‘You say it’s your birthday. Well it’s my birthday too, yeah’


Wonderful wit Stephen Wright once asked: “What’s the youngest you can die of old age?”

I only ask this due to the fact I am on the eve of a birthday. I won’t say which one mainly because I am terribly vain and it suits me to have you think I am much younger than I really am. OK?

Regardless of that, I feel a pending birthday is a time for reflection about many, many things. If you’ve been around for a while you are driven to thinking about stuff. There is a line in that ghastly, egocentric song My Way, that opines “regrets, I’ve had a few.” And indeed I have. So does everybody in all likelihood. I don’t believe I am the only one capable of bad decisions or major gaffes in life.

I regret, for example:

– that I never learned to surf when I was young.

– that I never learned to play a musical instrument – and don’t anyone be telling me that it’s never too late. That just compounds my guilt because I likely won’t take the task on and will then have even more regret.

– that I didn’t take off to see the world when I was very young and single.

– getting married as young as I did the first time around: I was 24.

sandy et moi– not ever being intimate with the girl I was madly in love with through high school so that I might have found out whether or not it was worth the agony. If it wasn’t then I’d never have to wonder any more. (I notice in the picture my sweater has a hole in it. Hmm, maybe that was why she rejected me ultimately)

– not having lived in more places than I have. I mean, I lived abroad for a year but that was it. I’d like to have lived in some other ‘abroads’.

– not having learned a foreign language (no, I am not bilingual even though the myth persists that Canadians are – hah!). But, when I was traveling in Latin America last fall I thought I wish I knew Spanish because it is the ‘other’ language of the Americas and anyway, it sounds kinda cool.

– I know there isn’t sufficient time to go to all the places on that cliche ‘bucket list’ and I’m good with that. I would, however, like to go to New Orleans sometime, and also NYC, the Canadian Maritimes and certain parts of Texas. Oh, and I’d like to go back to Florida because I got just a fleeting glimpse when we completed our cruise in the fall.

– I have never been to Vegas. I never ever want to go to Vegas. Just sayin’.

– the losses to mortality of some very special people in my life whom I shall always miss.

As it stands, by this juncture in life I am also happy about certain aspects of how things have turned out.

I am happy and grateful:

– that I live in a free society in which I can express opinions.

– for the people in my life and that certainly includes all my Facebook people who are a vast array of worthy folk.

– the technology that allows my to be in instant touch with those who are important to me.

– that I am not impoverished.

– that I am not (so far) disabled.

– that I have (finally) a certain amount of domestic bliss.

– I have a pleasing home in a quiet neighborhood in a quiet community

– that I have been given creative skills that continue to impel me forward. Even if my words never appear between covers (and I still hope they will) I am grateful that I still feel compelled to write and can actually do it. I also like the fact I can paint a bit and spent a number of formative years as a cartoonist.

OK, so I am holding my own so Happy Birthday to me.


14 responses to “‘You say it’s your birthday. Well it’s my birthday too, yeah’

  1. Yes. “Happy Birthday” to you. 🙂 And definitely go to New Orleans: the art! the music! the food! the brutal debauchery of Bourbon Street!

    🙂 It’s worth it.


  2. Happy Birthday! I hope you make it to New Orleans and NYC. The New Orleans Museum of Art has a Bouguereau that I love and will be seeing in April and of course the art in NYC is incredible. New Orleans has a special soul and sound that gets into your bones. NYC has a pace and feel that make you feel so alive. Or just have a nice slice of cake there with your sweet wife and awseome dog. Just have a happy birthday and a great rest of your life.

    • I’d love to in both cases and since Wendy and I both want to visit the two cities, I cannot see it not happening. And I know you are familiar with both. And thank you for your well-wishes dear longtime friend.

  3. Happy birthday, Big Brother! (And whatever the number actually is, ignore it!)

  4. A very Merry Unbirthday to you.

  5. I think we all start thinking about our regrets and dreams when we reach a certain age (I am 61). My biggest regret is that when we discovered my husband could not father a child, I did not fight to be able to do artificial insemination. He was adamant that I not have any one elses child, yet was okay with adopting one. I regret not standing for my dream.
    One of the things I now ponder is wondering about people in my life and what has happened to them.

  6. Happy birthday Ian. Have a great one.

  7. Never having lived abroad and never having lived in Manhattan. There are more on my list, of course, but these are the two that relate to your list. At 44, I haven’t given up on living abroad, and moving to Manhattan doesn’t hold the allure it once did. As for things I’m grateful for ~ oh far too many to list. I’m having a good run ~ and so grateful it includes you.

    Happiest of birthdays, dear Ian.

  8. Happy Birthday!
    I’m very good at telling people that you’re only as young as you feel etc even though I am making an extremely big deal about my birthday this year…..
    However, I for one, am very happy that you feel compelled to write as I always enjoy what you have to say.
    Have a great day x

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