Thursday, February 16, 2006

First, I was born...

“Disassociated Press? The public is demanding my life story? Well, I can tell that to you over the phone. You got a pencil ready? First I was born, which goes without saying….” – Bugs Bunny, What’s Up, Doc?

I seriously doubt that on February 16, 1981, my father and mother knew what I’d be doing a quarter-century into the future; it was unlikely my parents figured that I’d be celebrating my 25th birthday in Israel, of all places. Come to think of it, I seriously doubt that my mom even could contemplate what she would be doing for her 25th birthday, which was more than a year away for her when I was born. In any case, here I am. Twenty-five now, and in Israel. Don’t think I don’t see 30 on the horizon, as far away in reality as it may be.

I had a big thing typed up to commemorate the 25th year of my existence, but I forgot it someplace and so this will have to do. In what was surely that work of art, I related how I feel kind of blessed to have so many opportunities to start 12-month periods with semi-clean slates. There is Rosh HaShana, and ten days after that Yom Kippur. Then, there is New Year’s Eve and New Year’s. Following that of course is my birthday, each February 16. Vintage Slim Slavin, depuis 1981. A very good year – for me, at least, because I was born!

Ah…to have multiple opportunities to start anew…well, kind of. Each occasion (the High Holy Days, New Year’s, Birthday) represents another chance to make a resolution for whatever 12 month period follows the event in the midst of other twelve-month periods underway. A continuous cycle of chances for as long as we have them. Till 120? One can only hope.

I hadn’t really decided on what my “birthday resolution” should be for the period between February 16, 2006 to February 16, 2007 when the clock struck midnight and I got a phone call not long after from my mother (it included a very stirring rendition of “Happy Birthday”). But after thinking about it, and how for whatever reason or other “success” has been on my mind, I’m going to do my best – with God’s help, and I don’t mean that abstractly – to succeed at whatever I really put my mind to.

Of course, one should do that all of the time if one is truly serious about success. And one person’s definition of success is quite often another’s definition of failure. Still, I think the occasion of a quarter-century of existence deserves a focus, a commemorative task of sorts for me – you know, not taking the next 12 months for granted, and all that.

Oh, and by the way, today I wore a “birthday suit” of sorts to work in Tel Aviv. You can see a picture of it with this entry. As you can see, I picked a colorful tie appropriate to a happy day: Looney Tunes.

How often do you get to dress up for your 25th birthday, right?

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Happy Birthday lil' bro'! 25 is definitely a big one- quarter century and all that! My sister once told me that it was all down hill from here. Question remains... is that a good thing, or bad thing? Nevertheless- Happy Birthday to you. Stay safe over there... we are always thinking of you!

Much love- Val, Brett and fam.