So, today marks another lap around the Sun for me.
Honestly, I don’t hang a lot on birthdays, especially my own. I mean, for the most part, they’re just another day. Another marker of many in my life and, frankly, a rather arbitrary one at that. I’m more impressed with the fact that I’ve paid a third of my mortgage than that I’m turning 44 today. Of course, the fact that I’ve made it this far is actually sort of an accomplishment, I think. There are many who haven’t, and, God knows, I’ve had my share of brushes with death, but, even that’s not altogether unusual, really. In fact, according to the actuarial tables, I should expect about another 30 or so years. Which is a good thing because, in spite of being statistically middle-aged, I come from fairly long-lived stock and I have many, many things yet to accomplish.
It’s been a good year, in retrospect.
Oh, it may have started no different than so many have since surviving cancer, but shortly after Easter things did take an interesting turn. No, I didn’t win the Lottery or suddenly find a way to lose all that extra weight I’m still not overly excited about carrying around with me. But, I did meet someone. Or, to be more accurate, I rediscovered someone. I reactivated my Match.com account shortly after my birthday post last year, which is over on Diary of a Network Geek. There were a couple false starts and then I saw a familiar face. She was someone I knew before I was married, but just shortly after I moved to Houston back in 1998 to live with my now ex-wife. She was seeing someone at the time and we all were about the same age, so we tended to end up talking together at parties of shared acquaintances. Her beau at the time is in the tech industry too and, in fact, inspired me getting the domain HavePalmWillTravel.com, back when Palm devices were all the rage.
Well, anyway, there she was, looking up at me from that Match.com profile, smiling brighter than the Sun. I have to admit, I didn’t think it was possible that I could be so lucky that she could be the same person I remembered from those days. But, of course, I hoped it was. As it turns out, I was right. It took a little finagling on both our parts, but, eventually, we did manage to not only chat and text and talk on the phone, but get out on an actual date. Things went well.
Well enough, in fact, that Sharon will be moving in with me in February. And, yes, we both couldn’t be happier.
Relationships may not be the only source of happiness in the world, but, damn, my relationship with Sharon sure does make everything else I do seem more worthwhile and enjoyable.
So, in short, life is good.
And getting better.
And, no, I did NOT expect this at all last year when I wrote my annual birthday post. I hoped to be in a different place emotionally and so on a year later and, well, damn if it didn’t happen! Last year, I was starting to think I had either set the bar too high or had left out some other important ingredient that was going to make me forever alone, but, wow, what a difference a year makes! So, yes, I am in about as different a place from last year as I can imagine.
And, of course, my birthday wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention all the other famous people who had the good luck to be born on this particular day. Famous people like Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Jennifer Connelly, Bob Barker, Gustave Flaubert, who is the author of Madame Bovary, the painter Edvard Munch, and Wells Fargo founder, Henry Wells. Not to mention, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Bros, jazz musician Grover Washington Jr, and former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch.
All heady company to be sure, but for whatever reason, it tickles me the most that I share a birthday with Frank Sinatra. I guess it’s because he was such a unique and original character who really fought against and beat some long odds to become an amazingly famous, generally well thought of character. I can only hope to do the same, one day.
Also, I think it’s interesting to note that on this day in 1896 Marconi first demoed radio and, again on this day, in 1901 made his first Trans-Atlantic transmission. (Though, of course, all right-thinking people know that Tesla was really responsible for those first advances in radio.)
So, I really have no idea what the coming year will bring, but I’m looking forward to it. That is if the world doesn’t end in about nine days. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be relatively happy. No, not because I’m in a relationship, although that doesn’t hurt, but because being with Sharon has taught me something about life; happiness is a choice. That’s more or less her philosophy, that happiness is a choice that we all can make, even when things aren’t going our way. It’s one of the reasons I love her.
And, of course, it’s a choice I’m making and glad to be making along with her.