Well, it’s official. I’m 31. Doesn’t seem all that different from 30, aside from that whole “one year older” thing, and even that’s not a big deal. I may be a year older, but I’m also a year closer to where I want to be … and who I want to be.
Aside from the lingering aftershocks of 9/11, the last year was a good one for me. My job continues to meet all three of my criteria for employment: I still love my job, I’m still making a salary I’m comfortable with, and I’m still learning. In fact, I’ve probably learned more in the last year than I have in any time since I started in the Internet industry in 1996, and given how much I’ve already learned, that’s really saying something.
I started off the year visiting my family in Idaho, and I’m ending it by creating my own family in Pennsylvania. Having kids is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I was a teenager, and its thrilling to know I’m finally going to become a father during my 31st year.
Philosophically, I’m still the same guy at 31 that I was at 30 (and 29, and 28…) — a classical liberal with an appreciation for Thomas Paine and Ayn Rand. Just as importantly, and to the eternal amusement of my mother, I’m still a geek … and still love all my geeky toys.
Last year, on my 30th birthday, I wrote an editorial that asked “aren’t you a little old for that?”. The answer then, as now, remains “no”. The day I stop playing games — be they role-playing games, computer game card games or miniature games — is the day I’ll die. Games — especially the games I play — force me to think, they compel me to imagine, and they push me to dream. They’re a source of stress release, an opportunity to be with friends, and one of the proofs of the benefits of Western civilization in all of its capitalist glory.
I can’t say that I accomplished everything I’d like to have this year. I still need to write my novel, I never did jot down the libertarian sci-fi serial I’ve got rumbling around in my head and I didn’t work out nearly as much as I should’ve.
But all in all, it was a good year. A satisfying year. But I suspect that it won’t even come close to how incredible my 31st year will be, especially after March 21, when the baby arrives (or thereabouts).
How does it feel to be 31? It feels great … and it’s only going to get better.