I'm not a curmudgeon. I'm not a crank. I'm (barely) not old enough to fit those profiles.
Yet I really didn't want anyone to make a big deal out of my birthday.
It was my 39th. So, really, who cares. I'm all for blowing out my 40th. That's a big milestone and deserves a celebration for making it this far without contracting some major disease, weighing 400 pounds or being thrown in jail. But 39? Eh.
Plus I was in a bit of a funk. Sometimes I get those. Does everyone? I'm not sure. My funks get to swirl around feeling like I'm getting screwed over at work because I have (what I think) is too much work. My funks tend to muck up feelings of unworthiness. My funks tend to splatter around frustration at my running, at not getting faster.
Funks are never warranted. I don't have any more work than anyone else in our short-staffed newsroom. And I'm running fine, better than ever, in fact, and clearly, if I really do want to be faster, I either need to lose a couple pounds and run my intervals harder or just be patient because I think a breakthrough is coming.
Those feelings of unworthiness are hard to shake though, and though I could clearly point to many people in my life, feeling a bit out of touch with them only makes it worse when you think about them. It was my fault, I thought, not others, for my unexplained loneliness.
Then I curse myself for feeling like a baby, as I clearly enjoy being alone, and it goes round and round into a big, boring monologue that no one can learn from. Let's just throw in some worries about the future and maybe I needed some meds.
Funks, though, are minor. It's not like I was even remotely seriously depressed or even sad. A good run wiped those feelings away most of the time, at least for a few hours. But still. I was in a lull.
So my birthday rolled around. I got up at 4:30 a.m. to run with a good friend who I hadn't seen in months. I normally would laugh at 4:30 a.m. for just a six-mile run (yes, even me), but, hell, it was my birthday. I figured I should enjoy it as much as possible.
And one of the runners pulled out a small cake that looked like a mountain. Pretty cool.
Then I signed on to Facebook, and holy cow. I probably got close to 100 birthday wishes. Pretty cool.
When I pulled in my garage that night, my girls swarmed over my car with balloons. Then Jayden poked his head out the door. "Happy Birthday Daddy," he said. They sang to me. VERY cool.
I don't really like pick-me-ups or special things done for me. I'm not like this needy person who likes constant reassurance about my state in people's lives.
But today, as I write this, the funk is gone.
Everyone, maybe even me, needs a special day. Thank God for birthdays.