I'm forty-seven today. And I'm really, really excited about it.
I realize that this isn't what I'm supposed to say. I'm supposed to lament getting older. I'm supposed to crack wise about things like wrinkles and hot-flashes and the relentless pull of gravity. I'm supposed to be wistful about faded youth. Or something.
And full disclosure: offline, I do occasionally say and do those things -- except for the "wistful about faded youth" thing. I'm never wistful about "faded youth." Because here's the God's honest truth: I would no more like to be in my 30s or my 20s again than I would my teens or toddler years. And it's not because they were terrible or painful in any way -- I mean, obviously, I've had my challenges, but overall, so far my life has been really, really good. I don't want to be those younger years again because I've been there, done that. I've outgrown those years and experiences. And besides, there's so much awesome I'm grateful for going on in my life now, and I can only imagine what good there is to come. Why would I possibly want to wish any of that away, or delay it in any way?
Therefore, I'm celebrating today. I'm taking the day off, because why not? I'll spend the day hanging out with my Alex (mother-daughter manicures!), and I'm going out to dinner with my whole family tonight, including my parents and an aunt who's in town. I may even get myself a birthday cupcake, gravity-be-damned.
So happy birthday to me! And because it's my birthday, I get a birthday wish: my wish is that all of you are having a wonderful day as well -- and that you do something nice for yourself today. Have some chocolate, go out with friends, curl up with a good book. Whatever floats your boat -- do something awesome for yourself. You deserve it.
And now, for the most important part, the birthday gift! I'm feeling the need to give something away today, to celebrate properly. I went to Twitter and Facebook recently, to ask what people would want for their birthdays, and the most popular responses included things like "emerald earrings" and "exotic beach vacations" and "lots of alcohol."
(Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of cash to give those kinds of things away, or I totally would. Except for the booze. Bottles of booze are difficult to ship, especially internationally, for a variety of reasons.)
The second most common responses were related to "something handmade" and "connecting with friends." So, give this, let's do the following: leave me a comment below (as inspiration, you can tell me what good thing you're going to make happen for yourself today), and I'll pick a commenter at random to win the following birthday gifts:
• A George Frost unisex Morse Code "Love" Bracelet -- representing friendship and community (I actually bought one of these for myself for my birthday, and haven't taken it off);
• A selection of postcards made from Chookooloonks images, so you can connect with friends old-school; and
• A signed copy of The Beauty of Different, inscribed to whomever you'd like.
Keep them all for yourself, or share them among your friends -- whatever your pleasure.
So again, leave a comment below, sharing what good is happening for you today. I'll pick someone at random and announce the winner by updating this post on Friday.
Have an amazing day, friends.
UPDATE, July 18th, 2014: Oh man, you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for your birthday wishes! I had a wonderful day.
And now, for the birthday gift: according to Random.org, the winner of the book, the bracelet and the cards is Elan, who said, "Today was great. Aidan and I ate sandwiches in the car Ford gave us to drive for the last few days, and it was one of those moments where you're grinning at each other and life feels like play. I get to have that!" Congrats, Elan! Look for an email from me to get your snail-mail deets.
And thanks for sharing your great days, friends. It definitely helped make my birthday!