It was a great day to be me.
I celebrated my 57th birthday on Saturday and by some miracle I was able to put aside all my worries, complaints, fears, resentments and hallucinations and have an absolutely fantastic day.
Of course the fact that I was out with the two ladies I love the most—my sister and my auntie—had a lot (everything!) to do with it.
First we saw Sea Marks, a charming two-character play at the Irish Repertory Theatre, then headed over to Le Zie 2000 for delicious dinners and decadent desserts, and after that we walked along the High Line, a public park built on an elevated freight rail line.
Some people feel compelled to dive out of airplanes or throw lavish parties to celebrate their birthdays, but I felt truly satisfied and grateful for this simple, yet lovely day.
We had great food, a lot of laughs and much love, the key ingredients any truly happy birthday—and a happy life.
And I’m very slowly starting to see the importance being grateful for what you have right here and right now--because you really don't have much else.
I recently started with a new doctor and a few weeks ago he put me through a barrage of tests—blood, heart, EKG, you name it, this guy wanted it.
Now I really love this doctor. He’s knowledgeable and compassionate, a great combination for somebody in the medical field. The only problem is that he’s so popular that I spent a lot of time in the waiting room as he gave his full attention to each and every one of his patients.
The good news is that I got the same attention when it was my turn. And the even better news was that my doctor liked everything he saw in my test results. He told me to check with him in six months and I happily bounced out the door.
So Glad We've Almost Made It
On the way home I walked into my deli just as the Eighties hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” started playing on the radio.
This song hit climbed the charts back in 1985, when I was 28 years old, but to be honest, I wasn’t that crazy about it at the time. But now, after nearly three decades, I was suddenly in love with this tune and happily sang along as I waited my turn.
“Welcome to your life. There’s no turning back…”
I felt so good I barely recognized myself. But then the dark corner of my mind managed to find something to complain about, whining that I had waited so long only to find out that there was nothing wrong with me.
I stewed over this for a few moments until a voice from the rational side of my brain roared out a simple message.
Hey, schmuck, you’re okay! There’s nothing wrong with you! That’s a good thing!
I’m sure that many of the people in that waiting room would have given their life’s savings just to hear those very words. This was a time to be thankful, not bitter.
The talk show host Tavis Smiley once said in an interview that he doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but, instead, does a personal assessment of his life on his birthday—“the day I came into this world.”
I like that approach. It’s more personal than joining the thundering herd of lemmings on January 1 who climb high on a mountain of promises only to dive into a pool of disappointment.
So, welcome to your life. There’s no turning back; believe me, I’ve tried, but I know I’m never going to be 28 again. And I can live with that.
I don’t want to rule the world, I just want make the most of freedom and of pleasure because nothing lasts forever.