An Uncommon Answer to the Common Question, “What Do You Want For Your Birthday?”

I want nothing. At the same time, I want everything. Maybe a little bit of that which I cannot have.

In one week it will be my birthday. I will be turning 38 years old. First of all, just wow. I still remember being 8 years old, let alone 18 years old. Shoot, even 28 seems like yesterday.

Another year around the world. As is tradition, I, along with many others that celebrate their yearly birthing, I am often asked, “What do you want for your birthday?”

Depending on my age, I always answered almost immediately. Sometimes, multiple answers (multiple video games). When I was 8 years old I wanted the Pizza Party board game. When I was 18 I wanted a Pokemon Yellow game and a Gameboy Color handheld system to play it on. At 28 years, I just wanted to stop my hair from receding (and not growing back).

Sometimes I got what I wanted. Other times I did not.

Via https://unsplash.com/@angelekamp

As I am about to turn 38, my answer to the common question is this: I want nothing in return but time being spent with me.

I want nothing of the physical, materialistic sort. I want nothing.

I want to play golf with my friend(s). I want to play video games. I want to see my family. I want to overlook the sunset at/on/near the lake as I ponder my past, present and future. I want to love my future wife. I want everything.

What I cannot stop from happening is that one of these things (or multiple) may not happen at all. I cannot stop time. In a bottle, I cannot seal all of the thankful and great and happy feelings from this future day. I cannot go back and relive past birthdays or feelings. I cannot fast forward to the next birthday, either.

It won’t stop me from answering the age-old question with the symbolic answer of: I want nothing. I want everything. I want that which I can never have.

Happy birthday to me.

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