I used to like my birthday when I was a kid. In college suddenly it was no longer a big deal. Nowadays my birthdays damage my calm. Just about any other day of the year I can be satisfied with who and where I am. Then the 28th of February rolls around like so many zeros on the odometer I begin to feel like the kind of car made several decades ago that was never anything special when it was made along with a million others like it. Not old enough to be a classic, not skilled enough to win races or shows or even be considered remarkable.
It doesn’t take my birthday to reflect on the decisions I’ve made in my life and consider what I could have done differently. I’ll just take this day to state them.
I wish I had been in better physical shape starting back in high school when I could have walked to and from school. I wish I had a clue what to do after high school. I wish I had gone to the University of Hawaii and earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Or I could have joined the military and learned to be a medic and gone in to be a paramedic instructor after.
I wish I had kept up my 3.5 grade average after my first semester of college and not gone so horribly slack and lazy, barely graduating at the end.
I wish I had not indulged in self destructive and dangerous actions and habits.
I wish I had not bought that Dodge Shadow. I wish I had not bought expensive winter clothing before going to Hungary. I wish I had not bought the sword in Hungary that I had to leave behind.
I wish I had found a way to get my teaching credential when I had the chance. I wish I had not let so many people down in my life.
That said let me declare something else. I am sitting on my obsolete little laptop wrapping this out on a Saturday afternoon eating Chex Mix and drinking coffee. Prajna is napping by the fire in the fireplace of the house we live in next to my place of work. This job was offered to me in these economic times. My kids are all looking forward to a birthday supper tonight. So am I.
Most important is this. Of all the regrets and woulda, coulda, shoulda I have above I would not ever take the opportunity to go back and change anything. I would do nothing to compromise the chance that I would meet Prajna and fall in love and go on to have the family I have now. Every regret that I have is worth what I have now. I would not change a thing.