Originally published on my 41st birthday, on jameshilston.com, on November 21 , 2005
For those who normally visit this site for the profound humor and mind-numbing profundities, please pardon this momentary lapse into self-indulgent reflection. Since it's my birthday, I feel entitled. If you choose to read on, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It does us all well to peer into eternity and to consider our inexorable mortality. And frankly, I can't avoid profundity, so you have that to look forward to.
Noriko Miyagi was my mother. Today I am 41 years old.
When I remember my mother, I tend to think of her as being much older than she actually was. When she died, I was 21. I did not at the time realize that she was so young.
Statistically speaking, my life is more than half over. But barring some unforeseen accident (aren't they all?), I'll accomplish more this coming year than I did in the three that preceded it. It's the just the way I am. Perhaps that's how we humans are designed. It seems we don't hit our stride until right around mid-life. Is it the inevitability of death that drives us to be more productive? Probably.
It's no secret that I have an obsession with the macabre, especially concerning those I care most about, myself included. Very often, more often than I care to admit, I wonder what if I don't survive this day? What have I left behind for others to find and wonder about? Will they even care? Probably not. Will they realize what potential greatness was brewing deep within me and perhaps is lurking somewhere in some unfinished file on my computer's harddrive? Probably. Not.
Happy birthday to me. Will I live to see the end of it? I'll let you know tomorrow maybe.