Today is Tim’s birthday. He would have been 37.
Tim was never someone who got super excited or made a big deal out of birthdays. One year I threw him a birthday party at our house in Austin, but I wasn’t allowed to actually call it a birthday party. He reluctantly let me put out birthday napkins and plates, and he didn’t tell anyone he invited that it was his birthday. Guests were there for a few hours before realizing and would turn to him and say, “Dude – it’s your birthday?!”
Even though he didn’t like massive amounts of birthday attention, he loved that I doted on him every year for the event. I would wrap presents days in advance that would sit out in our living room taunt him. Even though I’ll never get vegan cream cheese icing quite right, I always did my best to make sure he had his favorite carrot cake every year.
Some people who read this blog only know my husband through the words I’ve mostly written about him posthumously, while others knew him longer than I did. On my anniversary, I needed to people thinking of me to help me through that tough day, but today on his birthday I don’t need others to think of me. I want people to think about him. The most important thing I can do today is to share the memory of this amazing person.
So whether you know him through the blog or since high school, here are some ways you can celebrate Tim today.
Have a glass of nice whiskey.
Tell a dumb joke to someone, especially if it’s science or math related.
Why don’t anteaters get sick?
Because they’re full of antibodies!
Let your dog lick you in the face.
Call an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Watch the movie “Amelie” or “A Man and a Woman”.
Go vegetarian for a meal or two. Want to get crazy? Go vegan.
Study a foreign language for a little bit.
Get a tattoo because it’s awesome. No deep meaning or symbol, just fucking awesome.
Listen to some Mogwai or Yann Tiersen.
Ride a bicycle or motorcycle, and pay attention to the world around you.
Have a conversation with your dog in their special dog voice. You know, the accent you think they’d have if they could actually talk.
Watch an episode of Doctor Who or a ridiculous horror movie involving European zombies.
Have a slice of pizza. If you’re feeling ambitious, make “Pizza Monkey Bread” which is as delicious as it sounds.
Decide to tackle a seemingly impossible challenge.
Plan a trip to go somewhere new. See things you haven’t seen before.
Read some from your favorite author. Bonus points for Chomsky or Neil Gaimon.
Spend less, or zero, time on Facebook.
Wear a silly t-shirt that makes you happy regardless of what others might think about it.
Call your mom.
Say a quick prayer to Saint Jude. No, that’s not just a Beatles song.
Play a musical instrument. Even if you’re bad at it or haven’t picked it up in a while, take twenty minutes to yourself and see what you can create.
Allow yourself to get childishly excited over something small.
Think about what kind of non-profit you would start if you magically had the financial means to help others in that way.
When you are stressed or incredibly busy today, take a deep breath and pause. Know that being yourself is always enough, and the imprints we leave on others will far outlast anything else in the world.
Happy Birthday Tim. We miss you.