December 06, 2006

Older, Wiser

So, yeah, yesterday was my birthday. Hard to miss it what with all the comments you guys left. You guys? Rock. Thank you for the good birthday wishes.

Beth and Mia also rock, of course. They colluded to cook my favorite dinner (stuffed peppers) and got me a kewl gift (a GPS navigator thingy so I'll never get lost, physically at least).

Now, don't get me wrong, I had a great birthday. I realized, though, that birthdays are starting to depress me. When I turned 30, I was fine. That whole decade older thing didn't get to me. In subsequent years, though, I started to pick up a growing undercurrent of melancholy. Nothing much, but detectable, and growing. Last night, for a split second, I considered the idea of not celebrating my birthday again. But then I certainly wouldn't want to totally give up the gifts.

What matters for me isn't getting older, or the cards and gifts that accompany the inevitable march of time. Instead, it's my family that matters most. It's about rolling around on the floor with my daughter or hiding around corners or learning how to say banana. Maybe that's what growing up and growing older is - shifting the focus from one's self to the people who matter the most. Get me - older and wiser. Who'da thunk it?

Posted by Chris at December 6, 2006 07:16 AM

I thought Beth had an entry a while ago about how you didn't really like stuffed peppers and you ate it for her? Did I make that up.

I have the Garmin portable gps and love it. I've only had it for a month but I don't know how I ever survived before!

Posted by: jodi at December 6, 2006 07:26 AM

Hmm, you do sound wise. Perhaps when I reach your age I'll sound just as wise :-)

Posted by: Alissa at December 6, 2006 07:46 AM

Sheeesh, it's only been 24 hours and look at the wisdom. Wait till you get to be my age, people will be paying homage to you...

Posted by: Wicked H at December 6, 2006 07:51 AM

Happy Birthday and remember - we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. Never be the frist to get old!!

Posted by: DMM at December 6, 2006 07:53 AM

I am glad you had a great birthday, Old Man. =)

Yeah it seems the older we get the more introspection we tend to do. Then again, I also think that as we get older we seem to take more delight in the things around us. Like family, hrm like you said. Nevermind, my age is talking. =) Here's to you buddy. To another great year! =)

Posted by: Lauren at December 6, 2006 07:58 AM

Dude, how bad is it that I had to google introspection to make sure I was using it right in a sentence! GAH! =)~

Posted by: Lauren at December 6, 2006 07:59 AM

Happy (late cause I suck) birthday :) When I turned 22 this year, I felt old. It gets worse, huh? :(

Posted by: Stephanie at December 6, 2006 08:02 AM

OK is it bad that my comment after reading this post is yummmmm - stuffed peppers? Need to make those again.

Posted by: Heather at December 6, 2006 08:18 AM

You're absolutely right, of course. Where I run into trouble is being 39, with an 18 year old, and trying to be wise for him while still FEELING like I'm 25 inside. It's a dichotomy, and a tricky one to balance, at that.

My plan is just to blunder along hoping like hell that I don't screw him up too much until he can escape. :)

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at December 6, 2006 08:42 AM

Ah, Chris. 34 isn't old in any (sane) person's estimation. This, of course, excludes teenagers.

Posted by: Heather at December 6, 2006 08:45 AM

Glad to hear you had a good birthday. Stuffed peppers..yummmm! and the GPS...WOW wish I had one of those. Beth loves you very much cause she wants to make sure you can always find your way to her. :)

Posted by: Pat (Trish) at December 6, 2006 09:07 AM

Happy Belated Birthday. :) Sounds like perspective, my friend... which technically, makes you wiser... :) I'm almost 26, and feeling some of the same things (is it harder for women getting older than men???) Glad you had a great birthday..

Posted by: Corinne at December 6, 2006 09:15 AM

Chris, my youngest child turned 34 two weeks ago.

Since I still think of him as my baby, it's hard to think of 34 as old. Adult, possibly.

You're right about priorities and what's important. You learned it very young; some people never do. Too soon old and too late smart.

Hope you had a wonderful time. Cant' believe I've been reading you for a year but I remember last year's bell peppers.

Posted by: ann adams at December 6, 2006 09:19 AM

I wrote something quite similar this year on my birthday. My post was titled, "Why It's Great To Be 48". Yeah, it does only get better and better, especially when you have people you love in your world.

Posted by: Maribeth at December 6, 2006 09:27 AM

Oh Geesh.. Happy Birthday.. sorry I missed it.. and mmm.. Stuffed peppers Sounds yummy~!

Posted by: molly at December 6, 2006 09:30 AM

You could always just start celebrating the whateverth anniversary of your 34th birthday, if you really wanted to.

Wisdom and perspective are good things, though.

Mmmm... stuffed peppers.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at December 6, 2006 10:07 AM

happy (belated) birthday! in a handful of days i'll be turning rhymes with dirty sticks... and yes, it is all about the watching others grow. (at least that takes the edge of off knowing that we're getting OLD)

Posted by: monique at December 6, 2006 10:08 AM

I used to haaaaaaate stuffed peppers when I was a kid. Now I'm reconsidering. Also a perk of getting older, yes?

Posted by: kara marie at December 6, 2006 10:42 AM

happy belated birthday! everyone keeps telling me that life only gets better as you get older. sometimes i believe them, because you have a valid point, you really learn as you get older about the things that are important and the things that arent. but then, sometimes, i think they are just trying to make themselves feel better about being old... :)

Posted by: steph at December 6, 2006 11:10 AM

Happy belated birthday!

Posted by: ::c:: at December 6, 2006 11:26 AM

I too join the hordes (or at least select few) who managed to miss your birthday yesterday. Glad to hear it was a happy one.

Posted by: Judy at December 6, 2006 12:13 PM

Older, and wiser, and calmer. Happy belated birthday, dude.

Posted by: Jonathon at December 6, 2006 12:34 PM

Sorry, I missed your birthday. I'm always reading but my "life" has kept me a bit pre-occupied.

Happy Birthday!!

Posted by: chantel at December 6, 2006 01:01 PM

Please keep in mind that "wiser" is a relative term.

Happy belated!

Posted by: whit at December 6, 2006 01:04 PM

we borrowed a GPS for our last road trip. it was AMAZING. i think i played with it for about 5 hours!

Posted by: ali at December 6, 2006 01:55 PM

I think that because of young life lost in my immediate family, the worry about growing older is nearly gone. Not to say that when I turned 39 a couple of months ago that I didn't wonder how time is not only marching on, but oftentimes, running! Thank God we get wiser, otherwise what would it all be about? Then I may as well stay 20, drinking too much beer and hanging out with friends.
Husband, kids, home. MUCH better.

Posted by: angela marie at December 6, 2006 02:16 PM

You'll get past the melancholy thing eventually, coming to realize how precious each remaining year, month, day or moment is, and begin celebrating anew. A sense of happy urgency settles in. And it's a good thing. By the way, it's 83 shopping days until my 50th birthday, you sweet young thing! Sounds like you had a fabulous day. You deserve it.

Posted by: bhd at December 6, 2006 02:18 PM

Happy Belated Birthday! I have a GREAT excuse as to why I missed the actual day, though. Dude, I had SURGERY last week and I totally had bitchin Frankenstein stitches! Sadly, they're out now.

ANYway, hope you had a terrific b-day.

Posted by: candace at December 6, 2006 02:26 PM

The GPS thing is nice. Just don't forget to turn it off once in awhile as it is just as much fun to get lost sometimes! ;-)

Posted by: Jeff A at December 6, 2006 02:38 PM

So glad you had a happy birthday with those you love. I love my birthday simply because it is a good excuse to celebrate. The nature of the celebration ahs changed over time and I think that's what you're starting to notice. It's all good so long as you are enjoying yourself. But don't go getting too wise on us. I'd really miss those crazy conversations between you and Beth.

Posted by: Annie at December 6, 2006 03:07 PM

well happy belated birthday! sorry i missed it!

Posted by: Judy at December 6, 2006 03:33 PM

I started freaking out about birthdays and feeling old at 22 so I think you're okay. But your right, we should appreciate the little time that we have on earth and make the most of it, and not waste it worrying about how old we are. It's how young you feel, right? That's what they tell me, anyway.

Posted by: Sijbrich at December 6, 2006 04:18 PM

Older, wiser and happy, it sounds like. Glad you had a good birthday!

Posted by: bad penguin at December 6, 2006 04:59 PM

Happy day after your birthday. Mine's not too far off either. I'll be the same age. Well, I mean, close. Since it's not on the same day. I guess that makes you older. Ha! Ya old fart.

Posted by: Krystyn at December 6, 2006 06:07 PM

Wiser and yet still a wiseass - the perfect combo. Glad you had a good b'day. :)

Posted by: Traci at December 6, 2006 07:16 PM

Well said Cactus.
I too am hiding around corners and teaching "Nanana".
I've got the 3.0 upgrade this June.
Happy & Healthy B-day

Posted by: Adam at December 6, 2006 08:21 PM

Happy Birthday Day! (In my partying days it was referred to as "Hoppy Barfday"...bleck.)

It all gets better and better. I've been telling people I was 45 since I was 39. (You know, to give me some credibility.) Well, this year I turn 45 and I'm not sure what I'm going to do, because frankly I have always loved it when people would say to me, "Oh my gawd, you don't even look 45!!" I'd say, "I know!!!"

Posted by: kristen at December 6, 2006 08:58 PM

It's just not quite as important to have a birthday as an adult as it was when we were kids, is it? Glad to hear you had a good one!

Posted by: Beth in StL at December 6, 2006 09:46 PM

Okay, so I am late with the birthday greetings... yesterday was stressful and I didn't do all my reading. hehe Happy Birthday anyway! :p

I've got 9 years to go before I hit where you are, but I noticed a few years ago that birthdays seem to be more for the people around you then for you yourself... heck, most holidays seem to be.

Or it might just be that I am Super Bah-Humbug Girl and don't want to admit it. Actually, that might be more likely.

Hmmm... I just realized I have no idea what the other thing I meant to type here was...

Posted by: Debra at December 6, 2006 11:47 PM

Ooo... I like that deep thought about getting older = shifting focus to others.... I like that a lot....

I don't understand how stuffed peppers could be ANYONE'S favourite dinner. It just escapes me! I mean, I'm sure they're delicious -- but, a favourite? That's kinda weird, Chris! ;)

Posted by: Haley-O at December 7, 2006 12:56 AM

I hear you on the shifting focus. Our lives are not about us anymore...

Posted by: Bunny at December 7, 2006 07:45 AM

I'll give 'ya older, but I'm definitely suspect of wiser.

Posted by: angela at December 7, 2006 03:19 PM

Things have been crazy and I'm just now catching up, but I wanted to say happy belated birthday. I feel the same way you do about birthdays. I have noticed that I'm not as excited about them as I used to be, but it's not the "depressed" feeling a lot of people talk about, because I don't associate certain ages with negativity the way some people do. The focus shift idea of yours is right on, I think.

Posted by: Kristen at December 7, 2006 04:47 PM

Happy Birthday!

Posted by: samantha Jo Campen at December 7, 2006 06:33 PM

Happy Birthday! (I'm late as usual)

Posted by: Jeff at December 7, 2006 07:50 PM

Happy belated Birthday! I don't much like birthdays since I turned 30 and feel old. But I guess that happens when you are 32 and your son is already 14 ;)

Posted by: Chrissie at December 7, 2006 11:48 PM

Dude. We're both like, 34! Does that seem a WHOLE lot older than 33 or is it just me?

Good to hear you had a great day. Hope it turns out to be a wonderful year for you too!

Posted by: Lisa B at December 8, 2006 12:34 AM

Happy birthday!

Posted by: Kara at December 8, 2006 09:08 PM

Sorry I'm late to the party...but hope it's a good year!

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