Today is my 45th birthday. Which means:
A. I’m halfway to 90.
B. I was 25 20 years ago,
C. I’ve been driving for nearly 30 years.
D. I’ve likely used up more than half of my time.
E. I’m ridiculously fortunate.
My birthday is often a period of negative reflection. Every year I seem to ruminate on death, on mortality, on time’s rapidity, on the days folding into months and the months folding into years. But here, at 45, I feel oddly … content. Or, put different: Had you told me back in, oh, 1994, as I was graduating college, that in 2017 I’d have a terrific wife and two fantastic kids; that I’d be the author of five New York Times best-sellers; that I’d be living in Southern California with palm trees and a hammock in my backyard … well, I wouldn’t believe it. I’d presume you’d be discussing some other guy, or just mocking my dreams.
But here I sit, preposterously fortunate; bafflingly loved and supported; doing what I’ve always wanted to do, surrounded by the people I choose to be surrounded by. I’m no more worthy than the sewage cleaner or the Syrian refugee or the miserable attorney or the 4-year-old with cancer; I’ve done little to deserve such a blessed life. And yet, I’ve been gifted with it.
Sooooo … fuck it. Yes, I’ll die one day. And yes, Donald Trump is a massive orange hemorrhoid on America’s collective ass. And yes, the air is dirty and nuclear tensions rise and Sean Hannity has a voice and the Jets lack a quarterback.
Ultimately, however, I begin age 45 sitting atop the world, as charmed as one can be.
I’ll take today to enjoy it.