Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th

I'm not especially superstitious. I've always liked when my birthday falls on a Friday. 13 is my lucky number, no matter the day.

Last year was a big birthday for me. But turning 41 is like turning 22. It doesn't register. It is unremarkable by comparison, by its unlucky order in the birthday queue. But it's fine by me. I like a mellow birthday.

Birthdays are strange once you become a parent. In parenting, everything is about the kids. Days and nights revolve around them. Even my thoughts, constantly invaded by worry or daily needs, are not truly my own any more.  Kids' birthdays are a big deal - and it is your job to make sure they are. It feels strange to shift the focus to your own boring adult birthday. You are a million years old (way older than 12 anyway) and you don't want toys, so what is the point?

I used to dread my birthdays because I didn't want to get older before I checked off my big life list regarding family and career. Now all the major boxes are checked, blissfully so, and I dread my birthday because I don't want to get old before I can enjoy it all. Dread is a strong word. Greet apprehensively, perhaps. I'm in the middle of it, this life of mine, and it's grand. I want to soak it all in and it is moving way too fast. We've moved beyond diapers and are starting kindergarten, and before I know it we'll be learning to drive and filling out college applications. Slow down, life. Birthdays, please stop coming so quickly.

I'm still figuring out what my 40s are going to be about. My 20s were about travel and learning. My 30s were about starting my career and my family. My 40s....? Not sure. But I know I don't want to just maintain the current path and coast through this decade. I want my 40s to be memorable, remarkable, noteworthy. Guess I'd better get busy.

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