Thirty seven. It’s prime once more. It’s hard to believe I’m in my upper thirties now. There’s no denying it. College aged students are no longer peers. I’m considered old to young children. I’m more than twice the age I was when I entered college. Wow. And yet none of this scares me.
I’ve thrown birthday parties for myself five times in my thirties but not this year. Thirty seven swooped in with little pomp and circumstance. And I think I’m okay with that. No, I’m quite certain I’m very okay with it. The thirties are no doubt the most useful decade of one’s existence. It’s the decade where one discovers exactly who he is and what he’s made of. It’s when you’re not too old for anything and you’re not too young anymore either. And while few major milestones lay ahead, that knowledge is comforting now and not scary. At thirty I celebrated in jest my twenty-tenth birthday. For thirty one, I had a party commemorating the number’s prime attribute, while feeling primed myself. For thirty two I reveled in the notion I was twice sixteen and celebrated with a Sweet Double Sixteen. For thirty three, and in the center of my dating life, I had a Three’s are Wild Party where I helped to pair off singles by encouraging couples to bring a third wheel. For thirty four I celebrated the Miracle South of 34th Street in New York, signifying my pending move out of Washington. And for thirty five I figuratively ran for president. I was on top of the world with most puzzle pieces fitting.
I didn’t throw a party for 36. I didn’t throw a party for 37. Age has become less relevant now because I’m neither fighting a stop watch or a countdown. I know who I am. I’ve found what I’ve been looking for. I both have what I need and need what I have while having all I want. I’ve arrived. And so if all I do for each successive birthday is blow out candles across the table from my loving wife and adoring children, it’s celebration enough for me.