I hope to be around for many more of these and enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer.