I sit here quite unsure how to celebrate a birthday this year - though, it's not something I've always done. I leave that to my wife and now, my son, to create that spectacle that I'm unable to drum up.
However, I've always had some reflection on each year, and each new "age" or trip around the sun completed. Thirty-seven successful trips, and on this day, today, my birthday, I just can't seem to find the words that resonate with how I feel, or simply, to feel.
For starters, there is the idea that forever, my birthday, May 25th, will always be linked with the death of George Floyd. That's heavy enough. And then there is this year, just yesterday, the horrific events of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. That is the only thing really at the center of my thoughts, emotions, and concerns. It's challenging to pull myself out to be a focus under the current climate.
But if I tried to mesh the feelings of the current times as well as look inward, it would easily be a sense of gratitude and an aura of thankfulness. Off the heels of everything that was COVID (and in some ways, that still is), everything that I endured in NYC during that time, as well as now the raw feelings of continued and heightened unsafe options and possibilities there are in this world, at 37, I'm just tremendously grateful.
It's an ongoing measure of what I've promised myself in this past year's Year in Review - an overall investment in myself and towards anyone and anything that deserves that energy.
It's the small things right now that I love. Making shadow puppets with my son before going to bed. Laughing with my wife over a meal. Listening to music while working on DIY projects on a sunny day. The small successes and developments of my students when they figure it out (or return to say hi and to show that they've figured it out). Exchanging funny or inspiring memes with friends. And yes, even my relentless devotion to my New York Knicks...someday they'll win an NBA Championship. Someday... If it ever does, I'm very sure I'll cry.
Nonetheless, if there is anything that I could say about turning thirty-seven, is that I've finally settled in on life in a way I don't think I have, nor, have I ever had due to the opportunity, access, knowledge, confidence, and perspective of one's self.
In addition, because of this point, whether it is 37, or just an arbitrary benchmark we each reach in our lives, I find myself looking back a bit more on the road traveled, spurring my appreciation for the present.
If anything, 37 is about that realization for me.
Appreciative of getting to this point. Thankful for how I got here. Appreciative of those I've encountered along the way (including you, the devoted DP reader). Content in the impact I've made in this world.
Ultimately, just a tremendous amount of gratitude for it all.