I am turning 38 in a few days. I don’t feel 38, but then again what does that feel like?
For the last few years, I’ve used my birthday to be travelling off somewhere. I like travelling, and that avoids the whole planning a party stage. However, this year, we bought a house and just paid for the yearly flights to the US in November and the flights to our first 1-month vacation in South East Asia at the beginning of next year. On top of that, the past couple of months have been a bit weird regarding billing my customers, so I’m not swimming in money. That alone leaves me preoccupied given that I see having cash in the bank account mostly as a safety net for rainy days, but that’s not what I’m writing about today.
Today my wonderful partner was asking me what I wanted to do for my birthday. For the first time in a few years, I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m not sure why maybe the gloom of getting a tiny bit older and still not having produced anything that can be called a positive legacy for humankind. Also, the fact that I’m freelancing and not attached to a specific team/set of people has its downsides.
So, of course, I succumbed to publicity. There is a big road sign about this lingerie restaurant close by, and I thought that could be a cool idea. Told my partner that and she (being amazing) was game. We even started thinking about people we could invite who would be game for it. But then I decided to check out some photos on Google, and it turns out that the lingerie restaurant is not just a restaurant with funny sexual innuendos, but one where the dancers actually come and do lap dances and I’m not up for that right now. So that’s cancelled.
Then we started thinking about dinner and who to invite, so I went on my phone and started scrolling through the phone list. What I found shocked me, over 400 contacts from all sorts of countries, from Taxi numbers to people I met on planes. So I did a cleanup. It went down to 227. And then I counted. Out of those 227 only 42% are based in the same metropolitan area as me (friends or businesses). That is revealing of a set of life choices I took that are uncommon, such as living and working in 4 different countries in the last decade. But what brought me down is that selecting people I call friends and family went down to 22. That represents less than 10% of my phone list. And it left me sad.
I was never good at chit-chat, small talk and big groups. I sometimes think I am lightly Aspergers. I prefer to stay by myself than to go out in groups. Those are fun, but complex and tire me out completely. Plus, as the years go by I have less and less patience for other’s whims and peculiarities. I know that it’s the wrong way to go about it, but I have to admit to that tendency. But 22? Including all my relatives?
I think I will need to do something about that when I become 38, I don’t know what, but will hopefully think (or even better, do) something.