My 34th birthday passed by quietly this month. I've spent past birthdays across the country -- Seattle; Chicago; Washington, DC; Fargo, N.D.; and, of course, New York City. I spent my birthday this year overseeing the installation of our new oven and doing a load of laundry.
Twenty years ago I started a tradition of writing a letter to myself on or around my birthday. I reread the stack every year and add one more letter to the top. After perusing two decades' worth of letters, it's clearer than ever that my life isn't the same as it was even at 30, let alone at 14.
My letters used to be full of the fun things I had done in the previous year, like vacations, weekend trips and special occasions. Now, I suppose, it's quality over quantity. I mean, no number of weekend trips can equal the excitement of a new child -- but it isn't exactly the same kind of fun as a two-week trip to Europe.
I have no regrets. It's inevitable that lives go through stages. Families change, priorities change, day-to-day life changes. Hopefully for the better.
Fun game: Can you name the best years of your life? Do you think they are still ahead of you? On second thought, it can be a pretty depressing game, too.
Yes, I can name the best years of my life. But I also hope that even better ones are yet to come.