Today is my birthday.
It is interesting to look back. Over the last 4 years, I’ve been in four different countries at this time of celebration.
In 2009, I was in the Middle East, and moved to East Asia the day after my birthday, which is where I celebrated in 2010. Last year, I was in Japan in the wake of the earthquake/tsunami disaster, serving as part of a relief team. And this year I’m in the USA.
It’s turned out that birthdays have often marked transitions for me. It’s a reminder that life moves on, that though some things (and people) will remain the same, each year brings new opportunities and experiences.
I can barely imagine what the remaining 8 months of 2012 will bring, let alone the entirety of my 33rd year of life.
It’s interesting to me that we mark our age by celebrating completed years of life. We turn 1 at the end of our first year after emerging from the womb; we mark the successful conclusion to a year of life. Turning 32 means that I have completed 32 years of life, and that I am now heading into my 33rd year.
In some Asian countries, they adopt this perspective in their age scheme; while some people may prefer to remain as young as possible for as long as possible, I wouldn’t mind saying that I’m 33 because I am indeed looking ahead to my 33rd year of life, the possibilities and blessings and experiences. I celebrate that I’ve been carried through thus far, but I’m anticipating many more transitions to come.
What will happen for my next birthday? Not suprisingly, it is likely that I will be in yet another country. Beyond that, I cannot say. I’ll have to wait until next year’s completion celebration and let you know.