I have come to dread the divisible-by-five birthdays.
Birthdays lost their attraction quite awhile ago, roughly around the time I turned 45. There is little more sobering than seeing the Big Five-O getting larger and larger in the windshield … unless of course – it’s The Big Six-O.
Usually these times give me pause to consider where I’ve been; what’s been accomplished; and where I want to go. Unfortunately, it also elicits regrets over opportunities missed, decisions on which I desperately want a re-do, and uncertainty about the future. But if you’re looking for me to answers those questions here tonight … Fahgetaboutit!
This year, I choose to count the blessings bestowed upon me and those I care for most.
I choose to appreciate the little things in life. The small triumphs that make all the worrying worthwhile … the worry a silly indulgence in retrospect.
I choose to give thanks for overall good health, sufficient wealth, and the tolerance of those I love for my eccentricities. (Of these I have a few, but then again, too few to mention.)
I choose to bask in the warmth of family and friends.
I choose to cherish the love of a patient woman (See eccentricities above).
I choose to continue to have what fun I can get out of life, to enjoy whatever life brings my way.
This should be more than enough. Enough to keep me going. Enough to make all the problems manageable. Maybe enough to make the next five years most fulfilling.
Note: Although my birthday was celebrated here today with family, it will be observed by the nation tomorrow! Please feel free to take the day off from work, should you be employed at a place where this national holiday is recognized.
Events in history that occurred on February 20:
1872 – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
1915 – The World’s Fair, entitled the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, opens in San Francisco, celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal and San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire.
1927 – Golfers in South Carolina arrested for violating Sabbath.
1944 – Batman & Robin comic strip premieres in newspapers.
1975 – Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party.
Ansel Adams, photographer (1902)
Aleksei N Kosygin, Soviet premier (1904)
Sidney Portier, actor (1924)
Patty Hearst Shaw, famous kidnap hostage (1954)
Kelsey Grammer, actor (1955)
Cranky Man, blogger (1956)
Frederick Douglass, escaped slave/anti-slavery leader (1895)
Chester W Nimitz, US Admiral during WWII (1960)
Walter Winchell, writer/actor (1972)
Clarence Nash, voice of Donald Duck (1985)
Richard York, actor-Bewitched (1992)
Very well written BD thoughts, especially for an elderly man; I hope to be in similar command of my faculties when I am of advanced years.
I applaud your effort to remain positive and look at the blessings of your 55 BDs, we should all take such a view. However, I was troubled to see you mentioned several real tragedies that coincided with 20 Feb: golfer arrests should concern all freedom-loving Americans, nothing should interfere with the bliss of a round of golf; and the list of famous people who assumed room temperature on your birth anniversary. Your journey into BD bliss was indeed brief.
What no mention of your oft-quoted brag that you were born the same day another famous Mike, I am talking about John Glenn of course, rocketed into orbit!
Lastly, with Presidents Day looming ahead of us, George Washington (someone I think we are still allowed to celebrate / acknowledge even though we are told he was an evil man of some wealth and worldwide fame who had something to do with the Presidency), asks the BD Boy: “Where are you, Sir? And why do you no longer track the movements of legal tender notes bearing my likeness? Come back to your first true love, this blogging business is not as serious an endeavor as tracking graffiti laden singles across the globe…. ”
Seriously, best birthday wishes to my first ever roommate and many more to follow.
Funny, funny guy …
May I add exceedingly clever to your response, as well?
Oh, and happy birthday, Mike! Enjoy your birthday week.