Today marks the anniversary of yet another trip around the sun for this lowly human. That’s right, it’s my birthday! I’m not a fan of birthdays anymore and were it not for the fact my birthday falls right after New Year’s Day, I would likely forget it most years. It’s not that I hate birthdays in general or that I don’t like celebrating my own, I just never considered surviving a trip around the sun as especially remarkable after the age of about ten.
However, this year I feel a change in attitude about the day of my birth. I am reminded today and every day really at how fast time seems to move as I age. There are things I want to do in life, things I want to see and experience and some of those things will only get harder as my human form grows older (unless my friend George solves that whole aging thing).
As I look back over my life to this point I can see dozens of roads not taken. I never imagined I’d be where I am today and I often wonder where I would be had I made different choices. I can say honestly that I’m happy and that’s precious. I have a wonderful husband, some really great friends, an awesome board game collection, and time to pursue interests and hobbies. I have my family close by, a great church community, and really good internet speeds for streaming! That is definitely something!
In the coming days, months, and years I want to travel more within the United States but it’s not cities I want to see. I want to see lakes and rivers and mountains. I want to walk through caves, stargaze where there’s no light pollution, and beachcomb where there’s no human garbage left behind. I want to see monuments and museums. I want to touch the places where human civilization made significant turning points. Of course I also want to travel among the stars and visit alien planets but I’ll have to save that for another life!
I also want to leave some kind of legacy behind. It doesn’t have to be grand and life changing for a lot of people but some kind of mark to show that I was here, that I, J.A. McLendon, lived a good and happy life on Earth. I want my time here to have meant something to the people that matter to me. When my time comes to leave this place, this existence, I want to leave it better than I found it.
Most importantly, moving forward with what I hope to be many more trips around the sun, I want to be deliberate in the everyday choices that I make, to consider how even the smallest simplest gestures can change a moment in someone else’s life. My cumulative effect may not be much but on the off chance it sparks others to do the same, ripples can turn into waves and maybe together we can all change the world. That would be something!
Happy Birthday to me!