January 3, 2010

A Birthday Ramble


45. Hmmmm. Not sure how I feel about that.

It doesn't really matter what I think or feel about that, really...time continues to march forward even though I sometimes beg for it to slow down. Some moments I just want to savor beyond simply a memory, y'know?

I am still trying to figure out how to accept some things. The laugh lines that are not going away around my eyes and my drooping, well...everything. The weight that is just refusing to come off, the joints that are a little stiffer than I'd like and those gray hairs that keep multiplying. Do I sound like I'm complaining? How exactly does one age gracefully, anyway? I feel more like I'm kicking and screaming.

I could get real reflective and write about how wonderful this past year has been... or not. But, I really don't want to do that. My 44th year wasn't anything spectacular, in retrospect, but that's all relative, I suppose. I loved all the travel and trooping, and that I didn't get sick that I can remember. I also value all the personal growth and learning that happened, as well as the fact that my hubby has decided to show the kinder-gentler side of himself this year.

But, what I really want to think about is what I always think about on birthdays. When we are born, it is a wonderfully blessed event. As the first birthday approaches, parents plan for the sweet one-year-old birthday party with all the traditions - lots of family and friends, birthday cake for the birthday boy or girl, presents and photo ops all around. Each subsequent birthday is a family spectacular, making the birthday child feel so special. With each passing year, the little one grows to expect fun, family and a certain amount of party excitement...right?

Then we grow up. In our minds we say that birthdays are OK, but not that big of a deal. So, why then do we still have this deep, subconscious expectation of attention and fun on our birthdays? I believe that it is ingrained in us from very young and is very difficult to shake. Thus, every birthday we are left with a feeling of emptiness and melancholy if those we love don't go out of their way to make us feel special. And, LORD forbid if something irritating or awful should happen on your birthday - may it never be!

Can I just say that I hate this part of our culture?

I really don't mind aging, after all, it happens to the best of us. I just wish birthdays were a little bit easier, without so much expectation attached. Perhaps it's just me; I must not be as mature as some, stunted in my teens somehow...nah, that couldn't be. I see it with my friends, in their eyes and in their voices, when birthdays come and go. (And, don't tell me that you don't expect anything; that's just cynicism and self-protection. I understand...really.)

So, that's it, my birthday ramble. Happy Birthday to me - the big 45. Gosh, how exactly did that happen? Wait, don't answer that - rhetorical question. I think I'll go pour myself a glass of wine, buy myself a present and eat something sweet...cake, maybe. *smile*


(A special thank you to Mr. McGregor for the wonderful birthday greeting - how nice of you to remember!)

6 comments:

Ari C'rona said...

Happy birthday, a little early, my dearest friend! You summed it up so well - I didn't especially like turning 50 last Summer (I thoroughly enjoyed us going out, though!), but those expectations are really the kicker.

Well, I, for one, want to make your day as special as I can.

I love you. :o)

Mama Cache said...

I won't make it until midnight your time, so I'm saying it early and I'll say it again tomorrow: Happy Birthday! I am soooo glad you were born!!!

Nitrocat said...

Happy Birthday!! I hope it is filled with all of the things you love!

S

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day! Personally I like birthdays, I have a birthday week. Take the week off from work, play, garden, have fun!
Cheers!
Ona Journey-MJ

Snail Mail said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Rogue Artist said...

Happy belated birthday!