33

Every year I write something about the act of getting older.

Another trip around the sun.

My personalized “New Year.” Time as good as any to make resolutions.

Lately, the leadup to a birthday has been less excitement and more anxiety. As though I feel each birthday should ensure that the eventual obituary had enough of a change in it. More than just scratching out “32” and writing “33.” How does that list of accomplishments look? Is it getting longer?

Does it matter?

I consider all of those I know who have died. It is rarely the accomplishments that I recall. Even the prettiest, most gold-stamped bits of paper get lost in the fire.

On a long enough timeline, everyone is either missing or missed.

All your stuff gets sold off, donated, or fought over.

All of the content you might have created gets lost, indexed over, corrupted, or lost to mold, water, fire, or time.

We are here for but a minute.

  “The Jewish saying is that you die twice. You die once, when you do die, but the second time you die is when your name isn’t spoken anymore.