My birthday is this week. Normally, this would result in some sort of age-related existential crisis and an effort to drown my sorrows in comic books, but this year, I have a completely different problem.
I can’t remember last year’s birthday!
We’re a couple of weeks out from COVID Shutdown Day, when schools and the country were closed down by something that was deemed a hoax (that managed to kill 543,000 Americans). So, a year ago on my birthday, we were fresh into the shutdown that we all assumed would be a few weeks at most.
And I can’t remember my birthday at all!
I know I didn’t have any kind of party. Not that I usually have parties. I just get together with family. But I didn’t do that, I’m sure. Or I think I’m sure. I know I didn’t get an ice cream cake. At least, I think I didn’t get an ice cream cake. Usually, I can look at a gift and say, “Oh, I got that for my birthday last year.” Nope. I’m coming up empty. (Apologies to anyone who got me a gift last year.) My social media posts from a year ago were pretty vague. I think I posted a gif of The Grandmaster in “Thor: Ragnarok” celebrating his birthday. Or was that two years ago?
I want to make clear that there was no pharmaceutical or liquid reason for my memory lapse. I simply don’t remember it. There’s a blank space in my memory for whole swaths of time. I wonder if life in early quarantine was so monotonous or mundane that it all ran together. I am aware that memory is a fickle thing, but I didn’t expect it to be lazy, too! It’s as if my mind combined several months together in a kind of ’80s movie montage where everything is compressed to the length of Loverboy’s “Workin’ For The Weekend.”
Which is why I’m thinking I have every right to extend 38 to another year.
I actually like my thirties. I mean, I don’t look as good as I did in my teens or have that energy and zest for life I had in my twenties, but the thirties haven’t been so bad. I finally feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of this life thing.
But that lack of memory bothers me. Birthdays are, indeed, just another day, but the realization that I have completed yet another orbit around the sun usually gives me a chance to pause and reflect. I use my birthday to refocus and look for new goals for the coming year – especially since I probably blew all my New Year’s resolutions by March. Did I not refocus for this last orbit? Was I just on autopilot?
You know, that could explain a lot about last year.
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