Hindsight, being what it is…

Pete asked that I write more about my birthday now that the hoopla is over. First, I thought I’d write some random thoughts, things not sorted through nor — in the words of my friend Tom — sat with. 

PeteTurning 70 is not better than the alternative. It is great all by itself.

Sometimes celebrating one’s self is tricky business. Most people are not aware that I am an introvert, so the work of anniversaries, retirements, awards, birthdays is, well… work.

There is nothing like a party to keep you humble. Unless the party also includes social media. Then it borders on humiliating.

I benefit greatly from people like Joshua and Gatlin. Both are practical men who know I need a hand when I don’t know I need a hand. 

The generosity of some people is breath-taking.

I find children and other young people incredibly interesting and engaging. There was no time during a three-hour party when I didn’t know exactly where Stacia and Gus were. I was never actually worried about them. This may be a benefit of not being a parent or the side-effect of the great parents they have.

Most people who know me know that I mean what I say.

Leslie 2Sugar now gives me a headache.

It is likely that people don’t know that I want them up close and personal. My invitation to have me is permanent.

Sometimes Paul shows up in the strangest places. Others expect him to be there even when I do not. They even leave a chair for him.

Frederick Douglas was right when he said, “Slaves love their chains.” Enslaved people, however, are not slaves nor do they have owners.  It is they who are fond of their chains, their scars, their hurts, their resentments, their limitations, their money, their possessions — they are slaves.

I should have worn the other t-shirt.

There are times when I should be interrupted, not left to my own devices, ignored. I don’t know when those times are. But I do suspect others do.

Sometimes people just do not show up, despite my best efforts and their best intentions. 

I wonder if some people carry with them a program for events like this, in their heads, thinking things like, “Now there should be a line of well-wishers. This is when a song should be sung.”

I wonder, too, if others falsely believe that I carry those thoughts.

Several days later, I am still 70. In fact, I have experienced July 29, 30, and 31 for the 71st time. I should probably start preparing for another celebration.

More to come.

Nicole and Jan

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