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Reflections on Thirty-Seven

Yesterday was my birthday. Taylor Swift hasn’t gotten around to writing a song about this golden nugget of life yet so some of us are left to fill in the gap for all my 30-somethings out there. Birthdays are a key time to think about your age and phase of life, but I’ve got to be honest … I’m pretty indifferent to thirty seven.

I may be creeping towards forty but I don’t feel old. I’m at that wonderful age where my student’s parents still think I’m young but my students themselves would never mistake me for being a peer. Yesterday, my Wafflehouse waitress thought I was a college student but my students (who were with me) were quick to show their surprise at her assertion.

I gave her a big tip.

But I’m one of those strange, morbid people who often thinks about death so, of course, my birthday is a perfect opportunity for such a pensive engagement. I’m thirty seven and I still have so much life ahead of me. There are so many ambitions and aspirations ahead and as I think about them, I am filled with energy for all the plans, trips, and goals that lay ahead. Even in this revelry however, there is a persistent inkling in the back of my brain that says: "No one knows how long they will live."

At thirty seven, I have no idea when life will end. There is no way to say whether or not I will get to hit all my milestones or if I will have time to spare. As we get older, there is a lingering thought that we are inching closer and closer to that fated end. Even though thirty seven is young in the spectrum of life expectancy, I could fill this blog with stories of people younger than me who have lost their lives.

We just don’t know.

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