What a Birthday Is

Most people I know have very different ideas about birthdays than I do. Apparently, birthdays are occasions to be ignored, forgotten, unmentioned. You should hate your own birthday, refuse any question of celebrating it, and loath to accept any gifts. If someone insists on talking about it, offering you a gift, a card, or even… Continue reading What a Birthday Is

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought of that phase and this is the first time I’ve felt it ever seriously applied to me. 35 already feels different. For the first time I feel old. I know I’m not old but this is the first time I feel that I am not young and in my inexperience they seem the same.

This morning my wife made me a big breakfast, and afterward there were mimosas and gifts. She went all out this year. I got a cold-brew coffee maker, a Scrimshaw knife kit, a box of “Strike Your Fancy” matches, and a big, beautiful longboard! Apparently, there is still one more gift, but it hasn’t shipped yet and she won’t tell me what it is. I just have to wait until the world starts moving again to find out. FOr now I’m hanging out, watching my favorite shows and waiting until it’s time to roast the artichokes, steam the cran legs, and open the wine. It’s a good day despite everything that’s going on around us.

I got an email from Coursera about some courses I might be interested in. One is Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader and I’m really thinking about doing it. I need a long term learning goal I can work toward during these next three or four months away from work. There were courses I’ve been enrolled in and have been struggling to finish for nearly a year or more, but rather than wasting time avoiding or forcing myself to do the work, I have decided to embrace quitting. I’m quitting them (for now at least) and moving on to things I feel excited and passionate about.

There’s another one I heard about during a Sam Harris interview with Laurie Santos, “an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University”. Her course, The Science of Well-Being is not only the most popular course at Yale but also on all of Coursera. I think I’ll give it a go too.

So, I have new things and new goals. I have renewed resolve and a new direction. I’ve taken a tiny step and it feel good. It feels right.

If We Were Having Coffee // None of Us Feel Any Safer

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. Today we’re having a late coffee. I had to be up early for a birthday brunch/Easter celebration with my family and afterwards; I was in desperate need of a nap. The kind of nap where you don’t… Continue reading If We Were Having Coffee // None of Us Feel Any Safer

If We Were Having Coffee // A Happy Birthday Weekend

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. This Sunday I am up late and in a definite hurry. We have an appointment to take engagement photos a few towns over this evening so that means I have just a few short hours to… Continue reading If We Were Having Coffee // A Happy Birthday Weekend

Today is my birthday. It’s the first day of my 34th year on this Earth and in this life. Today is my perfect day.

We woke up at the perfect time, not so early that I felt groggy or grouchy, and not so late that I felt rushed or panicked. We ate breakfast burritos with spicy salsa and watched political shows and after my girlfriend and I cozied up on the couch for a nap while the snow fell, even the pets joined us.

We woke up and got ready for the day. I took a long hot shower and left knowing we’d have plenty of time to spend where we were going. By then the snow had picked up, and the temperature continued to drop which was disappointing. Snow, for me, is not perfect birthday weather. I lamented my spring birth by cheered as we pulled up to our destination, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

We toured an exhibit on the senses and got our monies worth and more from the fascinating and quite comprehensive Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. We found the Native American tribe’s exhibit and browsed the North American wildlife we’d missed on our last visit. We ended with a quick trip through my favorite area: rocks and minerals. It’s so boring I never force anyone to walk it with me unless it’s my day and I know I’m allowed some small entitlements.

We left and went for a lunch of pepperoni pizza and bought everything we needed for the perfect dinner: king crab legs, roasted artichokes, shrimp and Parmesan pasta, and plenty of butter, lemon, and garlic to cover all, oh, and a bottle of sweet Riesling to wash it all down.

We cooked together and played our favorite old love songs. We sang, and danced, and kissed throughout the kitchen and when the cooking was done we feasted right there at the island making a mess of it all.

After dinner, there was coconut ice cream with strong coffee poured over top. We watched Guava Island and then Starship Troopers for the 100th time.

It’s after midnight now. I stayed up until the very end not wanting to miss or waste a single moment of my day. It was perfect, as every birthday I have had for the last 17 years or so now has been, though each in their own way. Some are rowdy, drunken affairs, and some are like this one, quiet, reflective, simple.

I love them all and cannot wait until the next.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

It’s my last day being 33 and for the first time, I feel the Eve of my born day deserves reflection and remark.

I liked 33. It was a good year. Though it had its difficulties, its setbacks, and failures, it was a year where I felt most me. I felt freer from my past and more connected to my future than ever before. I felt older, but not old. I felt sure and content and good.

I don’t know what 34 will bring. I don’t like to plan for the age the way I do for the year. I don’t want to make all aspects of my life, my seasons and cycles, into ones measured by pure productivity alone. Birthdays aren’t celebrations of what you accomplished, the are celebrations of your coming into existence and living against odds too narrow to even imagine.

This year, and every year going forward, for my birthday I just want to be grateful that I am here and to hope with all my heart to continue to be so for at least one more trip around the sun.

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // Beginning the Birthday Celebrations

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m exhausted this weekend. The week has been long and though I got through it fine—with the help of pure determination and copious amounts of caffeine—but my body has come to its limit and crashed. Yesterday… Continue reading If We Were Having Coffee // Beginning the Birthday Celebrations

I received a wonderful and thoughtful early birthday gift today. It’s something to do, which I have come to realize are among the best kinds of gifts to get, especially if it is something to make.

A gift like that is a gift of inspiration and motivation. A gift like that is a gift of accountability and new beginnings.

Too often we get stuck along our creative journeys because the end goal seems too vague and all roads begin to blend. We’re afraid to choose a path and the longer we wait the more obscure the way becomes. Complete freedom and the option to choose from infinite modes and mediums can paradoxically leave us with no way to proceed. The gift of a project shows a way that can lead us to the way.

I’ll admit I’m a little overwhelmed and afraid but more than that I am intrigued. I have a lot of ideas floating around already and since this gift comes complete with a deadline and a community built in I feel both eager and supported too. I’m ready to get started right away!


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren