My 40th Birthday Is Coming, and What I Want for a Gift May Surprise You

20 May

birthday gift boxA friend of mine recently suggested that for my 40th birthday (which, believe it or not, is less than three weeks away), I should be able to register for gifts.

After all, she reminded me, I’m single. And over the years I’ve spent so much on other people when they got married and/or had kids.

She had a point.

In fact, a few years ago, I did actually wonder — facetiously — when am I going to get mine?

So, I started to think. If I could, what would I register for?

Hmmmm …

  • A new TV?
  • A new couch?
  • Regular maid/housekeeping service?
  • A paint job for my apartment?
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to an exotic/beachy locale?
  • Tickets to a bunch of upcoming Springsteen shows?
  • Season one of House of Cards on DVD or Blu-ray?

All good ideas. All things I wouldn’t refuse.

The topic of what I want for my birthday this year has been on my mind quite a bit recently because my parents have been pressuring me to give them ideas for a significant gift that they can give me. (For the record, I’ve already vetoed a leather jacket, a ring, a watch, and a fancy camera. Sure, I do kinda want a good camera, but I just know I’d never use it — despite how many pictures I take.)

My parents tell me they’re going to keep bringing up the subject until I tell them what I want. But the truth is, I really don’t want anything for my birthday this year. That is, I want no things. Material gifts, nice as they may be, just aren’t at the top of my list right now.

Sure, I love gifts as much as the next person. But everything I actually want for my birthday my parents can’t give me. For example:

  • Someone special to spend my life with
  • Professional stability
  • The full return of my blogging mojo

You get the idea.

I think when you get to a certain age, you basically have everything you need and what you want just isn’t the same as it once was. After all, who really needs more stuff? For me, especially after the past couple years, the focus is on different “things.” Things like being happy.

What makes me happy right now is forward momentum. It’s living life. Enjoying the present. Seeing the future. Keeping a positive outlook. Being busy. Continuing on the upward track I’m on. Being content but not complacent.

This year, all I want for my birthday is more of that. More forward momentum. More positivity. More happiness.

Life is good for me right now. So this year, I just want to enjoy the celebration and look forward to more happy days in the future.

Sorry, mom and dad. That’s just something money can’t buy.

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10 Responses to “My 40th Birthday Is Coming, and What I Want for a Gift May Surprise You”

  1. Chester Bullock (@coskier) May 20, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I know someone who would be awesome for you, but the commute would kill the relationship. Maybe you need to move out here…

  2. Iceberg Slim Whitman (@popblerd) May 20, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    Kind of in the same boat. Someone asked me the other day what I wanted for a gift. I certainly don’t want or need anything I can get myself. I think as you get older, it becomes more about the intangibles and less about the material stuff.

    • Martin Lieberman May 20, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Exactly right, Mike. And early happy birthday to us both. 🙂

  3. Justin Premick May 20, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Totally agree with you here —

    “I think when you get to a certain age, you basically have everything you need and what you want just isn’t the same as it once was. After all, who really needs more stuff?”

    For me, collecting stuff has largely become replaced by collecting experiences. Not that I don’t like “stuff” but if I’m picking between doing something new vs. buying something new, I almost always vote “doing.”

    Happy almost-40!

  4. Seth Rosen May 21, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    So proud to share a birthday week (or weekish) with you. Wishing you a wonderful 40th year and hoping you get all you want and more.


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