How I’m Celebrating My Birthday

Around 6 a.m. today, I turned 33.

I won’t fake cough over the number. I won’t make AARP membership jokes. I won’t pine for 23 again.

I’ll buy into some inherited wisdom. But joy-smashing conventions about age won’t be part of it.

It’s a privilege to be a year older. Plenty of folks don’t get to see 33, 53, 83.

And I intend to celebrate this privilege.

I’ve stacked my day with joy multipliers. I’m having good food with good friends and treating a stranger to coffee. I’m cleaning up a mess in my room and calling loved ones to tell them they are ones I love. I’m doing one thing that scares me and one thing that humbles me.

I’m aiming to set the standard for who I want to be in my next year, maybe even my next 33 years.

Not the standard society tells 33-year-olds or any-year-olds to have, whatever those are. But the standard I aspire to.

Just you wait, some folks who are older say. It gets worse. Your body falls apart. You can’t do what you used to do.

That may be true. But much of that is out of my control. What is in my control is the meaning I make of it. And I won’t cede that meaning to inherited wisdom about aging.

So I’ll spend 33 – the one and only 33 I get – stretching and reaching to live it by the standard I aspire to.

The Lightning Notes is funded solely by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I’d be grateful if you’d consider donating. Click to Donate!