Remember how much you looked forward to your birthday when you were a kid? It was such a big day, such a big milestone in our life that you couldn’t imagine anything greater than that day (well, maybe Christmas). Each new year meant that you were older, smarter, taller, and knew more stuff. If you were lucky, you got something on that special day that you really, really wanted. Then you had cake and ice cream, friends came over, and it was just the best day ever.
Then as you got older, the birthdays were less about cake and presents and more about what you did with this particular year; graduate from high school, go to college, travel abroad, make new friends, get your own apartment, and so on.
You find you don’t need (or want) to tell everyone how old you are; it doesn’t seem to matter much anymore. Most of the people around you are about your age anyway. You really don’t think that much about it.
More milestones pass: new jobs, new relationships, new places to live, more travel, and maybe you get married. Maybe you have children. Maybe you get a graduate degree. Maybe you realize your dream of opening your own restaurant, or writing a book, or becoming an inspiring teacher, or travel more.
Time goes by, and you think, ‘oh my–how in the world did I get to be THIS old?!’ You begin reconnecting with old friends, and you all laugh together at your ages. You go to a high school reunion, look around at your old classmates and think, ‘boy, have they aged!’ And everyone else is thinking the same thing about you and everyone else! If you’re lucky, there are grandchildren, and oh–how much fun they are! (Best of all, when they are tired out and sugared up, back they go to their parents!)
Then you get to an age where you are actually pretty happy to BE that age. In fact, you spend a lot of time telling everyone you know (or don’t know) how old you are. It becomes fun to be that age, and it also becomes a great excuse not to do anything you don’t want to do. Also, it’s really fun to say things you couldn’t get away with when you were younger! Who cares? Let all those young people cluck about the awful things you say now–because you CAN.
Whether you love birthdays or hate them; there they are, every year without fail. They show up like bad relations wanting to borrow money. Or if you like birthdays (I do, I do!), they are the yearly fairy godmother visit you look forward to each year. Really, though—it’s not like we can do anything about them; the years go by, and sooner or later, it’s your birthday AGAIN.
So, if you must, roll your eyes on your birthday and tell everyone it’s no big deal. Or, if you are a birthday idiot like me, you will wake up on that day, jump up and yell, “OH, yeah–it’s my birthday! Woooo-hooooo!”