I don’t worry about birthdays anymore, particularly the inevitability that I have less to look forward to in the future than what I’ve previously enjoyed. I don’t worry about calorie intake or mourn lost opportunities, or ask for a lot of frivolous things I don’t need. Last night I dreamed of walking through a giant hotel with vendors set up everywhere, selling jewelry and collectibles. I have a few twenties clutched in hand and no clue as to what to buy. I’m like that when I’m given money to spend on myself. Ultimately it goes to books or the bank.

Typically around birthday time I survey what’s done and what’s left. As far as years go, this could have been a better one. Professionally, one or two mishaps aside, I did well. One book and one story in a box set, two books to re-release, a draft of one finished. Personally, it’s been rather sad. A death in the immediate family, the girl’s grades slipped in the last quarter of the school year, and I have more gray.

I got new hiking shoes in the spring, but I haven’t had the chance to use them yet. I’m nowhere close to completing this year’s reading challenge. I haven’t written anything, this excluded, in over two weeks. Then I open up the news and see what’s happening to other people and realize I have it good.

I had my chocolate cake last night and I’ll walk my two miles today like I do every day to balance it. I’ll use the time I’m not writing to read, since I’ve left that slip in the last week. Above all else, I won’t worry. It won’t reverse the gray, but maybe it will hold off more.

So this is middle age. Doesn’t look so tough.