Reading the news today, between the shooting in a Finnish school and Iran about to go nuclear (not forgetting the bloodbath in Afghanistan), one can understand that there isn't much to smile about.
Whereas I am just as glum as the next person (and I really am), there is only one piece of news that makes me even more depressed than any of the above.
In less than a month, I am going to be forty years old.
OH MY G-D.
To make things worse, by an almost sadistic twist of fate, both my Hebrew and Gregorian birthdays fall on exactly the same day of the week that I was born - Shabbat.
I was born on Friday night, 1st December, corresponding with the 29th day of the month of Cheshvan, which just happens to fall tomorrow night. If that weren't bad enough, my birthday will fall this year on Saturday/Shabbat. Do you think the good Lord is trying to give me a message here?
I am depressed.
How the hell did I find myself on the threshold of my fifth decade? I mean, sod it, according to the Jewish calendar, I'm forty tomorrow night - although you won't be surprised to read that when it comes to my birthday, I suddenly cling onto the Gentile calendar with an almost unbreakable grip.
I am depressed.
Where did my thirties go? Why wasn't I born in 1975? Why couldn't my parents have been younger, allowing me to enter my thirty second year instead.
As I wrote in the last post, I recently hooked up with some old school buddies through Facebook and eagerly looked at their profiles to see if any of them had crossed my incoming threshold. To my dismay, they are nearly all disgustingly still 39. How dare they cling onto their the last year of their thirties whilst I go through that "avenue of no return"?
I am depressed.
For those of you who are over forty, or fifty, this probably sounds like the meanderings of a spoiled immature brat who doesn't want to face up to reality.
What's wrong with being immature?
Who says we have to act our age? Who says that I have to be any different at forty than I was at thirty nine?
I know that I'm not as fast as once was (and I was never that fast) and that my hair doesn't boast the same youthful thickness it did ten years ago, but why should being forty be such a well of depression? I bet that if you're reading this at thirty three, you're just laughing at my vanity and hyperbole.
...and they said writing things down makes you feel better. Yeah, well it doesn't!
Then again, if I were one of the victims of the Finnish massacre, hitting my fortieth birthday probably wouldn't have been an issue
Yes, I am about to forty. Yes, I am depressed, but hell, I'm still alive. I've got two healthy parents (until 120 years), a wife who smiles at me at least once a month and beautiful kids who seem to be happy to have me around (as long as I don't act my age).
It's all relative isn't it?
It is all relative.
Ok. You can life your head about the parapet because the rant is over for now.
Let me enjoy the last twenty four of my Jewish thirties and relish the rest of the month as an enthusiastic follower of the "other" calendar - the one that still allows me to put a "th" before my age.
I'll feel worse this time next week, so I suppose I should get the most that I can out of the remaining third of the month.