I turned 29 on Thursday.  It was a pretty good day overall, did a lot of fun stuff and spent time with my fiancee and a few others.  I didn’t take the day off.

People really seem to freak out about birthdays.  As though being a certain age signals the end of something great.  Conversely it’s abnormal to see it as the start of something special.  They aren’t a big deal to me though, I just keep it moving.  Lots of things to do and worry about beyond a number of days alive on this planet.  It’s nice to take stock of all the blessings and good things in your life though.  And I did that.

Something happened this year that I found really odd though.  Teresa and I usually purchase gifts for one another and this year we were thinking about good gifts up to the date.  And….nothing came.  Since growing up, I’ve always wanted a lot of cool stuff.  We didn’t have much discretionary income and had neighbors that did, so there was always a lot of stuff like video games and systems, wakeboards, clothing and electronics that I really wanted.  I didn’t necessarily get these things for birthday presents, but there were always thing there that seemed nice.

This year, there was so little that I genuinely wanted.  That was a revelation.  The truth is, if I want much of anything today, I can buy it myself.  And I do.  I spend a lot on music and some other things like golf and hanging out with friends.  Most of the things that seem of real value today, those things that I genuinely want, are pretty expensive.  A house, a grill, a dog, reliable transport, a boat, learning Spanish, traveling and more are all things that I’d like, but they aren’t necessarily birthday presents.  There are things I need, but not nearly as many as there used to be.

Teresa and I registered the other day as well and the same issue came up.   Most of what we registered for was really pretty unneeded.  We already have most of the stuff, it’s just an upgrade over what is already there and not completely necessary.  We do want a few things, but mostly we want to buy a house.  Yet there we were, signing up to be given A LOT of stuff.  Stuff we don’t really have room for either.  It is a good thing to list out stuff that people can get you for your wedding, but the older I get the more simplistic I am about what is really necessary.  Material goods do not make you happy, and so buying a lot of things now a days just seems wasteful.

Will next year be the same?  Or even more pronounced?