I’m going to treat myself to a birthday hunt

I was dismayed to wake up this morning as a 45-year-old. How the heck did that happen? And more astonishingly, how the heck did I actually make it this far?

Yeah, yeah, insert your favorite over-the-hill joke here. I’ve heard a ton of them over the last week or so. Even my kids are jumping in on it. I suppose I had it coming, though, because I’ve been giving my own dad a hard time about being old for as long as I can remember. By the way, Dad, I’m sorry for picking on you about your age. I figure when your youngest child turns 45 – yep, that’s right, your youngest child is now 45 years old – you deserve a break from the age jokes.

Since my birthday falls so close to Martin Luther King Day, I often have the day off. It didn’t quite work out that way this year, so I won’t get to go hunting on my actual birthday.

But I do plan to go hunting over the weekend to celebrate. I’d like to take my kids pheasant hunting, as long as they stop making cracks about my age. No, boys, I’m not too feeble to swing a shotgun. Not yet, anyway. I do have a dog, to make it easier to walk up the birds and bring them back to me, but if you don’t lay off the age jokes, I might just tell her to bite you.

The truth is, I really don’t feel 45. Well, most of the time I don’t, anyway. And I think my outdoor lifestyle is a big reason for that. I don’t get to the gym as much as I probably should, and I eat a whole lot more red meat and carbs than my doctor would like me to. But I get out and walk in the woods as much as I can, and some of that red meat is lean wild game, so I think that helps. And as far as I’m concerned, fresh air and sunshine are the ultimate fountain of youth.

So I’m excited to go hunting this weekend. It’ll be good to get the boys and the dog out there into the fresh air, trying to find some pheasants. And even though they’ll be pen-raised birds, they’ll still be good, lean eating if we manage to bring some home for a great late birthday dinner.