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Celebrating A Birthday, Happy Birthday To Me

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my birthday. I am now 64 years old, and I don’t feel a day over 63! Just kidding… sort of. My January wasn’t so great, as I had a variety of viruses that kept me down. So, given my birthday was the last day of the month, I’m looking at it as a celebration. A door opening to the greater possibilities of the year ahead. So for me, celebrating a birthday is important this year.

And since January sucked, I’ve decided to take a Mulligan. Pretend it never happened, and consider February as a do-over. Yup, my 2024 consists of 11 months…

In honour of that decision, I also decided to celebrate by hosting a little party. I mean, why not? It’s been 5 years since I’ve had a get-together for my birthday. I was going to have a party when I turned 60, back in 2020, but angst over turning the big 6-0 got the better of me, and I couldn’t even get to the planning stage. Such a snowflake.

Then that Covid thing happened, and we chose not to hang out with people. For 3 years! Such a chicken.

And I worried about the politics of bringing diverse groups of people together with possibly polarized opinions regarding the state of the country. Such a drama queen.

So there we were, at the beginning of February, the first month of 2024. It’s time to party!

Birthday party-my family celebrating my sister's birthday
Not actually my birthday. My sister Patti’s, left of my mom. I could almost levitate with those ears!

Party On

What’s kind of interesting is some people’s reactions to the idea of celebrating a birthday. I have a few friends who don’t even want to acknowledge their birthday. Why not? Are you so unhappy with your life that you’d rather forget you were born? What could possibly be someone’s reason for not wanting to honour and celebrate their birthdays?

I sincerely believe that a birthday is worth acknowledging, honouring, and celebrating. It is the recognition of your arrival into this world, and shouldn’t that be celebrated? Are you not worthy of being recognized for being born?

Listen, I get that there are people who live incredibly crappy lives, in horrible circumstances, with little hope for a better existence. There are some awful places in the world that people have the misfortune of growing up in.

Whether it’s war zones, third world villages with no access to clean water, or the inner cities of Europe or North America, overrun with gang violence, drugs, and human trafficking. Those are incredibly shitty circumstances, and I get how it could be a hard thing to wrap your head around celebrating your birthday under those conditions.

But the people I know don’t live under these conditions, or in these places. For the most part, they live lives of relative comfort, safety, and privilege. So what am I missing? Why not celebrate the day you were born?

Why Not Celebrate?

But I’ve learned there’s more to it. There are actually lots of good reasons why birthday celebrations don’t work for some folks. Whether due to past disappointments, or traumatic events, or even just not wanting to get old, many people choose quiet introspection over partying with friends. And that’s perfectly okay.

Additionally, if you happen to be a bit introverted, you may not want to become the centre of attention that naturally comes with celebrating a birthday.

For some people, an approaching birthday can stir up lots of deeper emotions around their past, often leading to depressive feelings that prevent one from experiencing any happiness or joy about a birthday. And so many of us have these deep wounds that remain hidden away, until something like an impending birthday brings it to the surface.

Celebrating A Birthday-No Regrets

For my part, I’m pretty happy how things have turned out. I have a roof over my head, a steady income, a beautiful and supportive partner, an amazing, loving family, and (relatively) good health. If I discount the last month…

Over the course of my time on this planet, I’ve done some pretty stupid, irresponsible, downright dangerous things. I’ve been a jerk, an asshole, and a dick with an inappropriate temper.

But I grew up. Eventually…

Sometime in my thirties, I began to look inwards, and saw there was some work to be done. And so I got to it. I did a lot of growing in my late thirties and into my forties. And during the course of that work, I came to realize that all those stupid, irresponsible, selfish things I did in my teens and twenties actually led me to where I am today. And it’s not jail!

I have few regrets about my early years. I think maybe if I hadn’t done some of the crap I did, I probably wouldn’t have made the same decisions that led me to now. I’d be living a much different now. And maybe it wouldn’t have been so great. Of course, maybe it would be amazing and phenomenal.

But it wouldn’t be the life I have now.

And I believe that what I have now is definitely worth celebrating.

It's always about the food. Celebrating a birthday

Nothing like celebrating with good friends and good food.

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Kathy
Kathy
1 month ago

Don’t recognize any of your new friends. There is one old friend. Hope you enjoyed your party!

Ean Lapshinoff
Ean Lapshinoff
1 month ago

I’d like to hear about the “crappy” things you did. I bet there would be cause, from all the debauchery, good reason celebrate. If not we could at least celebrate those ears. They are… Disneyesque.

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