Well, it’s that time again…..time for the clock to tic past another year of life for me. I tend to get very introspective at this time every year. Don’t ask me why, just like the accident-prone tendencies I have, it just happens that way.
I’m not sure when the “can’t wait for my birthday” excitement of childhood morphed into the “What have I done with all these years” thinking. I am figuring it was a very gradual change, and maybe like the gray hair and laugh lines I now am the not-so-proud- owner of, it just shows up. Regardless, 32 years have gone by since the world was blessed (or maybe cursed) with me. 32 years……really isn’t that long of a time, but when I think back and start listing off the things I’ve done, experienced and seen…..it almost doesn’t seem long enough.
In 32 years, I have managed to learn to walk with my feet strapped together and connected to a metal bar, have had my fair share of kidney stones (the first at age 2), ate a bottle of aspirin, got thrown off a horse, have been struck by lightening, almost drown in a canoeing accident, have had a hysterectomy, accidentally ODed on medications for seizures (from the aforementioned horseback riding accident), got plowed into at a four-way stop by a giant tree-trimming truck, got sucked into a five state/ seven county investigation of drug trafficking (obviously by mistake), got run over by my own parked car, had a giant tree fall into my tent while camping in KY during a thunderstorm, accidentally set myself on fire outside a Ball State dormitory, inadvertently I chemically burnt myself (and subsequently discovered a severe allergy to Black Magic) while cleaning plastic plants at my first job at Chuck E Cheese, and most recently, I have grown several cysts in my eyeballs…..And somehow I have survived them all. (this is not the complete list…. you’d be reading this until my next birthday if I listed them all!!)
Out of curiosity, I decided to ‘google’ and ‘bing’ my birthday to see who I share a birthday with. I came up with one (yes, only one…..well, one that I recognized anyway)…..and I’m proud to say that me and Willie Nelson share a birthday. Upon digging a little deeper, I found some interesting ‘holidays’ take place on my birthday as well. My birthday falls on “National Oatmeal Cookie Day”, as well as “Raisin Day”….hmmm….made me stop and pause as to why they didn’t just have a “National Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Day”…..too bad I don’t like either one!! (of course my dislike of raisins could have something to do with the fact that I shoved one up my nose when I was a child and proceeded to snuff it deep into my sinus cavity!) I also share a day with “Manual Typewriter Day” (I have always enjoyed writing), “World Healing Day” (who doesn’t want that?), “National Honesty Day” (I do enjoy being honest…..sometimes too much so….), “Hairstylist Appreciation Day” (since one of my close friends is my current hairstylist, and I do appreciate her, it fits), and in Thailand it’s also “Consumer Protection Day” (which seems strange to me, isn’t that where some of the recently recalled lead-based paint toys, and BPH-laced sippy cups are made??)
I found that my special day comes in the middle of “National Karaoke Week”, “Lawn and Garden Month”, “Poetry Month”, “National Pecan Month”, “National Welding Month”, “Records and Information Management Month”, “Stress Awareness Month”. and finally, the one that made me chuckle the most “National Humor Month”! My big day is also the day that Bugs Bunny (one of my favorites) was debuted long ago, and also the day that a man named John Clais patented the first scale (okay, not so much a favorite of mine) in 1772. Another one of my favorites, the ice cream cone made its debut in 1904. Two crazy records that were set on my special day that I found? The largest banana split ever, a whopping 455 miles long, was made in Penns, and a crazy woman named Ashrita Furman did 8, 341 somersaults for a total of 12 miles!
My parents, siblings and friends have long teased me about my oddness. There have been stories crafted that I was once part of some distant alien population and was abandoned when the “mothership” mistakenly left without me, or that I was left on a doorstep by gypsies, or hatched out of an egg. If I was a more sensitive sort of person, I might have some long-residing issues with these stories and their hidden meanings, but after much self-therapy, I’ve learned they were stories crafted simply because no one knew what else to say in regards to my existence. And, during my research into other notable events on the day of my birth, I discovered that maybe, just maybe the universe didn’t know what to do with me either. On the day of my birth Big Ben (that giant clock all of London uses to tell time) stopped working, inexplicably, for 54 minutes….curious, right? Even more strange than that…..on the day of my birth, it actually snowed in the Sahara Desert for over a half an hour, where the average winter temperature is between 50 and 60!!
I guess all of this introspection and self-awareness brought on by yet another birthday hasn’t really unveiled anything I (or anyone who knows me) didn’t already know. I’m strange probably always will be, I always have been and will always be accident-prone, I’m not getting any younger, and I am yet another year older.
(p.s. thanks Mom & Dad for all those years of love, attention and first-aid. Now that I am a parent, I can truly understand all the love, hard work, patience, hours, tears and worry that goes into having a child. I can only imagine how I must have compounded that ten-fold. Thanks for being loving even when I was hard to love, patient when I was incorrigible, and for all the advice you gave (and still give) even when I rolled my eyes in protest. I love you and miss you both.)