Today is my birthday. I am 46 years old (as of 4pm this afternoon).
I don’t typically make a ‘big deal’ of my birthday – other than perhaps dinner plans with friends or doing something fun for myself on the day, which is how I intend to spend this birthday as well as many others I’ve seen come in the past.
I don’t view getting ‘older’ as something to regret or bemoan. I view it as a gift I receive each and every year. The chance to tell people I love them, no matter how many times I’ve said it before. The chance to learn something new or try something I never thought I might. There are, to me, so many reasons to enjoy spending another year alive…whether they are things I’ve always known, or learned over time.
Therefore, I’ve decided to produce a list of 46 things I love about being 46.
1. The two most amazing little boys in the world call me ‘Daddy’ and give me a hug and kiss every day.
2. I have had the opportunity to apologize to those I feel I have wronged the most in my life.
3. I have lived long enough to be legally married to the person I choose.
4. I know myself better than I ever have.
5. I like myself better than I ever have.
6. I am comfortable pursuing the things I enjoy in life, no matter what others think of them.
7. I, rather than following trends, make my own style and stick with it.
8. I value the worthwhile things I have in my life.
9. I am able to look back upon mistakes I have made and work to not repeat them.
10. I have given and received true forgiveness.
11. I have made friends with former enemies, recognizing the changes in both of us over time.
12. I love all kinds of music, admittedly some more than others, but have favorites in every genre.
13. I know my strengths, and my weaknesses, and how to work with both.
14. I have learned to be somewhat better at asking for help when I need it.
15. I have learned that trying to harm another individual does more harm to me, to my soul, than to them.
16. I can say ‘I love you’ to someone without hesitation.
17. I have read some of the most revered classics in the world, and really enjoyed them.
18. I have enough self confidence to introduce myself to a stranger and try to get to know them.
19. I can cry without shame.
20. I know to handle rejection with grace rather than anger.
21. I can admit when I am wrong.
22. I can apologize without trying to justify my actions or words.
23. I don’t feel the need to apologize for who or what I am.
24. I don’t feel the need to try to make people like me, but rather feel grateful for those who do.
25. I feel no need to retaliate against people who say or do things that hurt me.
26. I keep confidences and don’t betray them when they are placed with me.
27. I feel truly happy for people who get things I’d like to have even when I don’t get them.
28. I have people I can call any hour of the day or night who would do absolutely anything I needed.
29. I have known true love.
30. I am not ashamed to admit my real age, and do nothing to try to appear ‘younger’ than I am.
31. I no longer try to be ‘perfect’ as it’s an impossible goal to achieve.
32. I know how to set boundaries with others based upon my needs and wants.
33. I have thanked a great many of the people who have most profoundly influenced my life.
34. I know to listen to what my body is telling me.
35. I feel that a hot cup of tea and a good book makes, for me, a better night than any club, concert, or party ever could.
36. I look forward to the things I can still do in my life rather than dwelling on things I’ve not yet done.
37. I am blessed with many, many wonderful friends that I have known for decades.
38. I appreciate compliments, but flattery is, to me, like insult…it doesn’t change how I feel about myself.
39. I know that I alone am responsible for my happiness.
40. I value all gestures, small or grand, that are made with love.
41. I stand up for myself when needed.
42. I remain true to my principles despite the opinions of others.
43. I enjoy simple pleasures as they are the easiest to come by.
44. I know the meaning of ‘to love another one must first love themselves’
45. I know that each relationship I’ve had, no matter how badly it might have ended, taught me something.
46. I know that I am loved.
I am a lucky man, and I know it. I have more, in 46 years, than many ever achieve no matter how long they live. For this, and for the opportunity to say it, I am very, very grateful.