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Friday, October 21, 2022

 As much as I hate it, birthdays bring about rumination.

It's a cliche.

But when you turn 57 -- the same age of your father when he died -- rumination comes with the birthday drinks.

I started thinking about it all Sunday night, the same day the Packers lost, and my thoughts led me to self-flagellation -- a thought system at which I excel. I went to bed considering myself a failure, a bad father, poor editor, crappy friend. Plus the Packers sucked.

I had formed a plan to improve in all areas, an impossible plan I realized the next morning when sleep cleared my mind from most of my funk. Most of it. I can still do better in many areas, including write more, cooking for myself more.

And I can take better care of myself so that I can live longer for Kid. I have dibs on her first Emmy or Oscar nomination because I called it. Sorry, ex-wife.

Tuesday morning, I checked my Buddhism Quotes app, which told me, "If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever."

From the Dalai Lama.

And this: "Eighty percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in danger of contamination."

From "Hello, Dolly."

For years I thought those were the same person.

The birthday was nice, although I didn't announce it. Some people knew and were so sweet to me. One of the few positives of Facebook is getting beautiful message from all my travels. Sometimes I worry, given my profession and my age, that I might have lost sincerity and empathy. Facebook birthdays quell that feeling.

Rumination has turned to reflection in these few days and I will be better for it.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace unto yourselves my brothers and sisters.


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