Today is my 36th Birthday. It’s so hard to imagine all of the 36 years of events, history, stories, things I’ve done. It’s hard to remember all of the people, places, and names I’ve encountered. It’s hard to remember all of the lessons I’ve learned, passed on, taught, forgot or ignored.

No one knows how long they’ll live for, we just know for sure that someday it ends. Philosopher’s will debate what comes after that, if it’s truly an end. But I would imagine that when we get to that last second, it is a lot like this Kevin Spacey monologue from American Beauty.

I’d always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all. It stretches on forever, like an ocean of time. For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout Camp, watching falling stars. And yellow leaves from the maple trees that lined our street. Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper. And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand-new Firebird. And Janie… and Janie. And… Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry, you will someday.

Here’s to all of us remembering to feel gratitude for every single moment of our stupid little lives.

And here’s thanking you all for the well wishes you’ve sent me at the start of my 36th year on this wonderful little planet of ours.