Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not Just Another Birthday

I received a birthday card in the mail from my mom on my birthday today, and it said, "At the end of the day, may you look back and say "It was perfect.""

Well, it's not over yet, but I have to say that it's been a pretty nice day so far. I've done nothing spectacular, but I've almost always been someone who enjoys the simple things of life. Good food, good company, my loving wife and beautiful pets, good music, and time online are among those simple but hugely satisfying pleasures. And I've enjoyed all of those things in abundance today.

Beyond this day, when I look back on my entire life, there's a part of me that says, "It was perfect." Then another part of me says, "How can you say your life has been perfect when you've not only wasted so much of it but also done things you deeply regret? What is 'perfect' about THAT?"

Well, what is "perfect" about it is that I don't believe it could have been otherwise. Given my nature, which I believe has always been inseparable from the nature of the whole unified universe, I think I have been and done exactly what I had to be and do.

I realize that this is not the conventional definition of "perfection," which has more to do with meeting some lofty standard of flawless fulfillment, whatever that might be. And goodness knows that I haven't even come close to meeting my or society's standards and fulfilling my personal and human potential.

Yet, unlike past birthdays when I've posted some pretty uninspired if not gloomy entries about what another wasted year I've just suffered through and how desperately I need to, but probably won't, overcome my fearful inertia and jump in the pool and either sink or swim, this year I'm going to say that I believe I can do better with what remains of my life.

I've got rough times ahead of me, without a doubt, but I believe I can rise to heights of  sustained effort and accomplishment that dwarf anything I've exhibited before, and if I'm still around next year, I look forward to writing all about it.