A Birthday Message

Today I turn 41 years old.  This seems to be a popular time for birthdays.  Two friends here in Thailand share my birthday, two other friends have birthdays the day before, and a dozen other friends have birthdays within plus or minus a week.  Perhaps St. Valentine’s Day provides a good explanation for this mini-bubble of mid-November Scorpios.  That’s speculation, though, and beside the point.

Sue 2008.12.28 - 004 Sue 2008.12.30 - 005 Sue 2008.12.30 - 016 P1180233
I’ve heard of “peak oil”… does “peak hair” also exist?

To give you a brief update, life is going quite well.  Yesterday, as part of a habit I would like to create, I visited the doctor for an annual physical.  By chance, I was seen by Dr. Nina, an Indian-born doctor whom I had seen a few years ago for a suspected case of Dengue Fever (which, thankfully, it was not).  I’m glad I reconnected with her as she has a wonderful manner and I will make it a point to have her as my regular physician.

In any case, the general conclusion is that I am fine, health-wise.  My cholesterol, which had dropped from about 260 three years ago to only 165 a year ago, has since climbed back to about 250.  We’ll have to monitor this and see if some diet and exercise changes can bring it back under control.  Other than that, a clean bill of health.  If I can lose a few kilograms over the next year, we’ll all be happier at next year’s check-up, too!


Celebration-wise, I don’t think Tawn and I will do that much to celebrate.  We had a large sausage making, cooking and eating dinner this past weekend with some friends (see “lose a few kilograms,” above), so that was probably enough hoopla to celebrate.  Instead, a quiet evening at home with Tawn should be celebration enough.


From a general happiness standpoint, I realize that despite the few gripes and frustrations that arise in life, I have very little about which to be unhappy and a very large amount to be thankful for.  Yesterday, in what I interpret to be a nice bit of serendipity, a university friend of mine posted a quote from poet Gunilla Norris that I think should be my birthday prayer:

“Guard me against the arrogance of privilege,
against the indulgence of feeling that I don’t have enough,
and the poverty of spirit that refuses to acknowledge what is daily given to me.”

Beautiful and timely, isn’t it?  When I think of all the wonderful people, experiences, and opportunities I have had thus far in my life, I can’t help but be grateful to everyone and everything that has played a role.


0 thoughts on “A Birthday Message

  1. Happy Birthday again, Chris! It would be interesting to see how you would loose ‘a few kilos’ with all the cooking and amazing food around! Also, I really want to know how Tawn manages to stay so skinny!

  2. ok, slow down on those sausages cowboy. better send them down here. i’ll be happy to help you get rid of them so you won’t have to worry about your cholesterol level. ps: happy bday! (it’s a good thing i checked in on xanga today).

  3. Happy Birthday! You look like the second picture more than the others. We watched the travel channels, Anthony Bourdain: No reservations and they were in Thailand. I laughed at myself because I wondered if you would show up on camera. HAHA! Oatmeal flour is a way to sneak in good fiber that is good for cholesterol. I eat a bowl every day and it keeps it low. 😉

  4. Happy Birthday dear friend. I posted about your birthday on my blog too.I am not surprised at the cholesterol level. Look at those sausages! Hope the LDL is low and the HDL is high. That would be the important thing to keep in mind.Love you Chris, and have a grand evening.

  5. I came from Zakiah’s to wish you a happy birthday. I think having a birthday prayer is a wonderful thing…I may have to seek one out, as my birthday is later in the month. May you continue to be blessed as you go through your new year.

  6. Happy Birthday to you!! You haven’t changed much!! The photos are great – and hair is over rated. The smile is what counts (and the twinkle in your eyes)!! Hope you can get your cholesterol under control. I’m going to have mine checked next month.. I’ve stopped dreaming of cheese… I can’t remember the last time I had sausage.

  7. Happy Birthday Chris!  Thanks for sharing your Day and your thoughts on these blogs – I always enjoyed them and even learn something new – whether it be aspects of your life or your environment. Hope to see you again on one of your visits to San Francisco.  Warm regards to Tawn!
    Andrew and Amy

  8. Wow, what a response to this entry! Many thanks to everyone who read and commented.@slmret – @Fatcat723 – @ordinarybutloud – Thank you very much for the birthday wishes and I’m glad you like the birthday prayer. Words to live by, no?@ElusiveWords – That’s very sweet of you, Matt. I’ve never considered the impact that I have on others through this blog and it means a lot to me to know that you receive joy through it.@CurryPuffy – @The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – @ClimbUpTreesToLookForFish – @Sinful_Sundae – @livexlovexlaughter – @margiejcnj – @Grannys_Place – @oxyGENE_08 – @bmojsilo – @yang1815 – Thank you very much for the birthday greetings!@Dezinerdreams – @rudyhou – @kunhuo42 – Thank you for the good wishes. Agreed that making (and eating) sausages is not the best recipe for weight loss! LOL@andrewb – Thank you very much Andrew and Amy and I’m glad you enjoy following the blog. I hope you are both doing well!@Passionflwr86 – Thank you very much. On the whole, yes, I think it is going well. Well enough to remember to count my blessings and focus on them rather than on the challenges in life.@Ikwa – Thanks for the birthday wishes. Sorry I didn’t pop into camera while Tony was here! As for the oatmeal, I’ve actually been a daily oatmeal eater (from scratch, of course!) for years and years. Maybe it is helping things from getting worse, but it isn’t the cure-all, either, sadly.@ZSA_MD – Thank you for the birthday wishes and for cross-posting. That was an unexpected surprise! Any word on whether you and M will be heading this way in January?@songoftheheart – Thank you for visiting from Dr. Zakiah’s site and for the birthday greetings. Yes, the idea of a birthday prayer is a good one, I think. As you reach your birthday later this month, I hope you have a wonderful day and find a prayer that speaks to you, too!@bmojsilo – Thank you for the birthday wishes and the recommendation!@drung888 – The trajectory over the past 41 years has been for each year to be better than the previous one. I, too, hope to continue on that path. Thanks for the birthday greetings.@murisopsis – Hopefully the memory of cheese and sausage can keep that twinkle in *your* eyes! Thanks for the happy birthday wishes.@icepearlz – Many thanks for the birthday greetings from Singapore. Thankfully, the flooding never reached our neighborhood. We are still hosting an evacuee, one of Tawn’s friends whose house remains unreachable. I hope all is well with you and your family.

  9. @christao408 – I am hoping to Chris. The wedding is at the end of January. I go to Chicago to the surgeon for a follow up after the surgery. I am going to ask him if I can travel. If he balks at that then I will plan on coming only to Bangkok in May. The Rotary International meeting takes place at that time there. So God willing I will see you either in January or in May.

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