According to one of my co-workers, yesterday wasn't just my 30th birthday. It was officially the day I was halfway to 60 years old :)
I have to say, normally I kind of lay low during birthdays - I'm not particularly fond of people 'fussing over me' and getting too much attention, but yesterday, in all honesty, was probably the best birthday I've had in many years. When I got to work I was welcomed by balloons at my desk, a card with messages from everyone, and a gift from the ringleader and my "work-wife", Misty. I was escorted to lunch at Kincaid's (just to ensure that my arteries feel like they're 30 years old too) and a good time was had by all. I was actually pretty happy to be 30 for some reason.
I think it really was an eye-opener for me too. For the past... well, for the past 10 years I guess, I've always been the 'pup' at work. Surrounded by my seniors, I've always been very aware of the fact I've been the youngest of the group. Even at my most recent job I was - if not the youngest - one of the younger members of the team. Yesterday the number of people who let me know that they're "right behind me" - or a couple of years younger - was actually very surprising. I guess of course it's a glaringly obvious natural progression but for once I actually feel that I'm surround by a very appropriate mix of people older, younger, and the same age as me. Of course I do realize this just means that in years to come that "older" faction will thin out as some of them wither away from old age and get replaced by teeny-boppers, but for now I'm really quite satisfied with my age.
When I got home from work, Rowan and Camden were anxious to meet me with hand made cards, which is just about the best thing a dad can ever receive (until they're driving my car, then I just want them to fill it with gas occasionally) and Emily had made a fantastic chocolate cake.
Dave, one of the usual poker crowd I kick around with, just bought a house with his fiancée, and my birthday also marked his first hosting of our home game yesterday. It's seriously been a long time since I played poker with real flesh and blood opponents and I don't think I've ever been more eager to sit down with chips and throw cards around.
I didn't do terribly well from a poker perspective (although I think I managed to build a nice reputation for myself) but it was a really fun night that ended WAY too late (around 4am, with me getting back home around 5). Ed surprised me with a gift, a poker book he and I have been talking about recently, and while I was distracted, he also managed to sneak a very cool poker cake out from someplace, adorned with mini-cards representing our favorite suck-out-and-win-a-lot hands [J-8 (autowin) and 8-3 (snowman 'tater-legs)] in a showdown, chips and all. I wasn't expecting anyone to do anything for my birthday except maybe try a little harder to take my money (it didn't take much trying last night though) so Ed certainly suprised me there and made the night something extra :) Thanks Ed!
So... overall, a really good birthday. Today Emily allowed me to spend a surprising amount of time in bed, to recover from an aggregation of SEVERAL late late nights this last week, and by the time I was actually up and about and useful (shamefully, probably not until about 3pm) I was able to muster just enough energy to do some mucking around with the kids. Now all that's left to do is to have a nice relaxing evening with her, watching a movie or something. It was nice to be able to play poker last night but now I gotta get my wife fix too :)
Did I mention, for the first time in a long time... I actually feel pretty great! Wow. Who'd have thought something as traditionally depressing as a landmark birthday could have such a positive effect? :)