True Birthday Wishes

It’s that time of year when my loved ones remind me just how little they know about me: my birthday. “What do you want for your birthday?” they ask. “How could you not know?” I respond. It’s obvious! I want this book, or that gadget, or a new piece of cookware, or whatever. Except I don’t. I don’t really want those things at all.

I’ve somehow reached that age where things that I truly want can’t be purchased in a store—or if they can, I usually just buy them for myself.

So in honor of Monday’s birthiversary, here is a list of the things I really want, but probably can’t ask for and almost certainly won’t get.

  • All the laundry to be clean, folded, and put away.
  • An empty Instapaper queue, with all of my articles saved in a tidy, organized mélange of Pinboard, Evernote, and DevonThink.
  • A CMS with the flexibility of WordPress, the stability of static pages/jekyll/Octopress, and the social community of Tumblr.
  • More time alone with my wife
  • More time together with our friends
  • More time by myself
  • Spend more within our means
  • To not worry about my kids, to know that they’ll be alright, today, tomorrow, and forever after
  • The Presidential election to be over
  • My kids to be nicer to each other
  • Liberty and justice for all
  • To be an early-riser—the kind of person who easily wakes up two hours before anyone else in the house and uses that time to write or work-out or catch up on whatever
  • Either a shorter list of books to-read or the time to devote to enjoying them
  • Silence
  • Joyous noise

I could probably go on, but it feels a little silly. It is, after all, kind of a silly birthday list, more to-dos than things. Come to think of it, maybe that’s the gift I’ll give myself: this list of things to do and strive for in my 39th year.