People always ask if you feel older on your birthday. My grandmother used to ask us if we felt a year older, to which I would always respond, “no.”
This year, however, I would have answered differently.
I am still not totally comfortable with the idea of “celebrating” my birthday or having people wish me a happy birthday. For one, I don’t feel like I did anything unique or special by continuing to exist another 365 days. While I consider every day a gift that should be appreciated, getting older doesn’t feel like an accomplishment. I also don’t like the attention the spotlight of my birthday inescapably shines on me.
The day itself isn’t much different from any other day. I go to work, come home to my family, then go to bed to do it again tomorrow. The biggest difference is having to blow out candles. Most of the people I’ll interact with won’t even know it’s my birthday, which is fine by me.
So not knowing what else to do, I’ll use this time to reflect back on the last year:
There have been some great “firsts” this year:
- My first full year with 4 kids!
- My first full year at my new job after spending 10 years at my last one
- My first nephew on my side of the family was born (as well as another niece!)
But there have been some not-so-great things as well:
- My first (and hopefully last) kidney stone which required multiple surgeries
- Other recent health issues relating to sleep apnea
- My mom’s declining health and need for full-time professional care
One major highlight is a new woodworking hobby, and I am looking forward to building some of the projects on my list next year. People have already started asking me to build things for them which is exciting!
I’ll be celebrating 13 years of marriage in less than a week and am incredibly thankful to have found such an amazing person to share my life with and raise our children.
As I look back on the last year, I can’t help but feel grateful for so many things. Even though the last 365 days has had its share of challenges, I am learning to focus on the positive things and not worry as much about things I can’t control.
My goals for next year are to continue to work on improving my health, being a better husband and father, learning and trying new things, and appreciating everyone and everything I have.