A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Top Posts – Second Quarter 2012

Halfway through 2012. I’ve only missed one week since the start of the year, and that was because my house was under quarantine. Not bad, maybe I’ll grow up to be a half-decent blogger one day.

I’ve got a lot of exciting things in the works, so the next six months should be interesting. I’ll be doing my best to share it all here with the six of you as it happens.

For now here’s the list of the top five posts since the last time we did this:

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Top Posts | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forty-One

[image removed]

Alright. Let’s do this.

For the first dozen years of my life, birthdays were pretty awesome things. You get to have as many friends as you want over. They all bring you presents. You get to eat cake and ice cream. What more could a kid want?

Over the past three decades since I was 12, though, I’ve grown more and more unwilling to share the “significance” of that day with the general public.

At first, it was the disappointment. After the age of 12, the grandeur of the day never seemed to live up to my sense of entitlement. It was, after all, my birthday. Why wasn’t it all going the way I wanted it too? I slowly came to understand that no matter how much I (or my family and friends) wanted to build the day up into something special for me, my birthday was really just another day. In hindsight, that seems like a giant “Duh!” but it was hard let go of my desire for a day that was all about me.

Later came the realization that, after a certain point, birthdays stop being an achievement or milestone, and just start being a reminder that you’re getting older. After the age of 21, everything that is legal is now an acceptable option to you. Sure, we talk about how the decade marks (30, 40, etc.) are big deals, but you aren’t granted any special status at those ages. Until you turn 65 (for now), all of your birthdays are just a celebration that you survived another year. Yip-a-dee-#&@$ing-do.

So, with each year, I became more and more reserved about it. By the time I turned thirty, I was positively mum. Apart from my family and a few close friends, very few people are aware when it occurs. I block it from appearing on social network sites and forums. A small family dinner is the only thing that really marks the occasion.

By now it should be pretty clear where I’m going with this. Today, April 30, is my birthday. And, having written all of that, why am I announcing it here for all five or six of you to read? Especially since it makes me feel so weirdly exposed?

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that, like so many other things in my life, it’s time for a change. My reasons for obscuring this were pretty poor to start with, and continuing to do so would be allowing a toe-hold for isolation to remain. I don’t want that. I’m a better man when I’m not hiding.

It’s important for me to publicly and personally celebrate my birthday.

It has to be public, precisely because it isn’t all about me. By keeping it quiet, and forcing my wife and kids to do the same, I denied everyone else the opportunity to bless me. I’ve stolen from them moments to share in my life, to be generous to me, to show me love. Just as my disappointment came out of my selfishness, so did my withdrawal. By trying to avoid pain, I was depriving others of joy.

It has to be personal, precisely because each year is a milestone. Everyone has accepted January 1 as a universal day to reset and renew, if you will, but think about it. Your birthday is really your New Year’s Day. That’s the day when you should be setting goals for your next year. (I’ve got to give credit where it’s due, here. Zack over at BA Expat helped to clarify this for me.) I can choose to take time to reflect on the previous year, and plan for what I want to have done by my next birthday, so it stops being about age and starts being about growth.

So, yes, today is my birthday. Feel free to say something nice, and I’ll do my very best not to wince. No, you won’t see it on facebook or anywhere else (maybe next year). I’ll share my goals for the upcoming year in the next couple of weeks.

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Past and Future | , , , | 5 Comments

Nine Years

It was on this day, nine years ago, that my entire world changed. This day is the day I became a father.

I cried that day. Once you were finally here and you were crying and complaining at the light and the cold that you were experiencing for the first time, I slumped against the nearest hard surface and bawled. I well up now just thinking about it. My son was born.

That crying, vulnerable, beautiful baby boy is nine years old today.

Where has the time gone?

I remember your mother and I as first-time parents, worrying and struggling over every little thing. I remember the pizza sauce and icing smeared across your face on your first birthday. I remember you, eighteen months old, peacefully sitting on my lap as I played games on the computer. I remember the day you got your big-boy bed, and how excited you were. Memory after memory, each one a portrait hanging on a wall in my mind with your name at the top.

Son, I’m watching you. You’re not really a little boy anymore, even though I desperately want to hold tight onto that part of you just a bit longer. I can see the young man you’re growing to become. So, I want you to know these three things:

I love you.

I am proud of you.

I see how good you are.

You have become more and more responsible with each passing year. You are diligent in your work, and you see the reward of it. You give without argument. You love and care for your baby sister without complaint. I could go on and on, but I have to save something for next year.

I’m sorry for all the ways I haven’t deserved to be your father. I’m sorry for when I’ve blown you off, when I’ve had no patience for you, when I’ve been angry at you. I’m sorry that I’ve not been even a passable reflection of the Father that loves you more than I ever could. I could never give you up, even if it was the only way to save the world.

I thank God for you, Steven. My life is richer because you are in it.

Happy Birthday.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Past and Future | , , , , , | Comments Off on Nine Years