I’m 53 today. It’s my birthday.
I say this not to get birthday wishes, although they are nice. I say this to tell about how I normally think about birthdays and their importance to me.
I use a birthday to take inventory of myself, sort of how other people use New Years Day. Am I happy? Am I relevant? Am I needed?
Those are the things that matter to me today. Happiness is coming much more easily than it ever has. I think getting older, you learn not to sweat the small stuff. The truth is easier to tell because it is what it is. You worry about what’s really important, friends, family and health.
Relevance used to mean the size of my house, the car I drove, the size of my paycheck and my stature in the community. Today, it means that I really must contribute to make things better. I can be relevant by just holding a door, or helping someone to a car, or just being there at the right time. Being relevant is not having more, but giving more.
Needed. This is where I struggle. It’s hard to know if you’re needed or wanted. For me, because most of my time is spent away, most people have figured out how to live life without me.
So, that becomes something that I need to work on. I want people to count on me. I want them to think of me as the first call, not the insurance call if all else fails. It stings a little when somebody needs help and they don’t think of me.
I never knew that about myself until this particular birthday.
So, there you have it, my inventory of 53 years.