Just another (birth)day
By JEFF LUND
May 11, 2015
The body stays the course, and a year later Facebook tells all of your friends its your birthday. Then you’re faced with the question of either “like” every post, or do one of those, “Thanks for the birthday wishes, you’re all swell” posts. Or you can do both, then make sure you reciprocate on the anniversary of their birth.
They are certainly more special if you endured circumstances, in which case you are thankful just to be around.
Assuming it’s normal, when it comes to what to do, that’s hard. Birthdays don’t really mean what they did when you were 13, 16, 21, or whatever age it was in the 20s made you think, “what is going on here?” (I hear that happens a few times per decade after 33 or so).
Before I hit 30, a couple buddies and I went camping on the Russian River in California. We walked into town and were poisoned by the dinner special which A. was at a tiny establishment on the edge of town, B. was mussels, C. was made of mussels which weren’t local, D. didn’t taste right, but there was so much butter we went for it anyway.
My stomach nearly turned inside out.
I don’t feel older and I certainly don’t feel more mature with each year. I do want to say that I’m in the best shape of my life, but I’m not sure if I am. I have to be close, though I doubt I’d be able to beat 17-year old Jeff in a 5k or 25-year old Jeff in a marathon. Because I’m over 30, I could probably beat 21-year old Jeff in basketball, because after you turn 30, the rules of basketball change. Especially in adult league and at the rec center. You can whine like LeBron without being fast or even good.
As far as what I did do on my birthday, three of us went out in my buddy’s boat and caught a king big enough to keep and a king small enough to let go. It was really indecipherable from most weekends in May or June. The quality of kings might change, but going out in a boat to catch king salmon is not a novelty anymore. Instead it just proves how great life is up here.
The day after my birthday I drove fifteen minutes to a trailhead that took me to the top of a mountain. I saw three people on the way up, and two on the way down. Five people total. I didn’t even have to do the, “should I walk faster and pass, or just stay eight feet behind them and pass when they take a water break.” It wasn’t like driving two hours to hike with thousands of others in Yosemite either.
It takes very little effort to turn the everyday into exceptional, which is epic in the eyes of others. So though I received some thoughtful gifts and cards, maybe the best was perspective and the reminder of how unbelievable it is to be employed and able to play in a place like this.
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska