So far, I love getting old. I may not be old-old, but when I was 20 I didn’t think I’d make it to 40. When I was 40 I didn’t think I would make it to 50. At 52 I’d feel blessed if I make it to 62… but I’m not assuming I will. Life is a free gift. Nobody stands in line and chooses to be born, we are given something of eternal value without having to work for it. Let’s face it, celebrating a birthday is the ultimate selfish party for oneself. I didn’t do anything to be born, but there will be a party thrown in my honor, as if I worked really hard to be here.
“The Prettiest Cheerleader.”
While there are more famous people with my birthday like John Calvin, Tesla and the great Ronnie James Dio, July 10, 1966 was a special time when America erupted with division. I was born under a divisive sign and I suppose some things never change. But I’ve learned to be simply grateful for being here. I’m lucky to be here. Every year my wife asks me what I want for my birthday and every year I say, “I have everything I want… mostly you.” They’ll buy me sketchbooks and pens and maybe some pipe tobacco and dark chocolate, but gifts pale in comparison to my already receiving every important thing in the world I ever wanted! What do you get for the guy who has everything? I have no idea. Good luck with that.
I look out my window and see a tree, green with leaves in the special way that Tennessee makes everything green with leaves. I hold that beauty in my mind for a moment and pause to thank God that they are that way. They didn’t have to be that way. They could have less luster. They could be far away from my window instead of just outside. They could be dead. I could be dead.
Gratitude is the key to happiness and that’s why I’m so happy. I’m always thankful for the little things. I don’t want to walk past a single molecule without thanking the Creator for them. Yes, I am also thankful when the skin cancer strikes, when pain and suffering comes, when depression hits, these are legit parts of my life too. We can’t just be cheerleaders when our team is ahead. The team needs cheerleaders all-the-more when they are behind. I want to be prettiest cheerleader with the loudest routine when the team is farthest behind.
I’m blessed to be here and you’re blessed to be here to read this. So happy birthday to everyone and everything! We made it!