Today is in fact my birthday (I would have thanked him at his place, but it won’t let me in to comment). Forty-six years back, after a 24-hour labor, I dropped in at a mere 9 lbs., 8 oz. — good thing my Mom smoked so heavily during pregnancy. Meanwhile, one of my favorite authors was marking his 59th birthday as well, which I think is pretty cool. The evening will probably involve relaxing with Mrs. M and the Spawn, which is a very good thing indeed.
While this isn’t one of those birthdays with a zero or five at the end, there’s still a certain amount of stock-taking and anticipation that takes place. I’ve been working hard at trying to be content with having done the best I’ve been able to do under the various circumstances of my life, and trying to shake the shadow of some sort of Zontar the Enormous I had never asked to be in the first place. I find I’m grateful for the people whose lives I’ve touched enough for them to think of me even for the few seconds it takes to send me a facebook “Happy Birthday.” Those suggest to me that I’m living a reasonably good life, as do my beautiful, loving wife and my brilliant, funny kid. Amazing gifts, those.
As for the year to come, who knows? Although nothing is guaranteed, there are things I’d like to do in the year to come. It occurred to me last night that I’m writing hundreds — even thousands — of words (or as Lawrence Block probably calls it, a typical morning) each week. It makes me wonder if I could make the sustained effort to try another novel. An idea for a scholarly paper popped into my head during my lecture this morning. Meanwhile, of course, next summer is now the target date for my brother’s trial, and its promise of both pain and some new level of certainty hovers at the fringe of my consciousness at all times.
I also know that I intend to continue with this blog, for which so many of you have chosen to reward me with the gift of your time and attention. There are so many other things for people to do, read, or think about that I’m constantly humbled and honored by your decisions to reward me with your time. So I’ll wrap this post up by wishing you all a happy-my-birthday.