The Washington Times-Herald

November 30, 2013

A very, very happy birthday to me


The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Today is my birthday. You may insert best wishes or cash here [sic]. Now, I have always believed that people should really celebrate the day they were born. After all, that is the day that marks the moment when we begin to utilize all the resources the universe makes available to us. The second we take our first breath we become consumers who will continue to take until we die.

Now, some people, read that women, contend that birthdays should really be about the mothers. The argument is that mom does all of the work, dad and baby are just along for the ride at that point. If you think about it that is probably true, but the birthday begins the first step in that long, slow separation between mother and child.

Most people share their birthdays with famous people both past and present. There is no easier way to make you feel more inferior than comparing your life to those who managed to take the same alignment of stars and turn it into success.

For me the annual comparison comes to Mark Twain, one of America’s greatest novelists, and British political leader Winston Churchill. To put it simply, anything I produce that doesn’t win a Nobel Prize seems very pale when you look at what those two have done.

Still, I manage to plod along, producing what I can to try and keep people informed and educated about their community, their politics, and people. Perhaps, someday I will come across that great idea and you will be able to say you heard it from me first.

In the meantime, I intend to take the advice of the late sage George Carlin who said that just because you turn nine doesn’t stop you from still being eight. The big issue with that is just where do you want to apply the brakes to growing older. I kind of liked being 15.

My late 20’s had some treats. Even 40 was full of some fun times.

The Jimmy Buffet notion about growing older and not up is that you can grasp the experience without beating on yourself about the shortage of time that you may have left, and there is the problem.

I have had to accept it is much more likely that I’m closer to writing my last story than my first one. That I’m closer to living in senior housing than in a college dorm and the siren call of the social security check is getting louder daily.

The attempt by anyone to capture eternal youth and its folly was also well-told by Oscar Wilde in the Portrait of Dorian Gray.

You might also note that Wilde died on this day. The truth is that I can act like a kid as much as I want but the body won’t take it. At this point in my life, as much as I try to hide it, I seem to have as many spare parts as my 10 year old Buick.

Maybe, this should be the year of my carpe diem.

Time to recognize that there is no more wishing away Monday for Friday because the time may be coming much sooner than later when I might be wishing to get all of those days back.

Happy birthday to me.