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The Wright Opinion - Happy birthday to me
Seth Wright.jpg

I've learned the biggest obstacle in writing a weekly column is coming up with an idea for each Friday's newspaper. Sometimes an idea pops up with no problem but other times it's a real struggle to think of a topic. And as soon as you successfully conjure up a topic and write a column, you're left with the knowledge that you're now on the clock to think of the next column idea. 

Today is my birthday. I don't usually make a big deal about it, and the older I get, the less of a deal I make out of it. But,  because of the perpetual problem of having to think of things to write about every Friday, it seems like it would be a waste of an opportunity if I didn't  use the low-hanging fruit of my birthday as column fodder when it falls on my column day. 

So here I am, talking about embarking on the final year of my 40s. I don't have any unique insights on aging that you haven't heard before, and it's really not so bad. The biggest difference I have found is a change in the length and complexity of my yearly physical. Doctor visits once were a quick visit that consisted of little more than "Hi. Good to see you. How's the family? Everything looks fine. I'll see you next year." 

Last year I discovered the annual trip has begun to get more complicated, with a series of questions, conversations, blood tests, probes and, at the end, a question I didn't expect - "So, would you rather have a colonoscopy or would you rather poop in a box?"  In what felt like the weirdest episode of "Let's Make A Deal" I said "I'll take the box." That was only the start of the awkwardness. 

After the deposit is made, you're required to take the box to a UPS drop-off station. The markings on the box aren't exactly discreet so, upon walking into the store, both I and the person working there knew exactly what I plopped down on his counter. I always thought of the aging process as becoming more mature and dignified but it's hard to feel like you're gaining dignity when you walk into a store holding a box of your own poop. 

In the end, everything came out all right and the experience was preferable to the alternative. I'm sure the surprises of aging will continue, but I'm willing to deal with what comes my way. I see it as the side effects of continuing to survive. 

If I ever forget about the aging process, I work in a room full of people younger than me who take delight in reminding me. It doesn't feel very long ago at all when I was the youngest person working in the Southern Standard newsroom. Now nobody understands any of my song or movie references. And Bethany, our news editor, likes to point out that I started working at the Standard before she was born. 

So there we go, another column finished. Now, what am I going to write about next week? 

Standard Managing Editor Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191