This past Monday was the anniversary of my birth.
I used to be a huge baby about my birthday–it had to be my day and my day only. For example even though my niece’s birthday is July 6th, and my daughter’s the 5th, at my insistence family celebrations were on three different days (because I didn’t want to share my day– the 8th). My brother still insists the reason I broke up with a former girlfriend was because her birthday was the 7th (not true–OK maybe a little true)
Over the past few years I went to the other extreme, not caring about my birthday at all. Perhaps it was because of my previous place of employment.
At my last job they insisted on throwing a birthday party for each employee. My direct boss was very passive-aggressive. She made me so miserable that I didn’t want her to soil my big day. In fact I used to beg Peggy our office manager to keep the day a secret. Peggy had the responsibility of telling management who’s day was coming up.
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My last year at that company Peg and I managed to keep July 8th day private for an entire month. In mid-August (three weeks before I was let go) management discovered my secret. Peggy and I were both scolded and I was given a party whether I liked it or not. Trying to show the world how nice they were, I received a “nice” presents. A windbreaker jacket 4 sizes too small and a set of dessert bowls. Dessert Bowls???? Why didn’t they just take their cue from Alec Baldwins famous speech in Glengarry Glen Ross and give me steak knives?
Every year since then, at my insistence the day my birth was treated just like any other day at work (thankfully my new job doesn’t insist on parties). At home my wife insists on a special meal with her and the kids and cards (but thankfully doesn’t make me go through cake and presents).
For some reason, this year I approached the day with more dread and melancholy than usual. Leaving work early I went to bed immediately after arriving home, only moving leaving the bedroom for dinner.
In the days since I have been reflecting on my years on this earth to see what I have learned so far and put them into a list I wanted to share
Things I learned on My 57th Birthday:
- My arms are shrinking–even though I move reading material as far away as possible it is still difficult to read. It must be that my arms are shrinking and I cant hold papers as far away as I used to.
- My ears are playing tricks on me–I hear sounds– not ringing or anything like that, but every time I move there is cracking coming from the moving joint. There must be some sort of aural-cartilage connection.
- Medicine—you know how airplanes have a 50 pound limit on luggage? This morning as I took my AM pills it became very clear that on my next excursion that limit will be passed with my pills alone.
- Doctors—like any Jewish boy who did not go into medicine, I disappointed my parents with my career choice. My trips to different doctors are so frequent I believe I could pass the medical exams just through what I learned via osmosis.
- Girls–When I was younger I enjoyed looking at magazines showing scantily-clad or even naked women. The other day I found myself thumbing though a copy of Maxim which landed on my desk at work. All I could think of was how creepy I felt–my daughter is older than most of those girls. Do their fathers know how they were posing?
- Coolness–I never really ran with the cool crowd but the other day at dinner when my son made a joke about me not being cool it kind of stung. But then when I stood up and pulled up my sagging pants, I realized that I wore my pants all the way up to my arm-pits and my son is right. But hey these days being a nerd is a good thing right?
- I don’t care! Kurt Schlichter is famous for using the twitter hashtag #caring as an indication he doesn’t care. I now know how he feels there are so many things that bore me such as the day to day of the Zimmerman trial. You may notice that while I blogged about the news surrounding the case such as the DOJ’s promoting of the protests, this site hasn’t covered the day to day of the trial. #caring.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned on my 57th birthday is that none of the above matters. I have two wonderful kids and a wife I love more every day than the day before and that is more important than anything else–no matter how anything else get you down.
Oh and I learned one more thing on my 57th birthday, I can’t count! I was born in 1957 which means Monday was my 56th birthday.