I was conceived in February, 1955, just one month after Albert Ellis began practicing REBT.
From the beginning of time, until that summer night in sunny Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, I did not exist. Sometime in the future, I will once again cease to exist, and I will return to my natural state: nonexistence.
Some might argue, with reasonable justification, that the world was a better place up until the moment of my conception. But for me, it was the beginning of a grand adventure, a brief interruption to, and vacation from, nonexistence.
Yes, I regard my entire life as a vacation. It's an opportunity to have fun, to see the sights, and to meet the people. It's also an opportunity to learn about the universe I temporarily inhabit. During my stay here, I have made it my business to learn skills that make my visit more enjoyable, and occasionally do what I can to make the visit of other vacationers a rewarding experience for them.
Thinking of my life as a vacation, rather than as an examination to see whether or not I am "good enough," has allowed me to concentrate on what I am doing, rather than fretting over how well I am doing it.
In a few decades, possibly sooner, I will die. And, as Richard Dawkins points out in Unweaving the Rainbow, that makes me one of the lucky ones.
As I reflect on that balmy night in the 1950s, while Bill Haley was rocking around the clock, and my parents were humping and grinding, I can't help but think how it all could have been different. I might never have been here.
As my father enjoyed a post-coital cigarette, millions of his sperm were racing towards my mother's ovum. Had another sperm won the race, I would not be here. At the moment I was conceived, millions of my potential brothers and sisters lost their opportunity for a vacation. I was the lucky one.
And so one day I will die, making me far better off than my brothers and sisters who never lived. I am the fortunate son.