Monday, August 12, 2013

Birthday Ramblings




Solo Birthday Picnic Lunch at the Park 
 Whenever someone tells me it’s their birthday, I always ask them-
“Have you accomplished everything you had hoped to at (insert age here)?”

Of course I wish them the obligatory and mostly meaningless “Happy Birthday”, but I am constantly curious about the lives of other people. Fact that they’re celebrating another year gives me an excuse to probe into their lives a little further.

I’ve received dozens of different answers. Simple yeses and nos to the deeper ponderings of life and the analysis of ones path, goals and future ambitions.

I suppose today I must answer my own question.

*     *     *     *     *

Over a giant plate of seafood on the Croatian coast, Kelly and my conversation ended up on this topic.  Kelly has always, since I can remember, had an aversion to her birthday. The whole turning another year older always bothered her.

Every December as her birth anniversary approached, the topic will inevitably come up and she would predictably confess how apprehensive she was for her impending birthday.

We tried analyzing, discussing, digging deep. We assured her of the obvious, “You’re can’t change or stop it!  It’s unavoidable!”

She knows that of course. Perhaps its because she puts a lot of pressure on herself, personally and professionally to accomplish X things by X year of existence. Self admittedly she knows it’s silly to agonize about things you cannot change.

One of her Croatian friends recently put things into perspective for her in a way none of us have thought to before.

Instead of worrying about turning another year older, you should be thankful you’ve made it another year on this earth, because many people are not given that privilege.

I find that statement to be beautiful because it’s true. The new outlook about birthdays seemed to give Kelly a sense of relief, which made me happy.

*     *     *     *     *

After discussing life plans and Kelly’s hopeful 28-year accomplishments, she turned the question around on me.

“Well, your birthday is in two weeks. Have you accomplished everything you hoped to by 27?”

My answer was yes.

I’ve never planned my life out. I’ve always wanted to get married and have children and a family. I’ve always wanted a career I’m passionate about a life I’m excited to wake up for everyday.

But I’ve never put deadlines on those things- mostly so I would never be disappointed and also because I never knew (know) enough details about this planed life to put tangible goals on it.  

I think it helps that I’m pretty spontaneous and have a new path/interest/hobby/passion every week. It keeps life interesting enough that I don’t compare what I have going on to my friends or others my age thus creating a fake yearning for things I don’t even want yet.

I digress.

The point is I HAVE accomplished everything I’ve wanted to by 27. I can list the things I’ve accomplished but that’s the opposite of my point. I’ve never kept a list. They would just be things I’ve happened to accomplish by this age. You get the point.

I guess there are a few things I’ve kept in the back of my mind as I go through my years. Make sure I’m happy. Make sure I’m surrounded by supportive and loving people. Make sure I’m being true to myself. A birthday is an easy enough yearly reminder date to check in with myself about these things…

Today is my birthday and I have just checked those 3 things off my figurative list. So to answer my question: Yes. I have accomplished everything I’d hope to by 27. 

Panorama of the Park

Red Lips and Champagne 
He MADE me a cake! 

So he got some red lip smooches. 

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