At the stroke of midnight, my birthday will arrive. Normally, I turn my birthday into a month-long celebration, but this year, I have been so busy with work that my birthday sort of snuck up on me. I feel unprepared for it, even though, in reality, there’s nothing to do other than to wake up to another year of being older. As my birthday draws near, I thought that I would refrain from waxing poetically about the year that is ending and the one that is beginning to share with you some of the comments that have been shared with me about birthdays in general.
“I hate birthdays.”
This particular comment always gives me pause, as it baffles me how someone can hate or dread the day that he/she, or any other person for that matter, came into the world. With the arrival of each person on this planet, life changes in that very instant, as that innocent baby has the potential to impact countless lives in both positive and negative ways. If that isn’t awesome and worthy of being commemorated, I don’t know what is! Every life matters and deserves to be celebrated in some way, whether with a grand celebration or quiet reflection or something in between.
“Getting older sucks.”
My initial response to this statement is that it definitely beats the alternative! While I cringe sometimes when I notice some of the visible signs of aging, like laugh lines that remain even I am no longer chuckling and tinges of gray that peek through my dark hair, I would much rather deal with the process of aging than the business of dying. As I prepare to celebrate my birthday, my friend, Amy, watched her brother die of ALS this week, so, it definitely puts things into perspective. Each day on this earth is a gift, and I am in no hurry to give up that gift in the name of vanity or anything else.
“You can’t/shouldn’t do that at your age.”
I may be a big-hearted dreamer, but even I know that yes, there are some things that are age prohibitive. Because of the age restrictions, I will never be able to compete on “American Idol”, but that has more to do with a lack of talent and interest than age alone. That said, using age as an excuse to not pursue your passions, interests, goals, dreams, etc. will age you more than following your bliss ever will. To quote C.S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” My dreams may change, but they will only die completely when I do.
“I don’t feel my age.”
Since you only are your current age once in a lifetime, you have no prior experience being your current age, so, you could not possibly know what it feels like until you are in the midst of it. When I look in the mirror or take stock of how I physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually feel, in many ways, I feel like I did when I was much younger, even if I do not look the same. Age does not define who you are, but your thoughts, feelings, words, beliefs, and actions certainly do. Be who and what you are, regardless of the number of candles on your cake.
So, as I prepare to welcome my birthday, I am making special wishes, setting new goals and recommitting to other goals, and dreaming even bigger dreams. Care to join me?
That’s another story . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day