25 May 2010

Buon compleanno a me


It's my birthday today. I'm 45 and that sounds weird to me. I certainly don't feel 45 although I suppose that how I feel right now is how 45 feels. It a curious thing to realize that I'm more than half way through and I have to say that where I am and what my life looks like at 45 bears scant resemblance to where I imagined it would be 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Ask me how thrilled I am that none of those old imaginings came true. I'll take things as they are right now any day.

The word for birthday in Italian, cumpleanno comes from the verb compiere. Compiere looks like but doesn't always mean to complete. In the sense that it's used in relation to birthdays, compiere means to fulfill. So my opening sentence, It's my birthday today would read Oggi compio gli anni in Italian and it would translate as Today, I fulfill my years.

I like to think of birthdays as fulfillments rather than as completions. Birthdays in English mark off time served. In Italian, birthdays commemorate a fulfilled life. It may be a semantics game but it helps me avoid dreading getting older. Thinking of my birthdays as fulfilled years rather than completed ones helps me concentrate on what a great, fantastic ride this is. When I think like this, it's easier to be grateful and stay grateful for the amazing people who begat me, the amazing people who surround me and the amazing people I have yet to meet.

So on that note, I am on my way out of town for the rest of the week as of this afternoon. I wrote a bunch of posts for the coming days that showcase my first foray back into the ad game in more than 15 years. I hope it's not too tedious, but I needed to do it as a credibility-building exercise. Bear with me and have a great rest of th week!

17 comments:

  1. Falicidades y buen cumpleanos!(That's the Spanish version.) Have a great one! Enjoy your trip. Hope you are having a great adventure! Ciao!

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  2. Thanks Pam! Spanish does the same semantic trick with birthdays that Italian does. Let's take a page from Latin and have some fulfillment.

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  3. Happy Birthday, Paul! Only 45? A drop in the bucket...well, maybe a few drops in the bucket. :)

    Live it up!
    Susan S

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  4. Have a great B-Day! Make it fantabulous one!

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  5. Happy Birthday, you old corvid! And wherever you go on your trip out-of-town, I know you will celebrate this accomplishment with panache and genuine presence. The accomplished years have crafted a person of rare talent and charm, the making of whose acquaintance has been a true pleasure for me and many others. Be well, my friend - may we all grow older, better and wiser together. Ciao!

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  6. Happy Birthday, my Darling!

    "In Italian, birthdays commemorate a fulfilled life." I learn so much at this blog and that is a lovely way to look at life.

    P.S. I had mine a couple of weeks ago - May birthdays are the BEST!

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  7. Happy birthday!!!!!!!! Hey, you are just getting started. My best years were after 48.

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  8. Many thanks one and all. Raina: Happy belated birthday. I love the idea of the fulfillment of my years. I love it.

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  9. Happy birthday!! And thanks for offering a wonderful new (to us 'Mercans) way of looking at it. Hope you have a wonderful week.

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  10. The happiest of happys! Or as they say here, !Feliz Cumple! Did you know you share your birthday with the Republic of Argentina (its their bicentennial today). Hopefully, you are more reliable and organize than her (and a better driver). But strive to enjoy your life, love ones and wine just like her! My best to you in your next year... e

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  11. Happy Birthday Paul! Enjoy your week!

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  12. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU PAUL! May the year ahead be one of happiness and complete contentment.

    (Talk about timing as it is only of late that I logged back on. So glad I didn't miss this.)
    Many hugs -Brenda-

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  13. Happy Birthday! 45 is the Perfect age--mind, spirit, body... Well 2 out of 3 is not so bad. Enjoy & celebrate

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