CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Used to be that having your birthday remembered would make a person feel special, but thanks to Facebook and other computer-automated reminders, birthday greetings often begin arriving en masse starting at midnight, when reminders are posted.
I've heard complaints that the intimacy has been taken away, that the thrill of being remembered is gone.
Piffle, I say.
Milk it for all its worth, I say.
That's what I plan to do anyway. Starting today. My 48th.
It's part of this new outlook I'm trying to adopt, one of making the most of time and opportunities. Of not going into the second half with a pack of regrets.
The past few months have been the kind of rough that's had me turned inside-out. I feel like I've landed back at Start once again. At first, I was frustrated and depressed and embarrassed, but I'm beginning to get excited by the idea of beginning again.
Part of this slate cleaning has involved going through the house, closet by closet, drawer by drawer, removing the excess. One of my goals is to become a minimalist. Albeit one with lots of books.
My thinking is that the less I have to take care of, the more time I'll have for what's important to me.
It's been interesting how the further into my cleaning I get, the easier it becomes to let go of what I once cherished. I've started taking pictures of some things so I'll still have something to look at and remember, but the item itself is going away.
It's one of the rare perks of aging -- knowing what's important and what's valuable, what's worth saving and what isn't.