Last month, I celebrated my 43rd birthday. I and 14 of my “girls” went to an over-priced restaurant, ate too much, drank (a little) too much and shared the most decadent desserts on the menu. We talked, laughed and shut the restaurant down being almost the last group to leave. Fun birthday. One of many.
You see, every year I make it a point to do something special on my birthday. While most of the time we simply go out to dinner, we have also gone salsa dancing and played laser tag (I’m a big kid at heart). The exception was when, for my 40th birthday, my wonderful hubby took me to Las Vegas to celebrate in style. I have other friends who have followed suit; one even takes it so far as to plan out a full week of activities all around her special day. I think I might do that next year.
Then, I have a few friends who want nothing to do with their birthday. A few I know pro-actively lie about their age. One has even gone so far as to change her birth year on her Facebook page. And a couple of more friends who will never reveal their age and are happy to let the day come and go with no observation.
I celebrate my birthday for one reason: I feel blessed to have another one. Another birthday means I’m being given more time. All of those hopes and dreams that I have rattling around in my brain have a chance to come to life. Another birthday is also a reminder of how far I’ve come. I embrace the knowledge I’ve acquired, the people I’ve loved, the children I’ve watched grow. I like these birthday things to keep coming because that alternative isn’t so appealing.
It is hard to approach the “half of a century” mark in a culture obsessed with youth. But the reality is, you can’t go back. Instead of wasting energy denying or fighting the fact you’re getting older embrace it. Celebrate it. Learn from it. And milk it for all the presents you can get 🙂