Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Reflections on My 38th Birthday

Birthday cakeI turn 38 today.

Obviously, this is not the first birthday I've celebrated since I've started this blog. It's not even the first time I've made a point of mentioning the day, although I don't always. Usually, I try to make a point of some other special event that happened on a given day, and August 8th has particular significance to Transformers fans.

For some reason, I'm particularly conscious about the day, today. I'm not entirely sure why. 38 is hardly as significant a number as, say, 40, although I'm obviously creeping up on that one.

At a guess, some of my birthday-awareness arises from a couple of flukes of scheduling. For example, my brother's birthday present happened to arrive just a couple of days ago (I may do a more proper feature on it in a future post, so I'll leave exactly what it was a secret for now), and my in-laws treated my wife and I to dinner last night (my wife usually works on Wednesday nights, although as it turns out, she was able to get the night off, and has already hinted at making plans, although I'm not sure what they are). So I've actually been celebrating my birthday for a few days, already.

I'm trying to think of some other things to write about today. There's certainly enough going on in the world, but a lot of the more politically- or religiously-charged events of recent days have, frankly, been commented on more than enough by people elsewhere, and I'd just as soon stay out of a lot of that mess just at the moment. I'm simply not enough of a sports follower to comment intelligently on the Olympics (although I'm particularly impressed at Michael Phelps' achievement of winning the most Olympic medals of anyone in history, spanning three separate Olympics when most athletes struggle mightily to make it to one). I do have a couple of game and toy posts planned, but need to set aside some time for picture-taking that I haven't yet done, so I'm not ready to do those just yet.

But the fact of it being my birthday refuses to be ignored. Thanks to the evolution of Facebook, I am deluged by friends wishing me "Happy Birthday," and I am reminded that my life has taken me to lots of different places and introduced me to lots of different types of people. I'm not always as proactive about making contact with this multitude of friends as I perhaps ought to be (certainly not as much as many would prefer), but days like this are a helpful reminder that such contact is important.

Some have cynically commented that many friends would never have remembered such birthdays without something like Facebook reminding them of the fact. I'm sure that's true, but the existence of tools to make reminders easier is not to suggest that friends who need them are lower-quality friends. The quality of friendship is demonstrated by the fact that the friend actively makes use of the communication technology available, and thus I am glad to be reconnected to each and every person that makes contact on this day. Whether they "had to be" reminded or not, they still made the effort to do something in response to that reminder. Thank you to all of you for helping to make this day special.

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