It's my birthday today, so I'll make this a shorter one.
Last week, I mentioned that I pretty much stopped celebrating birthdays after 30. This weekend, I spent some time thinking about why birthdays make me feel the way they do.
It's not just about the lack of fun. Yes, in my 20s they were an extra reason to hang out with friends and have some fun. In my 30s I don't really need a reason to hang out, but it also happens way less often since everyone's way too busy, myself first and foremost. But I'm still having quite a bit of it!
It's also not just about the age. Yes, I'm not a fan of aging, and I'd rather be 25 than 35, but 35 is still relatively nothing in the grand scheme of things. It's a decade more than I'd prefer, but only one decade - not two, three, five.
I think the main reason I'm not enjoying birthdays as much lately is the timing.
In my 20s, my life didn't have much seasonality. I had no plans or goals, just a vague direction. Falls and winters were annoying due to the weather, but that was mostly it. After I got better at planning my life in my 30s, the fall season started to hit different. It became this weirdly liminal period between the optimism of spring/summer (life waking up) and the optimism of the beginning of the new year (new year, new me). November is perfectly gloomy not only due to the weather but also due to the fact that it's now too late to start new initiatives that can make a meaningful difference to the outcome of the year. Now add to this the decrease in fun and the increase in age and that's what makes the festive mood disappear.
Today's still a good day, though. Even if I'm not physically hanging out with a bunch of people, I make a great effort to put together a silly and slightly cheesy Instagram/Facebook post for friends to have a bit of lighthearted fun at my expense, and I absolutely cherish every like and comment. Back in my 20s I thought of this as vain, selfish, and narcissistic, and maybe it is, but it's also kinda fun – especially if there's some degree of meaningful connection behind every like.
So in the end, at least for me, the real treasure is actually the friends I'm making along the way. Even if we're only friends enough to like each other's "happy birthday to me" Instagram posts once a year. It still counts!
But November birthdays are completely wrong timing-wise. Never thought I'd say this, but the best time to have a birthday is December 31. New year, new me, squared. Anyone know if I can officially move my birthday?
Have a silly week,
A few thoughts
The art of hanging posters. I had a bunch of posters on my walls over the years and making them look good is a skill. Framing is easy, but a frame isn't always a good fit. Mounting putty is easy and minimalist, but taking the poster off later is like impossible. Now I'm experimenting with metal adhesive tape and magnets.
Things that pull me out of the rut. Horror games and movies. Improv classes. Meeting new people. Trying new things. Changing up routines. Psychedelics. Cold showers (ew).
Do You Want a Happy Life or a Memorable Life? "But here’s the potential problem. If we accept that present state immersion, mindfulness, flow, whatever you want to call it is our best way to achieve happiness, then the happiest life might not be a particularly memorable one."
AI is about to completely change how you use computers "An agent will be able to help you with all your activities if you want it to. With permission to follow your online interactions and real-world locations, it will develop a powerful understanding of the people, places, and activities you engage in. It will get your personal and work relationships, hobbies, preferences, and schedule. You’ll choose how and when it steps in to help with something or ask you to make a decision."
The fun part
But what if the real treasure was all the energy drinks I drank along the way? ⚡