Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My 31st Birthday

We spend a lot of time together

Barbara just went out, the boys are in bed, and I'm sitting at the kitchen table typing this.  Earlier tonight, when I went out to gather some leaves for the compost, I plucked a stem of lilac from, if you could imagine, a lilac bush.  Now it's sitting and smelling next to me and reminding me of my youth.

Our house in Stony Plain on Garden Valley Drive had a lot of lilac bushes.  So many that my mom would pick just about every flower off of them, throw them in a vase, and plop the whole works down onto our kitchen table.  The smell was so strong that I lost my appetite at times.  Can you get high off of lilacs?  I don't know.  Now, years later, I kind of like the smell when it is in moderation like I've done this evening.

The lilacs reminds me of late Spring in Stony Plain.  This was an exciting time for me.  The winter would be officially over, the birds would be singing, the neighbourhood alley cats would be making iced tea, and so on.  The Summer holiday was just around the corner and to kick things off, good ol' Brett had a birthday.

Here in Xining, the lilacs are just finishing their big blooming season.  It's funny that I can be on the other side of the world, and poof!  I close my eyes I'm back home and 20 years ago.

20 years ago.  For me, I caught myself saying "well, 20 years ago..." for the first time this year.  I can't remember what it was about, I just remember catching myself in mid-sentence being very shocked and confused.  "How on earth could I remember anything 20 years ago?  Why, Brett, it's because you're getting older."

Last year, I hit 30 years old like Josh Hamilton hits home runs; right out o' da' park!  I blogged and I joked and I looked in the mirror and I felt pretty good about being 30.  This year, I'm hitting 31 more like a minor car crash.  Nobody's hurt, but we're all a little shaken up.  I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's a combination of push-ups and and stretching before exercising and Googling things I can't remember, like the name of this purple flower that I've been talking about.

I read more, which is nice.  But, so do old people.

I need to sleep on my back so that it doesn't kill me in the morning.  If it does kill in the morning, the feeling usually goes away in a minute or two, but how long will that last?

I have a decent case of carpal tunnel in my hands that bothers me enough to stop typing, one time for a whole week.  Since then I've implemented some precise stretching that has helped, but what is going on with me?  I think that this is the beginning of dying, right?

Okay, maybe a little too soon... but maybe not... no, just kidding... but maybe...


Speaking of Josh Hamilton, what a week this guy has had on the baseball diamonds of America.  Let's tally the numbers:

7 games played (May 7th - May 13th)

14 hits

10 runs

9 home runs

18 RBI

In one of those games, he hit 4 home runs!

That is quite a week for the man.  Let's see what he does during his... Birthday week!  Yes, you heard it right.  Josh Hamilton is also celebrating his birthday this coming week.  He's actually 3 days younger than me.

Here's a little more on Josh Hamilton:

I really admire the guy.  Not because I can relate to the drugs, but mainly because he's been open about his life.   He's an open book.  In fact, I think that that is apart of his rehabilitation; he actually has to be open with people.  He's slipped up a couple of times in recent years, but every time he's been open about it and has apologized for it.  It's funny because who apologizes to the public for their personal failures and mistakes?  Usually, we find ways to blame instead of apologize.

What does this have to do with my birthday?  Nothing, really.  But it's an interesting way to learn more about others and gain wisdom and inspiration from them.

Josh Hamilton was dubbed "The Natural" when he was first drafted in 1999.  These many years later and we can see just how much of a sure thing being a natural can sometimes turn out to not be at all.  This guy has worked very hard to get where he is today.  He's slipped up, but which one of us wants to cast the first stone?

Learning a little bit about the guy makes me glad to know that he's alive for the big "31" next week.  Despite the long road, it's a success story.  And long road success stories are usually the best kind.  Josh is happy, the fans are happy, things are good.

Back in 2008, when he had won the All-star home run derby, in the jubilation of the moment he said:

 "This was like living the dream out, because like I've said, I didn't know the ending to that dream."

Wise words.  It's great to see some one's dreams come to fruition like that.  For me, it's even greater to see that despite the fact that he's had setbacks since 2008, he's still living the dream.  It must be tough to have to tell someone that you feel tempted to have a drink and then have to leave.  Must be humbling.

Josh Hamilton was born on May 21st, 1981 and he's still with us today.


Now back to me.  I wish that I could sit here and tell you my stats for the week but at street hockey we don't really keep track of them.

This year, by birthday will be quiet.  It's on Friday the 18th and Barbara will be at a conference all weekend.  I'll have the boys and I'm sure that they're conjuring up great birthday plans in their dreams right now.  Playing cars on the carpet or going for a bike ride sound just about right.

Sunday evening we'll eat burgers and I'll have to do some push-ups and stationary bike later that night.  But that's what being 31 is all about, right?

The lilac is wilting.  Jeff Buckley sang about lilac wine many years ago.  It might even have been 20 years ago.  Lilac wine sounds really, really disgusting.

1 comment:

Lois said...

mmm ... lilacs!!! Sorry about doing the 'too many lilacs on the kitchen table' thing, Brett! I STILL can NEVER get enough lilacs!! They haven't quite bloomed here though ... LOVE you!! xo