Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pushing Up Against The Big 40.

"I'm one year away from a prostate exam."

That's what I thought when I woke up Monday morning. My birthday. I'm 39 years old now. I didn't like having the spotlight focused on me when I was not in control of the situation, so I stopped having birthday parties when I was 10. In my later adult years, event went so far as to remove my birthday from a company intranet database so that it would not ever be displayed in the "upcoming birthdays" portal. I didn't want the acknowledgement from co-workers, worse, I didn't want to be surprised with a small party or something similar. It would just make me too uncomfortable.

I've been slowly changing my attitude about this whole birthday thing over the past few years. The previous two years boasted epic out-of-town birthday celebrations. This year was no exception, although I spent it in town. There was birthday cake, presents, and, most importantly, celebratory drinks among several close friends. I even went so far as to allow Facebook to show my birthday and I was thrilled to received kudos from old friends. The most unexpected birthday wish came from the guy that I bought my Mustang convertible from. He sent a card that said "Happy Birthday! I didn't think that when you bought the convertible that you could have the top down EVERY day". And it felt good to cruise around on my birthday with the top down and the music up.

My mother remarked to me that this sort of open acknowledgement of my birthday and celebratory reverie is extremely out-of-character for me. "What's that all about?", she asked.

"Progress", I said. For, despite my age, I feel like I'm still growing up. I have a lot more to learn and experience. I have a lot of living to do and I'm not planning on growing up just yet. Maybe next year.

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