February 26, 2020


There’s a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait…just you wait.”

I celebrated my 38th birthday last weekend by going to see Hamilton at the Ed Mirvish Theatre with my wife (“best of wives and best of women”) and a few good friends. Having had spent the past few years obsessed with the cast recording, going to see the production—something I had only imagined in my mind—was the perfect birthday gift, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to spend my birthday enveloped in song and dance and beauty.

It’s easy, when you’re in your late thirties, to fall in a rhythm, to embrace a routine. It’s easy, at this age and especially with what I have in my life, to rest a little bit on one’s laurels, to be content with the way life is going and not necessarily feel the need to do much more.

I’m lucky to have had a wonderful life so far, and a life where I have felt like I have accomplished a ton—professionally, personally, relationally, and in so many other spheres of life. I’ve been blessed to have been part of teams and projects and endeavours that have brought me validation and helped me find meaning. It has been easy, especially in the last two years, to think that I can keep doing what I’m doing—still meaningful and still valuable—and not push myself too hard to do much more.

While I have been an Alexander Hamilton in the past (“not throwing away my shot”), I have settled into being an Aaron Burr (“willing to wait for it”) as I have aged. Watching Hamilton on my birthday reminded me that it didn’t need to be this way. There are a million things I haven’t done, and while I don’t necessarily need to pursue with the same gusto or urgency that I had in my twenties, there’s still a lot of life left for me to live, and I need to pursue that life with intention.

Thirty-eight will be a year of reminding myself that there’s still so much more I want to experience, so much I want to do. History may not have its eyes on me, but I’ve still got a lot of story left to write.

Previous Birthday Posts:

A Joke About How Old We’ve Become
Adam Clay

I take a break from one thought or another
to pay a credit card bill,
to take the dog out, to water the two

plants in the hanging basket
because Kim asked me to,
but why not instead take a walk

through the early August morning
before the heat wave hits
while the body still stretches itself out?

The music goes from minor to major
when you flip the album, but sometimes
the minor starts over before you

cross the room (it’s a big room)
and sometimes it’s best to just listen,
it’s best to not fill any space with words

but the stars and the stripes catch
the eye more so than the white
blank space like a life to be filled up with

something bigger than itself. My dad
last night on the phone telling me the tests
came back positive but not to worry (but how

not to worry?), his almost three decades
ahead of me and what is a year
really when they pile up, time to dust

the furniture again, to check
on the sink that’s draining slow,
clean it out, start the day with a list

of what a day should even mean
or be, not minding how fast the hours go by
until I will mind, which by then it will

be too late, though I do not mean
my life means anything in the scheme
of stepping back we all do, chipping

at some unmovable block of rock
as if time won’t eventually
undo even its looming shape too.