Sunday, January 20, 2019

The closing of a decade

Today is my “birthday eve”, but this year’s is a little different. Tomorrow I officially begin a new decade, so today marks my final hours in this decade. Obviously, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Many things are. At least it’s complicated in a good way.

First, each birthday marks the end of a year, not the start. Our first birthday marks the completion of our first year of life, and so on. That means I’ve all but completed the first year of my new decade, and tomorrow what actually changes is the tens digit of my age. Still, that’s what makes the decade change official, as well as something we may actually be able to feel.

The other important point is that I wasn’t born here in New Zealand, so, technically, my birthday actually begins some 20 hours after it does here (7pm tomorrow New Zealand time), because that’s when my birthday reaches my native Illinois. This is why I celebrate my birthday over two days. I mean, why not?

Of course, I could put it off even longer, to the actual time I was born, a few hours later still, but that could be splitting the hairs a bit too much. Maybe.

As I said last week, this birthday’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’m not sure I’m any more used to the idea, and I still kind of feel that someone’s made an arithmetic error somewhere or other, because I can’t possibly be this old.

On the other hand, I'm okay with the general concept of getting older, not the least because so many people never get to do that, including lots of friends and family members. Like my parents. Getting older, as the saying goes, is a gift not given to everyone. How could I be upset or whatever about getting such a precious gift?! That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily ready for it, but I'm appreciative all the same.

This evening I was watching a YouTube video that briefly mentioned bidets, and I suddenly realised that I had no idea how they’re actually used. Other YouTube videos told me. So now, at the very end of my 50s, I know how bidets are used. This decade hasn’t been wasted!

A little humour seemed to me to be the perfect way so spend a little of the time waiting as I count down the minutes until my new age and official entry into my new decade. Time always moves forward. I try to do the same.

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