I’ve been watching the progress of a photo set I posted a few weeks back, a series of recovered and restored pics I took when I was in the Outer Hebrides nearly a quarter century ago. They’re some of my favorites, although the rest of the dozens of rolls of film I shot during those months in Scotland are lost. (Yes, film, look it up, kids.) This was one of the first photo sets I’ve posted here, preferring to stick to using the typey thing that makes words appear instead, which I think of as my strength.
At first a few people reblogged or liked them, and I was pretty happy about that - usually my rants get one or two or no notes. About a week later a few dozen notes started pouring in, and then a cascade of reblogs and likes and pretty soon I was in triple digits. Another lull, followed by a wild onslaught of notes, and pretty soon I’m wondering if it’s going to hit a thousand.
In the tumblrverse thousands of notes aren’t uncommon, but for me hitting that milestone seemed like a big deal. I found myself looking at the stats each time I got another alert, and yesterday I was a few shy of one K.
Then I noticed I was getting hung up on a number, one which really didn’t matter. Sure, it’d be nice to roll over that extra digit, but the fact is a boatload of people have gotten some enjoyment out of something I made, even if it was half a lifetime ago. I certainly did.
It’s the same with birthdays. Mine happens to be today, and I’ve been alternately stressing about it and then stressing about not giving a rat’s ass about it. This is a significant one, two digits on the personal odometer rolling over, and as I approached it I found I just wanted the milestone to pass so I could get on with things.
So, today I am officially Really Fucking Old, at least by tumblr standards or the measure of most of my students. As of this morning I can join AARP and legally yell “Get Off My Lawn”. I don’t care. Actually, I feel pretty damn good, even if all the parts aren’t in top condition.
As much as I don’t want to dwell on the numerological BS surrounding Major Birthday Things, I do feel like taking some stock of my life at this metaphorical halftime break:
- I can still walk and make sensical noises with my mouth
- I have work that I mostly like and that sometimes makes me laugh my ass off
- My roof is not leaking and the heat works
- I do not have explody things strewn about my village, unless you count Buddy the Three-Legged Wonder Dog on her bad days
- I have some amazing friends, both in the real world and on the Intertubes; even if some of them are dicks sometimes, I still love them
- I have been seeing a wonderful human creature and somehow we are making an undefined, open-ish, medium-distance relationship-like thing work for both of us without either of us demanding that the other person start being an entirely different person (because that always turns out so well)
- My three very not-neurotypical children are healthy and not institutionalized or on probation and moving toward becoming the directors of their own life movies each day
- My cat is (mostly) not actively trying to kill me
- Scotland is still where I left it all those years ago in case I ever need to go back and take more pictures or just wander around and nearly get beaten up by sheep
So I honestly have not a damn thing to complain about, except for the grammar of this sentence. Sure, I didn’t do half of the things I’d planned today, and I don’t have a perfect body or a palatial estate, and the loaf of bread I baked this morning didn’t come out too well.
Screw that. I’m good.
Let’s see what the next half-century has to offer, because I plan to suck the juices out of it and feed them right back to it with a wet, sloppy soul kiss.
Bring. It. On.