I woke up this morning and wished myself a happy birthday. There were several messages on my Facebook timeline wishing me a happy birthday. Just as the kids and I were leaving for school my grandma called to say happy birthday, and right after I dropped them off I noticed three texts: happy birthday, happy birthday and happy birthday. Not a moment later a friend called out to me through the car window: “Peets?” Sure. Why not? Coffee for my birthday.
So many ways we have of interacting with each other. Internet-based social networks, telephones, text messages, actual written-on-paper letters, and face-to-face communication (yes, we do that too!). We move farther away from each other but stay in touch, closer than we were ten, twenty, thirty years ago. I remember when I was eighteen and in the army and spoke only once a week on the phone with my parents. Phone calls were expensive! I remember calling Israel on holiday evenings and how the phone lines were so busy that we’d try again and again to get through. I remember when we didn’t have computers, and television was black and white, and there was only one channel in Israel.
I’m old, people! The world has changed so much in my lifetime. There was no internet when I was born! No facebook. No twitter. No blogs. We didn’t have a pool in the back yard, and my parents drove a Citroen. We went to school on camels, and there was no microwave. And I’m kidding about the camels, but we really didn’t have a microwave. I remember when my dad bought my mom the first toaster oven. And then the second and the third….
But inside I still feel fifteen. I feel young and vibrant and full of energy and a curiosity to learn and grow. I feel unsure about everything from whether to get on pinterest to how to raise my children to be competent adults. I still dislike to do the laundry and clean the house and struggle with the writing. And sometimes I still doubt what I want to be when I grow up. If I ever grow up.
Life is not quite what I thought it would be from all the books I’ve read. It’s very, very strange, confusing, surprising, and sometimes full of joy. Stuff doesn’t ever happen the way I plan or expect it to. And I’m hardly ever bored. Or calm. But I am often very happy. And there’s always the hope for more happiness to come.
So here’s my wish for my 40th birthday. Did you guess already what it is? My wish is to write more. I want to write more! That’s what I’m going to whisper to the candles when I blow them out. That’s what I ask before I go to sleep. I want health for me and my family. I want love and happiness. But writing — that’s my innermost wish. I want my writing to flow.
Happy birthday to me, friends! May your day shine today.