Today I mark 50 years of life, or as Colleen likes to tell me, the first 50. However today we will only note it, not celebrate it, as today is also Good Friday. For Catholics this is a day of fasting and abstinence. This is the day in which we remember the Passion of our Lord; His suffering and His death. We call it Good Friday because His suffering was, and is, in reparation for our sins. So today, we too suffer just a bit. Just one meal to sustain us and no meat. It's also a day without toil, one of reflection.
Do I lament not celebrating my 50th birthday today? Not really, being trumped by our Lord is something I can handle. Considering that Good Friday hasn't fallen on this day since 1913, and it won't happen again until the year 2228, I could allow myself to feel a bit special to have been given this tiny added sacrifice.
After Good Friday services and our one small meal, I'll sit down this evening, perhaps with a nice barleywine or Trappist beer. It will be a time to reflect further on the meaning of this day, and how that might be reflected in my 50 years. That's time well spent. The party with friends can wait. (And is indeed planned for next Friday.)
Update: I read on the Brookston Beer Bulletin that I share this birthday with brewing legend Pierre Celis.