Today is my birthday.

This, to me, is not normally a big deal. Another year on paper, another year since the date recorded on my birth certificate, maybe — but every day is another year.

I like celebrating birthdays that belong to others — occasions to be thankful for family, for friendship, for fellowship. But my own? Not usually too bothered.

This year, however, is slightly different.

Today marks my entry into my fortieth year of being a carbon-based life-form on this small planet we call home. Forty, as an age, means little to me too. Just a number in a sequence I hope to continue for as long as possible. I am stronger now, fitter, than I have ever been. I know more. I feel more confident in who I am — and where I am going.

And it is this that makes this coming year special.

Thirty-nine. Hardly a special number. But it marks a point where I begin a countdown to forty.

Wait! (I hear you say.) You just said forty doesn’t matter! So why begin a countdown?

A good and wise question.

Worn and smooth seaglass is a beautiful thing.
This is a sneak preview of a forthcoming post. Containing seaglass.

Forty itself means nothing to me, but it seemed a little silly to waste this coming opportunity. It is, in many other “normal” people’s lives, an important birthday, after all.

For me, I am using the coming year as a vehicle, as a slingshot to the rest of my days. It is the deep breath before the plunge, it is the warm up before the run, the light reps before the heavy. Yes, I know, I could go on, but you’ll be pleased to hear I’ll leave the metaphors there.

I have plans. Sorry! I have Plans.

These Plans are forming, coalescing into things that no longer seem so nebulous, that are in danger of becoming very real. I have lots to do to get to where I want to be on my next birthday — lots. And I cannot wait to do it all. And more. Life still throws me surprises — and I love that.

Knowing this, that I have lots to do, and I am looking forward to it — that is Step Zero.

A selfie from my birthday. Thirty-nine today.
Proof of Life. On the occasion of my 39th birthday.

This is the introduction to the posts I intend to write (and, in many cases, have already drafted) over the coming year. Between now, the 11th of May 2016, and the 11th of May 2017, I will share the journey with you. Some parts you may find interesting, others may not grip you personally. But it seems a wise thing to do.

And what shall I call this series? Well, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Welcome to The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Step Zero

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