It’s getting closer. The countdown is on. No, I am not talking about the arrival of Spring. Although after surviving the crazy polar vortex, it’s not too much to ask for an early sprinkle of Spring weather and some beautiful blossoms. My friends in this part of the world would agree wholeheartedly. But I digress. I was talking about my upcoming birthday – the one that’s going to push me further into the “wiser” side of 30s. The one that doesn’t quite feel blossom-y. And yet, owing to the increasing maximum lifespan numbers, I am apparently not yet eligible for throwing a solid mid-life crisis tantrum. Because you know, 40s is the new 20s or some such silly thing. So then, what is one supposed to do on this lazy morning, on the verge of one’s more-than-35-less-than-40th birthday? Introspect? Eh, that’s too boring.
So here’s what I did. I called my mom and told her that I wasn’t exactly sensing an oomph to my birthday and that maybe I was finally starting to get old. The good mother that she is, she rolled her sleeves, and started chopping off my oomph-lessness and general lack of interest towards my own birthday. Then of course she dove into a series of stories about how awesome I was at that very moment and how awesome I have been since I was an energetic fetus. Ah, parents! You are tempted to believe them but you just can’t believe them completely…you know, on principles. Not only did she do her you-are-awesome monologue, she also kept hinting that maybe I should instead focus my attention on important things like buying a nice dress and some jewelry to wear on my birthday. Well, now that’s a thought. I do look good in a nice dress and some accessories. But what about other things – like what I am doing in this circle of life…including how I am as a parent, as a companion to my husband, where I am in my profession, what the next decades might present, my fitness, my hobbies? What about my secret superwoman desire to use disruptive technologies…you know, to disrupt things!
Me, my, mine…yes, my world revolves around me. My basic philosophy (again for myself) is that I can only start with me and keep doing things that help me. I can only try to answer the question “would I regret doing (or not doing) something?”. I can only stand up and say NO to any frustrations, pains, judgments that come my way. I can only make a statement “Yes, I want it all.” I want the things, the people, the ideas that nourish me. If good things don’t come my way, you probably won’t hear a peep out of me, but inherently I do not want to start with compromising on life. There, I said it. What I have noticed though is that after I reach a certain point of control, self-esteem, happiness…whatever you want to call it, things automatically end up happening to allow the growth and well-being of others around me. So there is that added bonus. But yeah, it is a self-centric view at the core of it and it works for me.
With that in mind, I also don’t think I have a bucket list. Or rather I have an empty bucket list. I have been loved, I have loved, I have also hunted down the people who deserved to hear my ‘sorry’. I have grabbed some opportunities and I have survived some blows. How would it have been if I had made different choices? Well, it simply would have been a different life. Would it have been better or worse? I am going to say that that is non-deterministic and while it could be a fun exercise to guess, it doesn’t really matter to ME. The only thing that matters is I do my best, every single day – including the times when the best I can do is simply pause and take a deep breath.
As these thoughts are floating and I am vaguely wondering if I am thinking despite deciding to not to, I hear my son and husband talking in soft voices behind a laptop. I am pretty sure I just heard the words ‘cake’ and ‘go to amazon.com’. Ah, a celebration complete with cake and a gift! That’s enough to get me out of my pre-birthday musings. I can already see my husband’s smile when my son will proudly give me the gift and tell me how he selected and bought it all by himself. I will bask in the glory of the awesomeness of that moment…and then life will go on. Another day will happen, which of course won’t be my birthday and then yet another one. But for now, it looks like it is – Happy birthday to me!