|Photography by Michelle|
Sorry to steal your thunder Frenchies, but c’est la vie. Deal.
Ah, birthdays...another year, another candle in the cake for yours truly. Well not really another candle, one does get to a certain age where it’s just not practical trying to fit the actual number of candles on the cake anymore. I’m not certain which birthday it is, but past a certain point someone makes the executive decision on your behalf that there's just going to be one candle on your cake whether you approve or not.
Either that or you’re getting one of those weird number candles. In either case, it’s a sign of things to come. You’re slowly, but surely, giving your youth the long kiss goodnight.
I remember having some really fun birthday parties growing up. In fact, most of my fondest childhood memories revolve around them. This probably has something to do with the fact that birthday parties revolve around cake. However, as I got older I tended to drift away from all the hoopla associated with birthdays. As I inched closer to my thirtieth, that disinterest morphed into terror.
Thirty had always seemed so far away, but now all of a sudden, there it was, staring me in the face. I definitely wasn’t ready to be old. You see, I was one of the disillusioned youth who believed that life ended at thirty.
I suppose a big part of that misconception came from being an athlete where, in most sports, once you turn thirty, you’re made to feel like you’re past your sell-by date. I say “most” because in some parts of the world (read: England) things like darts are considered a sport, in which case your career doesn’t start until your thirties. What’s the training regimen for a darts player? Ten thousand hours in the pub drinking beer and “practicing?” That sounds like any other night out to me, but then again, what do I know?
|Photography by Michelle|
The following year, my thirtieth rolled around and I remember clearly sitting at home on the couch watching TV. No fanfare, no party, not even any cake--just me and my morbid thoughts. Thirty is typically a milestone birthday; life starts to get serious after thirty. Playtime was officially over. You might say I was having some kind of quarter-life crisis.
Now that I am a couple years into the dreaded thirties, I look back and realize that I was making much ado about a whole lot of nothing. Sure, my athleticism is not what it used to be, but everything else about being “old” has actually been pretty cool. There’s a settling into one’s adulthood that comes with the territory, which is quite nice. It’s definitely brought on new challenges and expectations, but all that’s part of life and should be embraced rather than avoided.
While I’m still not into the whole celebrating thing, I thought that this year I would do something different. I decided a few months ago that I would give up my birthday to Charity: Water to help a community somewhere in the world gain access to clean water. It may come as news to some of you reading this, but the reality is that in many parts of the world, there are still millions of people who don’t have access to clean and safe water. On the other hand, we have swimming pools and water parks. The gift of water is something we take for granted in America, but in other countries, clean water would completely transform their societies.
I’m hoping this year to spend my birthday bettering someone else’s life, somewhere in the world who I will probably never meet. I’m hoping you guys will help me in making that happen. All you have to do is click on the link below and you’ll be whisked away to the page I’ve set up on Charity: Water’s site. That’s where you can support my birthday campaign. One hundred percent of the donations go directly to funding a clean water project.
A little goes a long way, so please feel free to give whatever you’re comfortable with. Every cent is appreciated. It’s great to be blessed, but it’s even greater to be a blessing. For a community somewhere in the world, clean water will be a blessing they desperately need. You see, for us it’s just water, but for them, it’s life.