Monday, September 8, 2008
Do people normally look forward to their birthdays?
I was having a conversation last night, and the impression I was given is that people do not necessarily look forward to their birthdays once they get older. Holidays are more fun to look forward to, but not even them so much anymore as years go on.
I can see how this is true once you start to get much older. I mean, what's in the celebration of 34 to 35 or 51 to 52? Should we really celebrate each year for the person?
I think we should. Why not? Why not acknowledge this person's life just for one day, because every person should feel special for just one day. Every year that someone lives is a gift, and maybe birthdays help people stop to realize that. It also symbolizes how fast time moves, sort of the same way that New Years Eve makes one reflect on time spent in one's life.
Birthdays are a beginning and end as well.
Certain numbers are dreaded within this country to hit, while others are exciting. 16, 18, 21--amazing ages to turn. Big celebrations. Big benefits. But after one turns 21, that person never looks forward to another birthday again.
25 makes that 21 year old feel like he's getting old too fast. Where did the college years go? Am I really that old that I have a routine and a job now?
30 spans three decades, stealing the person of their twenties which made them feel young when they dished out their age. At least I could say I was still in my twenties, my youth. Now I should be having kids and a steady job--what if I'm not there yet?
40 is the dreaded year when now people can tease you and make up lame jokes. You are officially old, by our culture's standards, at this age. Just look at the greeting card section. There is one just for this age. It's kind of pathetic.
After that, the big ages seem to be in the 10s: 50, 60, 70, and then they go in 5s: 75, 80, 85, 90, 95... Once you get older, let's count by 5s because it's awesome that you're still here. Kudos.
But why is it that the flare is taken out of birthdays? Why do people dread it or dismiss it as much as they do?
I for one always try to celebrate it. I try to enjoy my special day because I only get so many in my lifetime. It's a birthday present alone just to get phone calls from people that I might not have spoken to in a while. Or just to talk to everyone I love in one day.
Or call me crazy because I love tradition. I love the song and candles, the cake and presents--it's the childish part of me that won't grow up. And I don't care. I still like to enjoy youth while I can (I hope I always will). Swinging on the swings, baking fun foods, taking long walks or bike riding, using my imagination, day-dreaming, getting ice cream, looking at the stars, making up stories, laughing uncontrollably. Who says we have to grow up?
So, don't be that guy that ignores his birthday. Come on! Love yourself. Enjoy feeling special for just one day--you might enjoy it.
Even though we don't feel older, we are in spirit.
Do you enjoy your birthday? Why/why not? Do you like birthdays or not? Are they special or just another day?