Today I turn 35 years old. It’s a bit of a scary number, I have to admit. If 70 years is the general life expectancy (and the psalm kinda reinforces that), it means I’m squarely at my mid-life point. I’m not going to go out and buy a convertible or leave my wife for a 20-year old bimbo (though I did get a new bike, see below), but it does make me think about what’s gone on and what’s to come.
The most important event of my past year simply was the illness, convalescence and death of my mother; it simply dominated 2009 for me, having me spend a combined 4 months in Puerto Rico spread out from February to August. This has also affected me deeply, making this day a bittersweet affair. I spent all of last week in a really bad funk (though I tried not to, unsuccessfully) because of the simple realization that today would come and go and I would not get a call from Mom. I’m better now than I was last month, but I still feel it from time to time, and last week it was overwhelming. But I know she would not like it all to see me in this despair, so I move along.
This year, however, I opted not to have a birthday party of any kind. It helps that 99% of my friends are all people I interact with online and do not live in Miami, so it makes putting a party together a bit harder. Besides, it just did not feel right.
As I look forward, I see my desire and plans to enter the School of Nursing at FIU, and simply cannot wait to get that started. I hope to have all the admissions stuff ironed out by the end of this week, next one tops, so I can get on with the rest of the paperwork needed. I want to start in the Spring, period.
This move into Nursing actually matches a general shift in my mood and personality of late: I want to do things that are greater than myself. Even when writing about bikes in Slow Bike Miami, I am hoping to turn that into a way to help out the general bicycling community, to help the City of Miami/Miami Beach, to reach out beyond my own experience into connecting with others. I am tired of worrying only about myself and my immediate surroundings; I long to affect an area greater than me. I’m still figuring out how to do that, but that’s where my inner compass is taking me. I know Mom would be proud.
So, we’ll see what 35 brings. I’m ready to face it and make the most of it.
On a lighter note, I can talk about two birthday gifts I have gotten so far, both of which are amazing.
The first one is a book given to me by my wife. I actually got this about a month ago as an early present, and it still astounds me.
This is a massive book. Huge. Gargantuan,even! Here it is compared to the 575-pages Pathfinder RPG and the 630-page Starblazer Adventures RPG, the other two massive books I own.
All that medical awesomeness AND it comes with an online version as well. It’s an awesome gift, and I thank my wife so much for it. With this, my Nursing Library has now officially been started.
The second one is the new Electra Amsterdam bike I bought for myself. You can read all about that gift over at Slow Bike Miami.