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All I want for my birthday is…

Birthdays were a big deal when I was growing up. They meant presents and cake, but more importantly, they meant that your birth is worth celebrating. I still enjoy birthdays, but there is something about them that has changed.

I find that presents aren’t really important to me anymore. There isn’t an item that I would want to buy for myself. I have all the material possessions I truly need (but a GPS would be nice.) As I get older, I find the things I want the most are things money can’t buy.

Like time. Since I was elected president of my son’s Little League, time has become extremely scarce for me. If I’m not dealing with some problem with the league, I’m trying to keep up with the household paperwork and resolving some problem at home. I try to find and enjoy any quiet time I can spend with my family, sitting down with a book, or just watching TV.

And health. My doctor got on me at my last physical because my weight has gone up. (I watch what I eat. Unfortunately, I watch it disappear quickly into my mouth.) I’m at the age where I can’t afford to be so lax about my health. There are the medical risks, but there are the everyday costs that go with not taking care of oneself: sore muscles, tiredness, frequent illnesses, back pain, and lower self-esteem.

Time and health are the things we appreciate more and more as we get older because we know we’re running out of both. And each birthday should remind us that it is a gift in itself to be alive.

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