Thursday, November 12, 2009
Just Another Day
When I was a kid, I remember hearing that my Grandpa Hansen felt like his birthday was "just another day". I remember how sad that sounded. Now I know where he was coming from, and it's not a bad thing. Some people may look forward to it as a day of being remembered and/or pampered. After the last few birthdays, I've come to this conclusion: I prefer it to be just another day. I love hearing from lots of friends and family, and even going out to dinner with friends maybe, but I hate being celebrated.
It's got nothing to do with me feeling old. I just hate the sort of attention that comes with a big party and lots of attention and a big to-do over ...me.
This year, I told my friends that I didn't want a party, just in case they had anything in mind. And it worked! I got a few cards, lots of greetings, and some plates of sweets. No cake, no candles, no silly string or streamers. Just a little sweeter than average day: nice.
I'm 28 now. Is there any significance to this number? It's two times fourteen, that means I could get 2 learners permits. It's four times seven. Seven is the perfect number, so does that mean I should be perfect four times over? Ha ha ha! What a great birthday joke. I don't feel old at all. I don't think I look old. OK, so I do have some white hairs starting to creep in on the sides of my head down by the ears (nothing the tweezers can't fix). When I have a new acquaintance guess my age, they always guess 22 or 23. Part of that may be the fact that I haven't grown up all the way -I still act immature a lot the time.
It's really tempting to compare myself to others at this stage, to look at what they've accomplished by this age. I'm still workin' on a bachelor's degree (no pun intended, I promise), single, and without a real clear path laid out for my future. I've got some grand ideas of the eventual destination, but the getting there part is about as clear as the Little Colorado River water during monsoon season. I guess I could just say "as clear as mud".
Why compare myself to others? My age is a number, that's all. Can we really parallel the life of anyone to ours? We're all so unique! Despite the norm, despite what they (society) say, we all sort of develop and progress at our own pace. Human time scales have so many flaws when it comes to eternal things. Oh, and daylight savings time is one of them. (Go ahead and smile, all you Arizonans).
I guess I should tell you what I did for my birthday. Since it was on Sunday, I celebrated on Saturday night. Me and 3 friends went out to eat at Wingers dressed like goths. You should've seen the looks we got. One old man waiting with his wife to be seated couldn't stop staring! won't post pictures, as they're pretty scary. You've gotta do some dumb things like that to keep you young -that's my theory.
By my next birthday, this is my goal: I hope to have not aged a day. I hope to have soaked in much more of the richness this amazing earth has to offer. I hope to have a handful more of friends and an armful more of family. I hope that life continues to be amazing and full of hope and adventure. I'll stop there before Hallmark hires me.