25 February 2010

So... what is this thing?

It happens sooner or later.  Once a year, actually.  A birthday.  Mine, to get to the point.

I've been lucky enough (young enough?) that this simple, universal truth has never really bothered me.  There are birthdays that I remember anticipating.  You know, that magic day when you finally get to write your age with two digits (yay!), the year you become a teenager (there was none of this tween nonsense back then), the year I signed the paperwork for my motorcycle (and then promptly had a drink).  And there were some towards which I held ambivalence: what really happens when you turn 19?  Who cares?  It's the most anti-climactic birthday ever.

The only one I remember dreading was my 6th birthday.  Because that meant I wasn't allowed to go in the kiddie pool anymore.  I had issues with change back then.

So this is good.  Birthdays should be celebrated, years should be remembered.  The coolest thing about growing older is that, now, I'm all the ages I ever was, at once.  Every experience has built upon the next and made me an entirely different person.  There's this wealth of knowledge to draw from, earned through hard work, patience, sweat, mistakes, tears, and laughter (though sometimes I miss the mark and forget to use it).  At master's practice one day, we swam 100s for Reg's birthday.  Apparently, at each one, he recounted something that had happened to him that year.  That's awesome, a great way to celebrate the events that make us who we are (or who we aren't.)

I've been thinking a lot about birthdays, probably more than someone still under 30 should.  But I'll be honest.  It's been a hard year, a learning year.  I've felt incredible happiness, and really harsh loss.  I count my blessings every day, and work through the mistakes.  When I think of all the years, one hard one out of 28 is pretty good.  When I think that I'm about a third of the way through my life (as predicted by life expectancy for the average US female in 2010), sometimes I wish I'd made a little more progress toward sorting things out.

But I have learned some great lessons, and that's what this one-time, limited-edition blog is about.  Between today, and my birthday, I'll be posting the things I've learned, one for each year I've been around.  There is no plan, just the FAQ on the sidebar to the right.  Right now, I have no idea precisely what I'll be writing for each of them.  But in the end, there will be 28.  And cake.

I'm pretty psyched about the cake.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of cake are we having?????

    I agree I was sad when I couldn't go into the kiddie pool anymore. It felt so harsh!

    Today my students wanted me to call them "tweens" instead of children or kids. No way tween is the dumbest thing ever!