I always get weird around my birthday, and this year is no different. Ironically enough, I am going to be MIA for the next week or so – not so much on purpose as I have lots of stuff on my plate and they’re all stacking up at the same time. But the fact that life seems to be throwing curveball after curveball, allowing me to a swing for the occasional grand slam…that doesn’t make me special. It doesn’t make me unique. I am no different; no better; no more entitled to opportunities than anyone else. I struggle. I suffer. I experience problems – personal and professional; outward and from deep within. But still…who doesn’t right? I want to love my birthday: to wake up excited for another opportunity to celebrate. But I can never shake the feeling that I didn’t really do anything. I didn’t accomplish anything. I sort of just showed up.
This year I am trying very hard to embrace the prospect of another year older and wiser. I don’t mind the thought of aging: it’s how quickly time passes that seems to bother me. I remember being a kid and thinking the days lasted forever: going to school; doing homework; playing outside until the sunset for dinner…every hour seemed to feel worthy of the sixty minutes that created it. But now? There’s never any time. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Jesse Spano was a woman ahead of her generation, because she’s absolutely right: there’s never any time, and I’M SO EXCITED…I’M SO SCARED!
Time. Time buys more than money ever will. Success is fluid. Experience is uniquely defined. You can get a refund on a new pair of shoes…but you will never, ever get back Time once it’s lost. It’s ineffable. It’s fleeting. And with every single day that passes, it becomes more valuable to me in every way.
If you’re going to spend your limited time working…make sure you’ve got a passion and a purpose. If you’re going to spend your time on travel…soak up every drop of surf, sand, and sunset. If you’re going to spend your time with loved ones…laugh and fight and cry and love. But if you waste your time on anything except a richly personal and valuable experience…I assure you, you’ll be broke of time with no way to pay it back. I know it. I’ve lived it. And I see it every day.
I hate my birthday…but I value the idea. I embrace the prospect of another chance to reflect on the past, and anticipate all of the peaks and valleys yet to come. I have come to conclude that my time is precious….my time is top of the line…and I should spend it widely, wisely. So cheers to nearing one more year; one more tick mark on the big proverbial wall. I am perpetually confused. I am eternally conflicted. I am constantly challenged. And I am forever changed. I am so grateful for my pocket full of time. I am so thankful for those I choose to spend it with. I am so fortunate to be rich with an interesting, beautiful, ever evolving existence…and while I take this deep dive into my mind…I remember that a tiny slice of time of my own is worth its weight in gold.
Time…we all fixate over it. We are obsessed with it. We adhere to a schedule. We pencil in and scratch out and reschedule and apologize profusely for the inconvenience. We are defined by agendas. We hold fast to our technology and nearly forget to breathe unless it’s a reminder in our smartphones. Without your own time…money is just paper; luxuries are just things; and your relationships are simply strangers. Take a breath. Take a chance. But please…if you take your time, remember that it’s going to pass anyway.
I wish you all love, happiness…and the time to enjoy it all. And for the first time in my life I will say out loud: happy almost birthday to me.