Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy (Belated) Birthday To Me!

Somehow I managed to not post this after I wrote it on my birthday last year (May 18th, 2005). Oddly enough, I was thinking along the same lines then as now. At least I'm consistent, I guess. Here's the blog:

Happy Birthday To Me!

So, today is my birthday. My 30th, actually. Ehhh…not such a big deal. I was expecting fireworks, a minor earthquake, at least some mild flatulence. But nothing. This side of 30 looks just like the other. The thunderbolt of wisdom, ambition, maturity and motivation that was scheduled to strike me this morning was clearly derailed somewhere in the upper stratosphere. I don’t even have any regrets. Well, there was that thing with two girls and the midget and the miniature schnauzer and the Baked Alaska that was surreptitiously caught on videotape. But, I regretted that last year. Plus, I recovered the videotape master and all of the copies were destroyed in that fire, so that doesn’t really count.

Seriously, though, I’m not mourning a misspent youth or squandered potential, or even rethinking my game plan. No major resolutions. Nothing. It feels good, I guess, if anticlimactic. So often people (and by “people” I mean that shadowy conglomerate noted when you have no one specific to blame) say, “if I knew then what I know now…” As it happens, I did know yesterday what I know today: life started a long time ago. I used to think that there was a magic point when my life would really begin – after high school, after college, with my first real job, with marriage, with my first child, on my 30th birthday. But as more and more of those magic turning points came and went without the accompanying magic turn, I realized that this, whatever I’m doing right now, is my life. A wise woman shared a quote with me, “Every step of the journey is the journey.” This is it. For better or worse.

I learned through lesson after lesson that becoming a different person is about being a different person, not vice-versa. If there’s a change I want to see, then I have to make it. One decision at a time. If I want to become more responsible, then I have to be more responsible, one kept promise at a time. If I want to become nicer, then I have to be nicer, one random act of kindness at a time.

Freewill is a heck of a thing. With every moment I choose and design the person that I want to be and the life that I want to live. I can be on time or not, I can give or not, I can forgive or not. It’s up to me, but I have to understand that every choice affects the choices after that choice. And every choice shapes my character. It's an important thing to remember as I slowly run out of choices.


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