Friday, December 21, 2007


Today is my birthday. I'm now 55 years old. The field I work in is relitively young - in my office I'm by far the oldest person there. When talking, as I did yesterday, with someone and describing myself as a morning person - I go to bed around 8 but I'm up at around 3 ... hours I kinda like - he looked at me and said, "My mom is like that."

How nice for your Mom. How nice that I remind you of your Mom. I'm so glad you told me.

But for all that, I like getting older. I like the fresh perspectives that I get. I like being surprised more often by the things I notice now. I like how I am less easy to trick and more likely to laugh at the attempt. I like not caring about things that used to worry me and caring about things that I used to hold in contempt.

I like believing that what we do and say makes a real difference.

I like knowing that we each affect each other, we each have to power to do good.

I like feeling that the spirit of goodness can sometimes work through me.

I like understanding, now, that charity can be given without pity.

I like taking responsibility for my actions - and knowing apologies are only the first step.

I like laughing at what would have made me cry before.

I like having the courage to say what I think and the desire to call those who demean others to task.

I like the sudden feeling of smallness and inadequacy and embarrassment when someone thanks me for the effect my work has had on them.

I like being 55 and not feeling done ... not feeling the desire to rest from the mission.

I like wanting to get up and go back at it because there is more to do.

I like the fact that while my body has sagged and my hair abandoned ship and my chin multiplied while my height subtracted - I like that out of this aging, crippled body, comes fresh ideas, brand new purpose, and the capacity to have waking visions of how it can be.

I like the fact that my heart - recycles old hurts into new love - it's been doing that for awhile now.

So, today is my birthday. Lunch with friends - see the doctor - dinner and movie with friends - go to bed early. A nice day looms.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and woh, what a great list of the advantges of getting older .. inspiring as always.

Andrea said...

Congrats and happy birthday!


wendy said...

Happy Happy Birthday Dave! And on the soltice, too. How fitting! Have a wonderful day and may it be the beginning of a wonderful year. Thanks for the list of advantages. Some days I need to be reminded that aging beats the alternative!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday. You inspire and motivate me every day. And just so we are clear you might be the oldest at the office (not by much) but probably consider ancient by the twenty somethings usually there because they are awed by your wisdom, thoughts and actions. Characters that we are all working towards and figure it must take years to achieve. Thanks for being a model to us all. In Italy when it is your birthday you give gifts to others - you have given us the greatest gift. You! Auguri! Manuela

Linmac said...

La Breitha shona duit!
I hope you have a relaxing birthday!

I like the way you share so much of yourself with us in your CTF blog...thankyou!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Dave! May this be a wonderful one. By the way...thank you. I found your blog through BBC ouch and now read it every day. I have MS and am just starting to make the transition from a cane user to a part time chair user.I wanted you to know I think your stories have made it easier. Before I was afraid of the stigma attached to being a chair user and now I am actually excited when I get to use him (his name is Ezra). Thanks for showing me just how much freedom I was denying myself by denying myself (i don't think that sentance worked). So happy birthday and I mean a really really happy exhuberant birthday.

Suelle said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Jodi said...

Happy Birthday and thank you for making difference in this is better for your impact.

Ettina said...
I've tagged you for the 'Roar for Powerful Words' award.

Mieke said...

Being 55 is wonderful. The years between 50 and 60 are "golden yeras", I've been told by people who can know this.

Katja said...

Happy birthday!

theknapper said...

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.....Enjoy every moment of this glorious day.(and tell us about the movie) Thank you for making me want to think some more....I just turned 56 & have days when I feel like "I'm done" in that I have no more energy. Your blog creates a space to look again and turn the kaliedescope one more time to see a brilliant new image.

Betsy said...

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

I hope you had a great day,Dave.

Kei said...

Happy Birthday Dave!!!!
I'm with you... I like getting older too.

Enjoy the rest of your day! Hugs!

Jeff said...


Happy Birthday! You know I use to think 55 sounded so old. Now that 45 is just around the corner for me I am thinking 55 sounds damn young and exciting.

Keep the faith and don't let anybody steal your dreams.

Peace Dude!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dave.

Today I read about Kwanzaa. It was created to celebrate family, community and culture and is celebrated throughout the world Afrikan community.
It reinforces seven basic values of Afrikan culture. One of those priniples is:
Kuumba (Creativity).......To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

I'd say the work you are doing and it's impact goes some way towards this goal. A rather beautiful goal to head towards don't ya think?

So happy birthday, I hope you had a wonderful day!!

Lot's of Love,


lisa6wks said...

Happy Birthday Dave. The world has been a better place for having you in it.


Anjie said...

Happy birthday Dave!!

AZ Chapmen said...

happy b day

luvmypeanut said...

Happy Birthday Dave!!! I hope you celebrated in style!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dave!!!!

Hope you had a good one!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dave and thank you for all the wonderful work that you do.

Susan said...

Happy birthday, young man! (I'm exactly three whole days older than you.)

I love your perspective on turning 55. I concur! I especially like the one about "not feeling done... not feeling the desire to rest from the mission". Me too!

I'm glad there are people like you (and Joe) to share the journey. So glad I know you! Why? Because you are so affirming. You make me feel like "we're in this together" and that there is no "alone" if you know Dave.

God bless you on your birthday and always. I hope we hear tomorrow what movie you went to see.


elmindreda said...

Happy birthday! ^^

Lianna said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Mauzy said...

Happy Birthday Dave! I too like believing that what we do and say makes a real difference.

Debra said...

Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

Debra and Hope

Casdok said...

Happy birthday!

yatseq said...

Happy Birthay and the day aftes birthday and the day after and after.

Shan said...

Happy Belated Birthday Dave! We reanimated the corpse of our laptop finally so I am a few days late. Hope you had a great time.

theknapper said...

I checked your horoscope. This from Sally Brompton...A sun in Pluto union in your birthday endows you with the kind of self belief that others can only dream of and even if you're the sort of saggitarius who is usually laid back in the extreme you will be motivated to achieve something big over the coming 12 months. no not big, gigantic.