Today, May 25th, is my birthday. I have a handful of birthday traditions that I look forward to every year. None of them cost more than a dollar or two. And I can enjoy them even during a global pandemic. (And if you can’t pandemic globally why bother pandemic-ing at all?)
First, I always eat a whole can of black olives. I started doing this when I was a senior in high school. It seemed super-indulgent back then. It still does today. Only now I have to get a larger can because my kids get in on the act too. Which is something they don’t talk about at Planned Parenthood.
A second birthday tradition that I love is calling my older sister Heather. Heather and I share a birthday, although we are not twins. Which is super weird right? And awesome! (Side note: my 2 younger sisters Alison and Donielle also share a birthday (May 22nd) but aren’t twins either.) When I was young I thought that my birthday situation made me special and unique. I still do. Happy Birthday, Heather! (And good job enjoying your August vacations Mom and Dad!)
Third, I always try to fish, bike, canoe, hike, and go to the gym. These are some of my favorite activities. And birthdays should be full of your favorite things. Not just brown paper packages tied up with string.
A 4th birthday tradition is that I always give myself a performance evaluation. It’s kinda like my annual checkup, but there are no doctors involved, and I don’t have to show anyone my birthday suit.
During my annual evaluation, I review what I am doing well, what I want to do better, what I have accomplished so far, and what I still have left to do.
Here’s a peek at my 2021 self-evaluation.
- I’m happy.
- I smile a lot
- I laugh a lot
- I am a good friend (typically)
- I help gather people
- I keep in touch with people
- I am a supportive and involved father
- I am a devoted husband who is crazy about his wife
- I didn’t get or give anyone COVID
- I make time for adventures.
- I write a blog regularly
- I exercise regularly
- I keep meeting more people
- I am volunteering my time to benefit others
- I guest speak to classes, teams and professional groups regularly
- I read a lot
- I see my dentist regularly
- I’m not living in a van down by the river
- I seek out a lot of knowledge and self-improvement
- I still don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. (But I’m starting to understand why people do. #parenthood)
- I believe in myself
- I am hungry for more (and for pancakes)
Want To Do Better
- Take on more family responsibility
- Follow through on all the things I say I will do
- Put more focus on my most important initiatives to move them forward faster
- Get better at giving gifts
- I want to drop below my snoring weight. (I’m about 5 pounds over my snore-free weight now.)
- Get in better shape (But I still want to be human-shaped.)
- I want to be slower to anger
- Think bigger
- Do bigger things
- Get good sleep every night
- Donate more money to great causes
- Spend less time on or distracted by electronic devices
- Be a better Christian
- Get a physical every year
Things I have done.
- Found a great wife (Yes, it is you, Dawn!)
- Created and partially raised 3 pretty great kids
- Had a respectable career
- Started my own business (The Weaponry)
- Created a blog that occasionally makes people giggle
- I’ve visited 49 states (No Hawaii)
- I have visited 12 Countries
- I got stuck in a Murphy bed in Germany
- I have pet a hummingbird in the wild twice
- I have ridden a snowmobile 113 mph
- I have worked really hard to achieve a lofty goal
- I have bounced back from failure
- I am still within 5 pounds of my high school graduation weight
- I have volunteered for hard jobs when I knew I was the best person for the job
- Donated blood (I did this for the first time 7 months ago)
Things I haven’t done yet that I really want to do.
- Published a book
- Owned enough rental properties to retire on
- Hiked to Havasu Falls
- Seen Tokyo, Hong Kong, Norway and Italy
- Created a self-sustaining business that doesn’t need me anymore
- Successfully launched a child into the real world
- Gone hunting
- Created my own highly successful brand (any category)
- Become an official mentor for someone
- Become embarrassingly rich
- Gone skydiving (I’m waiting for that sweet spot when my dependents don’t depend on me anymore, but I’m still not wearing Depends.)
It’s important to check in with yourself regularly. You need to know what you are doing well, and celebrate that. You also need to know what is still undone, or not being done well. Knowing when to be proud of yourself and when to be disappointed in yourself is a valuable life skill. Those two forces fuel both my happiness and my hunger.
In the best-case scenario, I am nearly half way through my earthly adventure. In the worst-case scenario, I am almost done. That’s why I am living my life knowing that much sooner than I want this game will be over. So I can’t put the important stuff off. It is go-time! And there is a lot to do this year.
Special Birthday Request
If you would like to help make my birthday 38-Specialer, I would love to have you subscribe to this blog. I’ll work the next 364 days to make the blog worth reading. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support and your time!
Have a wonderful my-birthday! Thanks for joining me on my adventure.