The Joy of Birthdays

Birthdays come but once a year – not frequently enough, if you ask an attention indulger like me, but I do so greatly love them. Each and every year when my birthday (week…month?) comes around, I know that I go through some complex and ever evolving thought processes. Some thoughts bright and hopeful, others a little blue and nostalgic but all valid, all important and all unique to that special time of year.  

Some people don’t seem to enjoy their birthday too much – perhaps they don’t love the attention often bestowed on the birthday person, perhaps they have been disappointed by birthdays past or perhaps the ever-moving passage of time offers up a feeling of discomfort. I feel that in the depth of my soul – just like the excitement around New Year’s Eve we like to build up birthdays to be something they might never become, with hopes of being surprised in some way, but like anything else and any other day, a birthday can only be what you make it. 

On birthdays chocolate is a breakfast food and there’s no such thing as cavities. I don’t make the rules I just embrace them. Ice cream can also be a useful replacement for milk in coffees if you’re feeling so inclined, the joy is that we don’t judge ourselves, any day, but especially on birthdays. 

Birthdays only occur due to the passing of time and time, I believe, is the ultimate gift, it’s special, it should be treasured, it’s a gift that not everyone will get.  With time on our sides, we are able to experience the joy of being proven right. Right about people, right about our hunches and right about our abilities. Time also allows us the equally liberating and humbling feeling of knowing what it’s like to truly be proven wrong. To be wrong, to learn, to grow is to be alive.  

The joy of being alive to experience your age and the process aging brings is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself to everyone. I’m not sure I’ll love and relish every physical ache and pain that arises as the birthdays pass, but I’ll try and appreciate every new wrinkle and grey hair I discover because I guess I’m lucky to get to be here to have them.