it happens once a year

Now We Are Six When I was one I’d just begun, When I was two I was nearly […]

Now We Are Six
When I was one I’d just begun,
When I was two I was nearly new,
When I was three I was hardly me,
When I was four I was not much more,
When I was five I was barely alive,
But now I am six! As clever as clever!
And I think I’ll stay six now for ever and ever!
A. A. Milne

what is it about birthdays.. you expect them to be special, to be great, to be somehow different, but the fact is they are arbitrary. A day. That could be any other day. And you are celebrating what?

Not dead yet?

That’s actually probably the best thing to celebrate, worthy of being celebrated everyday.

As camus said,
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest-whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories-comes afterwords. These are games; one must first answer.”

And he is right– and it’s not morbid at all. Once one has decided to live, what else matters? Not much, just that you live well, and avidly.

So what am I nattering on about anyhow? I’ve turned 38, and unlike everyone else I freak out two years early rather than freak out at the year ending in zero. It makes sense to me, I’ve got only two years to accomplish everything I want to have done by 40… quick, quick, do something.

But if all I want to accomplish to is to live, and live fully, why worry?

It’s sunny here, and I’m dashing between meetings and should be scribbling out focal reviews rather than blogging, and yet… I’m 38. What do I want to be when I grow up? and is that going to happen soon? Should I finish my masters, write another book, have a baby, buy a house, run away to tibet…????

perhaps i should stick with six. I can be clever forever.


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  1. 1

    I can so relate. Happy Birthday by the way. I turned the big 4 0 this year and believe me I was freaking. Hadn’t really freaked as much before. So much unaccomplished, so much I was supposed to have done by now. My life half over and all downhill from here. Or is it really? All my over 40 friends tell me it just gets better, but I think it’s the big lie they tell younger folks so they don’t freak out so much. Anyway – I am rambling, wishing I was six again – but then I couldn’t have all my stuff or drink good beer or travel or play with all my cameras etc….

    Happy Happy

  2. 2

    Happy Birthday and welcome to 38. I am vowing this is the last increase in years I will take on my birthday. As I look at my son Will, I wish to be closer to his age and not be out of touch, much as my dad was not out of touch. Now we are Six is a favorite of mine and thanks for the reminder. You may also enjoy A Child Can, which now means a whole lot more to me.

    Best wishes growing up and may all your dreams be fulfilled.

  3. 3

    You can do all those things and more. You don’t have any idea how young you still are. Enjoy it. That’s my advice. I turned 54 yesterday, Oct. 22. Happy Birthday to you. I spent mine with my kids, that’s what counts to me today.

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