by ERIK ORTON
My birthday is next week. I’m turning 43. Emily is always very thoughtful and goes out of her way to make birthdays special in our family. She has the birthday boy or girl pick their favorite breakfast cereal, there’s a cake and the birthday “fairy” comes and decorates their bed while they’re sleeping. And sometimes we throw a party with friends. Emily asked me what I wanted to do for my “big day”; for the big four-three. My big ideas were read a book or watch a movie. In the end, I told her I didn’t really want to do anything.
There’s absolutely nothing special about turning forty-three. 50, 40, 25, 21, 20, 18, 16, 10 those are each landmark birthdays in their own way. But 43, not so much. It’s just kind of out there in birthday no-man’s land. And besides birthdays don’t mean as much as you get older, right? But should it be that way? Do I want it to be that way? I realized how lame I was being.
I’m re-reading a book by Donald Miller. In it he talks about the importance of creating memorable scenes; moments we don’t forget. But memorable scenes don’t just happen. They are created. We create them. I have a choice. I can choose to make my life monotonous, or I can choose to make it memorable. I was choosing to make it monotonous. But I was also starting to change my mind.
We now have a plan. We may stick to that plan or we may do something else. But what I know is that I’m in control of how memorable I make my life. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. But it takes effort. As Don Miller says:
“We have to force ourselves to create these scenes. We have to get up off the couch and turn the television off, we have to blow up the inner-tubes and head to the river. We have to write the poem and deliver it in person. We have to pull off the road and hike to the top of the hill. We have to put on our suits, we have to dance at weddings. We have to make altars.”
I hope we can all make something happen that we'll never forget. I know I'll never forget making this video (below) with my son.
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