I am 39 today.

Some call today Christmas, some call it Friday, I call it my birthday. I was born on December 25, 1976. Having a birthday on Christmas is quite frankly bullshit. One birthday/Christmas present, no birthday parties, no free dinners at restaurants. My personal favorite is getting carded and having that person exclaim “Oh you’re a Christmas baby!!!”, as if I didn’t know. I’ve lightened up about it over the years. Mostly.

My second birthday 12/25/1978

I, however do have quite the positive outlook on aging. 39 is the end of an era. A new decade accolade is on my horizon and I am quite excited about it. I have earned this. I have been filling up the chapters of my life, much of which is filled to the brim with experiences, both good and bad. That’s life right? The sweet and the sour, the smiles and the tears. Like many of you, I have been dealt the short end of the stick many times in life. Some were due to poor choices I’ve made, some were good fortunes that fell upon me. I have lived a lot of life in 39 years. I earned it all and wouldn’t want to be younger or older. I am content with my choices even those hard ones I made. They all make me, me. “If I knew then, what I know now…” I’d probably find a new and creative way to screw it up. I am curious willful human.

I know this time of the year is very difficult for some. We all have lost someone who made our lives worth living and special. For me, it’s my dad. Every day I think of him. He was the best. He was so funny, resourceful, loving and quite the animated character. Every day I miss him. He’s been gone 11 years and it still hurts, particularly on my birthday. I do not share a similar relationship with my mother. She and I are like fire and ice. Maybe I was born mad at her for giving me such a crappy birthday? Days like today are never the same when someone is missing. It’s different. At first it’s hard but as time goes on it becomes okay and the hole left in your heart doesn’t feel as bad.

Or perhaps you are simply just not content with your life and allow some negative thoughts in when you see others share their happiness. I feel you, I’ve been there too. I’m not one to share and commiserate about woes much. I choose to take it on and conquer the thing in my way. I take it in and let it out. When I was younger it used to be rage and destructive behavior. Now it’s probably just another dozen white hairs pushing out. Watching my dad die gave me insight on life. It’s now or never. Really. We all have some cause that motivates us or keeps us sedentary. Whatever it is for you, I hope you can conquer it and go forward. And never feel bad about aging; it’s what we’re supposed to do. We have an undisclosed expiration date.

I welcome you 39. Good or bad, you’re mine.

To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas.