It’s inevitable…..every year we have a birthday which means every year we are another year older. We have no control over it….it just happens. And when it comes to birthdays, it seems that people either love ’em or they dread them. I don’t know about you but I happen to be someone who loves my birthday. Do I love getting older???? Honestly, in a lot of ways, I do.
My love of birthdays started when I was a little red headed, freckle faced girl. Birthdays were a big deal in my family. Now, my idea of a “big deal” definitely does not compare to the parties that kids have today but in our house, birthdays were special. We always got to pick what we wanted for dinner AND we got to have our favorite dessert. My two favorite desserts were angel food cake with fresh strawberries and my mom’s homemade cheesecake. It was always a toss up which one I was going to choose. I thought I should have been able to have them both, it was my birthday after all, but my mom thought otherwise 🙂
Although we did not have the big elaborate birthday parties when I was growing up, I always looked forward to my birthday. I would wait for my dad to come home from work and then the family would sit down for my special dinner. After dinner there was cake with candles and everyone sang “happy birthday.” And then I would open presents! Even when I moved away from home, my parents would send presents and call me first thing in the morning on my birthday to sing “happy birthday” to me. I looked forward to that call every year. My dad has passed away but my mom still calls and sings every year. How great is that???
When we are young it seems like we want to grow up so fast. I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so I could drive, or 18 when I could move out of the house and go to college. We are in such a hurry to get to all of these milestones yet as adults we want just the opposite. We want to slow down the aging process, turn back the clock and be young again. We critique our looks and bemoan the fact that our body is changing as we get older. Why is that? Shouldn’t we be celebrating our life and all that we have accomplished?
I watched a movie last weekend called The Mule starring Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Clint Eastwood played a man who was probably in his 80’s and had just lost his home to foreclosure. He was estranged from his family and had no source of income. Without really knowing what he was getting himself into, he becomes a “mule” for the Mexican cartel. As I watched the movie play out, I was struck not only by the innocence of Clint’s character but also by his willingness to keep living his life to the fullest. He wasn’t going to give up no matter what. Now I’m definitely not saying you should resort to illegal activities in order to feel young because that would not be a good idea. What I am saying is that it was inspiring to see how Clint’s character was so full of life even though he lost nearly everything. Age was not a deterrent for him.
In my own life I have been blessed to witness graceful aging. The women in my family definitely have the longevity genes and have lived well into their 90’s. My nana was over 100 when she passed and she was so full of life right up to the end.
Getting old is a privilege. Getting old is a gift and celebrating birthdays should always be a source of happiness. Of course there will be wrinkles but they can be a reminder of all the smiles we have had. We should be thankful for the opportunity to be here. Thankful for each and every moment we have lived and treasure those moments and those memories.
There are 1440 minutes in every day. Every one of those minutes gives you the possibility to experience the many options that surround you, the opportunity to fulfill your dreams and the ability to share it with the people you love. It would be a shame to waste even one minute of that precious gift.
I turn 58 at the end of August and you can bet that I will enjoy every minute of my birthday! I haven’t decided how I will spend the day but I know the first phone call I get will be my mom singing happy birthday. After that it’s going to be a great day!
How will you spend your next birthday? Whatever you do, I hope you will enjoy every minute of it….all 1440 of them!
Happy Birthday to you!! 🥳🎂