I turn forty-one today.

Another year older, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I think back on my youthful days, and I think about what I thought I’d be doing by now, and the person I would be… and it’s completely different than the reality I live. The person I thought I would be, I’m jealous of him and all the things he’s accomplished.

I still feel like the same, silly teen I was all those years ago… so willing to make the same stupid mistakes I always did, always under the guise that I had somehow learned some lesson from before. But lessons be damned, I’m always making the same missteps.

But I can feel the physical age… the ache of time that creeps over us all. It reminds me of a quote from Peter S. Beagle’s novel, The Last Unicorn. Faced with having been transformed into a human girl, the Unicorn exclaims, “I wish you had let the Red Bull take me! I wish you had left me to the harpy! I can feel this body DYING all around me!”

Dealing with the sudden presence of her new found mortality, she has a panic attack. I completely sympathize with the poor Lady Amalthea. My back aches and I feel exhausted all the time… but that could also just be the dark and cold Wisconsin winter’s effect on me. As beautiful a state as this is, the winter can be cruel sometimes.

But resilience is just part of my nature… something I can thank my parents, and the family that came before us for. I can tighten up my boots, get myself out of this old age funk. I can make myself better.

The things I want for myself are there for the taking… I just need to reach out and grab them. Whatever goals we set for ourselves are achievable, no matter how hard they seem. Our limitations are set by our own minds, and nothing can stop us.

So happy birthday to me. Here’s to another year of possibilities, and another year of choices to be made with a wiser head.

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