Saturday, September 8, 2007

That great day... once upon a year.

I know you thought I was going to talk about a holiday or one of those days when you get the day off from work... wrong.

I'm talking about that one day significant to each of our lives. The day doesn't have to be the same for everyone, but sometimes it is just by coincidence.

Your birthday.

When we are first born, we're too young to know what a birthday is. Do you remember your "first birthday"? Did you have a big party? No, I don't remember either. (For all those parents who haven't figured out that cost-saving method - have a small cupcake for the "cake", a few family members over with cameras & sing a round of 'happy birthday'. When your child gets older & asks about a party from that year, you don't have to lie... but you don't have to break the bank either!)

Once you start to understand the concept of a birthday party - having friends over, getting to play, opening all those presents and eating a cake with your name on it - it's hard to go back to not knowing what a birthday is.

The birthday fun continues on for most people through their 20s. Now, there are always going to be those people who pretend like a birthday is "just another day", regardless of the age they turn. But the truth is, it's a day to celebrate. It doesn't matter what religion you believe in or practice, the process of being born is a great thing to honor.

Oddly, by the time you are old enough to understand how special your birthday is & how it should be celebrated, just about everyone else has given up observation of it. So you are left alone to wonder if anyone remembered. Are there cards in the mailbox for me? Will anyone call with good wishes?

Some people may think it sounds a little selfish to wonder these things about their own birthday. Like I said, everyone has one. It doesn't seem unique. But there is nothing wrong with wanting friends & family to take a pause from their busy lives to say "hey, it's your day. I'm glad you are in my life."

Might sound silly, but it's just one of the great things about birthdays - a chance to reconnect with the people who matter to you... a reason to take a breath and take a moment to celebrate with someone else.

Happy Birthday, Loeb!


Betsy said...

Yay! Thanks! I had started feeling ambivalent about birthdays a few years ago until it struck me that there really aren't that many days in your life that you can say "it's my birthday." And now that so many days are the same - get up, go to work, go home - it's nice to have days that are occasions to celebrate.

Patsy said...

Well written article.