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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birthday, Flowers, a Tooth, and Water

I truly miss Beavis and Butthead.  Anyway, one more complete revolution around the sun for me.  With a bit of luck, I'll be revolving (and evolving) for many more times to come.  If not, well, thanks for all the fish.

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Today was only the 3rd time in 29 years when I've worked on my birthday.  I've probably told the story here before about why I usually take my birthday off, but suffice to say it's a nice tradition when you can pull it off, which I couldn't this year.  Usually, by the way, when I would take my birthday off, my tradition was to plant flowers in front of my house, wherever that house happened to be.  This year, well, the flowers will have to wait for another day, but that's okay.  There's always next year to start a new tradition.  I did get a truck-shaped planter though as a birthday gift from my biggest cheerleader, best friend, and editor:

A notable event today, outside if it...a) being my birthday and b) being a working birthday...was the fact that I managed to crack a tooth while at work.  Luckily there is no pain, and in fact, it's not even sensitive to hot or cold.  I hope that's a good omen.  Tomorrow it will be a call to the dentist to see what's up.

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“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?”
- David Foster Wallace

The above is from the book This Is Water:  Some Deep Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life.  You can find it HERE on Amazon.  I haven't recommended too many things over the years (almost 9 of them) on the blog, but I recommend this book.  It's well worth your time to read, so much so that I keep a copy at my desk at work.  It's also an incredibly quick read as well, making it all the more attractive.

I think that one of the advantages of getting older is that, like the older fish, you begin to have a far greater sense as to just what it is you are swimming in.  At least that's the case for me.  It's also one of the reasons why I think I'm more content now  than I've ever been:  I finally have some sense as to the water.

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There's another reason, why I used to take my birthday off:  I simply didn't like the attention.  I'm like that, by the way, in the sense that I can be the center of attention in an executive meeting or while facilitating some classroom event, but make me the center of attention to hand me a birthday card?  I become very uncomfortable.  Maybe, as I grow up/older, I'll get better at handling that sort of thing. Regardless, I am deeply touched by all the birthday wishes, be they on-line, at work, or at home today.  It means an awful lot to me, even if I have trouble expressing myself.

I am, in a word, blessed.

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