The party.

Yesterday, July 10, was my 49th birthday. I live in Fort Wayne, IN. I’m at a conference in Portland, OR.

In the old days, those facts together could make for a lonely day. (edge of old age, boring hometown, far away from home). Yesterday, however, was not a lonely day, thanks to the creativity of my social networking friends. (Oh, and Chris told me that fifty is the new thirty, which means that I am a year away from being several years younger than Chris).

Thanks to the creativity of Chris Brogan and Connie Reece and the responses of everyone else:

  • People knew, in part, because facebook tells birthdays.
  • Several friends used my face for their twitter avatars. (Which is really scary to see) Hope said, “I looked at twitter and they were all you!”
    (thanks Connie and Chris and Chris Cree (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY) and Becky (read her post about Greensburg, KA. now. go back and read it. and Jim and probably some I missed.)
  • My blog made it to number 75 on the fastest growing blogs page.
  • Connie made a virtual birthday cake.
  • My twitter, pownce and facebook friends lists exploded (at least for me)
  • I got two birthday videos from my family and from Kat
  • I had twitter DM messages
  • I had calls from MA and then at the same time from ME.
  • The comments on Connie’s cake and on my blog were wonderful.

And life was really confusing.

I was sitting in a Burger King talking to a new friend who lives in Russia. I could tell him what was going on because he actually knew what twitter was. At the moment I told him that this was happening on pownce, which he had heard of, my phone rang with a call from Michael‘s family singing happy birthday. I walked back to the table of people I had come with, and they sang happy birthday as well.

I’ve missed some, I am sure. But what I didn’t miss, because it was said in so many ways, is that this is an amazing and wonderful group of people, this web of friends that I know through Chris Brogan, the mayor.

One last thought. Because of this flurry and because I’m blogging this conference, I spent most of my night and day looking at a computer. Outside the hotel you can see Mount St Helens and Mount Hood. What went through my mind yesterday morning, however, was the song which says, “In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay. But ou love is here to stay.” It’s the people. It’s the relationships.

Thanks everyone, more than you know.

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7 responses to “The party.

  1. Right back atcha, you young kid you. Forget about all those mountains. We’re here. : ) (Just kidding. Fascinating that in the out-of-the-fishbowl world, we were there pulling you back in again).

  2. Happy day after your birthday, Jon! It was so much fun celebrating with you via the virtual community.

    My thought this morning is that I cannot help but admire a man who can quote Gershwin as easily as Scripture and who has a propensity for taking photos that feature coffee cups. 🙂

    And 49 sounds so young to me now! Seems like I just turned 50 … except it was 7 years ago. More than ever I’m convinced that age is mostly a state of mind. My knees tell me otherwise now and then, but I try to ignore them!

  3. Jon, Glad you had a great day. And you are so right. Even for us business types

    It’s the people. It’s the relationships.

    Thanks for the wishes in my direction too.

  4. As you said, this is real. We had fun playing dress up, and bombarding you with messages. We didn’t do it for the fun, but because you are such an amazing person to us.

  5. Pingback: 8 ways to celebrate Jon Swanson’s birthday « Levite Chronicles

  6. Wow.

  7. Just reading this post now, since I didn’t know you last year. You’re such a good writer Jon. Your way with words touches the very heart. Once again, Happy Birthday.