I read the comics every day. Yesterday, two in particular jumped out at me because today is my birthday!
Close To Home by John McPherson, 1/10/15
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis, 1/10/15
I mostly don’t remember how old I am. I spent the last few years thinking I was 57—both before and after I really was 57. Today I am 59. I thought it would feel like another non-memorable number, but I think I’m going to remember how old I am this year because 60 is going to get my attention.
It’s not that I fear getting older. In fact, I am enjoying where I am in life now, and I hope that continues to be the case. It’s more that I know the time in front of me is not endless. I am much more aware of the frailty of our existence. The older you get, the more you notice that people of all ages die for all sorts of reasons. (Side note: I wish causes of death were still listed in obituaries. Not because I’m ghoulish, but because knowing why can sometimes be useful. Useful is the wrong word but I hope you know what I mean.)
I woke up the other night thinking about the dent I’ll be leaving behind. What I mean by that is: who is going to notice that I’m gone, when I’m gone? Family and friends, yes. Quilters, yes, at least sometimes. But I’m pretty sure the world at large won’t even blink.
I am not changing the world in the same way that others have. Mother Theresa I am not. Nor am I Louis Pasteur, Ghandi, Paul Farmer, etc. I am not sure what I can do to change the world at large for the better so, rather than throwing up my hands in despair, I am going to concentrate on trying to be better in my very small sphere of influence. Perhaps the hardest part for me will be training myself to think first and speak second. I will fail at least some of the time, but I hope that those times become rarer. Here’s hoping that next year I can look back and see progress :-).
PS: I always tell my mom happy birthday on my own birthday. She did the work, not me. I just showed up on 1/11/56. It always makes her smile when I point that out.