Happy Birthday To Me

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Happy birthday to me.

When this posts, my 48th birthday will be very close to being over. I’ll have completed 48 full orbits around the sun and be just starting my 49th.

Seems like a lot, but at same time it seems like very little.

I don’t mean in terms of geologic time, obviously, but somehow it’s just a little bit hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I’m closing in on being a half-century old. That’s a debate for another time, with the current point being that I’ve still got way too much I want to accomplish, I suppose.

I have typically reserved my birthday for a different kind of reflection, however. Once upon a time, there were two questions I asked myself every year on my birthday. In more recent years, I’ve added a third.

Question number one: was this the best year of my life so far?

Answer number one: In my head, I’m waffling, and saying that depends on what context I’m asking the question for. Which, obviously, means that the overall answer is no. Professionally, it’s been a good year, possibly the best of my career so far. New job, running the whole apartment, hopefully not sucking too badly at it. Personally, no. My children in their various ways are going through a lot, and my wife has had some issues as well, and I haven’t in my eyes been an adequate emotional support to the family; trying only counts for so much. Creatively, no, but not too far off: After a rough first half the year, I got myself back on track in a very productive way for the second half. From a martial arts perspective, perhaps. I successfully graded to third degree black belt this year, and I’ve started to pursue Kobudo a little more seriously, but it’s still a struggle to get in all of practice I want.

Question number two: what can I do to make next year even better?

Answer number two: From a personal perspective, significant events are going to be on my control, but I can control how I react to them and how I support the people around me. I can only do my best. Professionally, I can work hard to get good at my job, and I think I’ve already started on that road. Creatively, it’s mainly about staying on the track I’ve laid out, and pushing ahead with my goals and dreams. It’s long past time I made significant moves to get my will in front of people’s eyes, and there’s can be a lot of activity in that direction 2019: short story submissions, publisher hunts for some longer work, independent publishing for other longer work, some shorter things, poetry, elections, and maybe even some fanfiction in the Star Trek universe. Let’s not forget that I’ll be using multiple platforms, as well. Aside from what has become the traditional e-book platform of Amazon, I’ll be working on Wattpad, potentially another e-book platform or two, and hopefully putting together a store on my website. In terms of martial arts, it’s really all about the practice. I do feel the need to rededicate and refocus my goals to target that practice better, though.

Question number three: what am I doing to make the world better place?

Answer number three: that’s a damned good question. And not one that’s easy to answer or support. I try to be an appropriate, positive example to anyone who might be watching. I also do certain amount of slactivism: letters, petitions, and so on, online, but I don’t do nearly enough arguing with people in appropriate forums where it matters, and I need to step up my letter writing. I spend a lot of time being politically angry, but not enough time channeling that anger into something constructive so, I suppose my answer is not enough.

Anyone else use their birthday thinking about themselves or their lives like this? Or am I just way too introspective?

Be well, everyone.

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