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Birthdays as Mile Markers

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Not only is it a brand new year, but it’s also someone special’s birthday today. I’m not a big fan of birthdays, especially my own, for their tendency to appear as “mile markers” in the road trip we call life. I’m not going to say how old she is, mainly because there’s some awful stigma in our society regarding growing older. No longer is it treated as a source of venerable knowledge and experience, but instead a somber, inescapable conclusion — a dark, dismal fate.

Yesterday, I was thinking in a completely unrelated vein about the artificially imposed divisions between years, and even days. Why do we always focus so much on birthdays, anniversaries, year ends and beginnings? I started pondering the old adage that the “journey is half the fun” and I found myself disagreeing with it. I think the journey is almost *all* of the enjoyment. Take success ; it’s never as sweet or wonderful as the years of hardship and striving towards seemingly unattainable goals. The constant human need for improvement seems to be what drives us forward out of our comfortable stagnation, but also provides us the hope and determination to make our years here exciting. Nothing is more exciting than to break from the humdrum monotony of minutia to plan and dream, hope and aspire.

To return to my earlier metaphor, the mile markers on the side of the road just aren’t important ; it’s the songs you sing and sights you see on the way to wherever it is that you’re going.

Happy birthday, Tash.

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