Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
I know that a lot of people like to obfuscate their birthdays . . . not letting folks know when they are, or claiming to be some age (generally younger by a few years) than they actually are, or even just locking themselves away to mark the occasion with a private sulk.
I never understood that.
I mean, birthday or no . . . you’re still one day older than you were yesterday. Whatever number is pegged on your personal oldometer . . . it has no effect on how you feel or what you do. It really is just another day . . . except you have a culturally sanctioned reason to celebrate YOU.
Today I’m 50 years old and, all things considered, it feels pretty great.
On occasions like this, when the birthday marks a particularly round number, people often ask if there are any philosophical or metaphysical insights that you have garnered in achieving this milestone. And I’m sorry, but I don’t . . . I’ve been too busy listening to the “classic hits” radio station.
* Don’t Stop Believin’ — If you have a passion, if you have a dream, if you have a vision . . . follow it. You don’t have to turn your back on reason and mundane reality, you don’t have to divest yourself from the work-a-day world, but for goodness sake don’t let them be the reason you give up on your dreams. Hold on to that feeling.
* You Can’t Always Get What You Want — The dreams you believe in may not easily be achieved . . . in fact, often they’ll end up being beyond your grasp. But the greatest happiness in life is gotten through PURSUING your dreams, not necessarily in achieving them. You may not get what you want. But I think you’ll find that you get what you need.
* Don’t Worry, Be Happy — Life is filled with many successes and many failures, many unexpected joys and many unforeseen calamities, many wins and many losses. You can’t control what cards you’re dealt, but you do have something to say about how you react. I’m not saying that it’s good to be a Pollyanna, I’m just saying that having as positive an attitude as possible makes bad times easier, and good times better.
* Be Excellent To Each Other — This whole “life” thing is pretty tough. No matter how good you’ve got it (and I know I’ve had it pretty dang good these past fifty years) there are times when it just wears on you, and moments when it seems like more than you can bear. A kind word from a stranger, or warm smile from a friend often makes more difference than we’ll ever know. Be generous with those resources . . . it turns out that they’re only as limited as we make them.
* And Party On, Dudes! — Celebrate your victories as they come . . . even if that “victory” is just making it through the week. We’re often too stingy with ourselves when it comes to simply taking a few moments to feel proud of our accomplishments. I’m not saying that you should wallow in your success, but it’s okay to give yourself a little pat on the back for what you’ve done before you bull ahead with what you need to do next.
Oh . . . and always wear sunscreen!