Issue 5 - The Wednesday Waffle

Happy Birthday to... you're old now

In this week’s newsletter:

🧇 A Wednesday Waffle from Me to You
Why should my real life friends have all the fun?

🎈 Birthdays Aren’t Always Fun For Everyone
Reframing ageing is one way to enjoy your special day.

👯‍♀️ Suffering from Frienvy
What this group of friends do every year is incredible, and I want in.

🧠 A Friendly Challenge
Facebook is literally just for birthday reminders at this point.

🧇 If You Ever Wondered…

what an expert-level waffler says to his friends on Wednesdays - here it is.

If you’re short for time, these are the crib notes: I’ve been growing a beard, starting pre-production for a film, are catching up with the other three WW OG’s, and am working away at an exciting bit of Wednesday Waffle related news I’ll share more about next week.

NOTE: sorry for the cliffhanger, but the writer in me couldn’t help himself.

🎈 Happy Birthday to… you’re old now

Birthdays are different these days… but they’re just like any other day.

The more of them you have, the quicker the next one comes around. The bigger the number gets, the less time you have left. That’s why I struggle with these specific anniversaries. So does my partner, but it’s for very different reasons.

Maybe we are cat people after all

I turned forty this year, she turned thirty-five this week. These occasions were met with contrasting emotions. Although I did take a moment to mourn the end of my best decade yet, I was fine with my relative progress in the ageing process. Reason being, I’ve been fortunate to have had time to work things out, so feel like I have lived every candle on this year’s commemorative cake. In the end, the day came and went with little fanfare – how I like it.

I’ve been fortunate to have had time to work things out, so feel like I have lived every candle on this year’s commemorative cake

A wise and handsome man, previous paragraph

For my partner, the impending shadow of her special day was a different experience. Despite being five years younger than me, and achieving some major milestones in the past twelve months, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of worry. This took me a little while to comprehend, but on deeper reflection made perfect sense. As (at least) half of you would know, getting older can be a different proposition depending on your gender.

The reality is, society doesn’t take as kindly to women “getting on”. If you don’t believe that, consider the billion-dollar industries that exist to delay the process as long as possible. But if that’s not bad enough, nature doesn’t allow ladies the same luxury of time that I was afforded the past ten years – where I could fumble my way through without fear of the clock catching up with me.

It was upsetting that her birthday was clouded by this backdrop, and I feared the next few might go that way too.

Snails are slow, and supposedly slow ageing too

These contrasting experiences made me consider the way in which we measure a person’s progression. There seem to be broader categories we all fit into, and regardless of how we look, act or feel, we’re confined to this cohort. Think kid, teen, twenty-something, thirties or forties, middle aged, senior citizen, and last but not least geriatric – if you make it that far. They aren’t particularly flattering labels, so no wonder graduating through them is met with trepidation. But at a more specific level, there’s our biological age in years. People claim it’s just a number, but it’s the number that defines us. At least it used to.

It was on the morning of my thirtieth that my fear and anxiety surrounding getting older disappeared, all thanks to one simple bit of reframing that has made ageing a much more palatable prospect.

For me, thirty represented the end of an era, and signalled the best years of my life were behind me

A savant, in a later paragraph

I was panic-stricken in the lead up, believing I’d now be officially old. For me, thirty represented the end of an era, and signalled the best years of my life were behind me. But then when I woke up that February morning in 2014, I felt an immediate sense of calm.

I was relieved to discover I was the exact same person as the day before. I felt just as healthy, had the same amount of hair (which wasn’t enough), had the same energy and motivation levels, and the same love for life. I was still myself. This is when it dawned on me - I hadn’t suddenly aged a decade overnight. I hadn’t even aged a year. I had aged a single day, going from being 10,949 days old to 10,950. Since then, that’s how I have looked at it. This revelation has taken a lot of pressure off, and even made me reconsider some of the other heralded days on the calendar that, to me, can be over-hyped like New Years Day.

My graphic design skills are out of hand

Famous for being the basis of a reset, and some ambitious resolutions, New Years is widely regarded as a time to start afresh. But that idea only allows us a chance to turn over a new leaf once a year, which really isn’t the case. Why delay your positive action by 20 days in December on the promise of a clean start on January first. Take today, when those fancy resolutions are all but a blur, and we’re a third into this year. Is it not an equally good time to kickstart or reconfigure your life? For me, that’s the lesson – look at life more micro, as a series of days, not decades, or years.

This way, every morning is a new opportunity, and today is always the day to start, and to celebrate, and be proud of how far you’ve come. If we treat ageing the same way, I find it helps me remove some of the stigma surrounding certain birthdays. It can also alleviate some of the fear and dismiss the temptation to compare oneself to others, who have been around longer or shorter.

Why delay starting, celebrating, or congratulating yourself

Thankfully, for my partner and I, the differences between how the world views us getting older isn’t the only way we differ. Where I avoided a party and tried to let it pass by without any acknowledgement, she chose to celebrate hers like the star she is - taking annual leave to visit a winery (with me), followed by a lovely dinner and night out dancing with friends.

I’m happy we were able to make a fuss about her on her 12,784th day. I might suggest we do the same on her 13,000th. Heck, her 12,816th sounds like a pretty good occasion to as well.


👯‍♀️ Friend Envy / Frienvy

I’m always inspired by friends doing fun things together, and I get especially excited when groups create their own traditions and turn them into yearly catch ups. I’m involved in one such collective (learn about it here), so when I saw this video (below) it unfurled the greenest of flags.


stay tuned…. #hinge #dating #shortfilm #ohgod #bestie #vlog

I’ve never wanted to be in a group more than this. Being a screenwriter, lover of film, and person that lives for creatively catching up with mates, this ticks every conceivable box.

It got me thinking - The Wednesday Waffle community should have our own film festival - The Waffscars!

The statue you didn’t know you needed

To keep it accessible to everyone, all movies:
- are to be shot on iPhone / Android.
- are to be a maximum of 2 - 3 minutes long. And:
- must be (even loosely) WAFFLE themed.

I’ll have more details in next week’s issue about submission guidelines, prizes and competition format. So until then, start working on your stories!

If you think your friends do something I’d get “Frienvy” over, let me know. I’d love to share it. Send a video to [email protected] 

🧠 This Week’s Friendly Challenge

For a good decade there, Facebook / Meta / McZuckalds made remembering friends’ birthdays redundant. So if you’re like me and trying to chill on social media but don’t want to burn every bridge, you probably need to check back in periodically to see who to send your well wishes to.

Your grip is loosening, Zuckerhead

Following the theme of this issue, your challenge, should you wish to accept it, is to wish someone a “happy birthday” but ignore any reference to their age (in years) and instead commend them on the amount of days or weeks or months they’ve been alive.

You can use this website to do the calculations for you.

Good luck!

👕 Do Touch the Merchandise

The first orders have shipped, which means some fashionable newsletter reading friends, like you, will be strutting their stuff in the iconic Wednesday Waffle tees and jumpers (that’s sweaters for you American folks) soon.

Click through to check out the full range

I can hardly wait to hear about how cool they make you look, and in the case of the jumpers, how warm they make you feel.

To represent the community, head to the shop now and pick out a design and colour that suits. Prices start from $42 AUD, which when converted is merely a few of cups of joe for my USD earning American friends.

🗣️ Tell Us What You Think

I hope you’ve been enjoying The Wednesday Waffle!

We’re still experimenting with the right recipe to make it as interesting as possible, so let us know how we’re doing at [email protected] 

If you want to support The Wednesday Waffle, please share it with your friends and / or sign them up here. It would be greatly appreciated.

Until next Wednesday, keep waffling :)