Thursday, October 23, 2014

Would You Be Offended If Someone Forgot Your Birthday?

I don't get the whole birthday thing.  Maybe you can explain it to me.  My birthday is coming up in a couple weeks and sometimes I don't even remember unless I look at the calendar that day.

I know how important it is to a lot of people that their families remember them in a special way - usually with gifts, cards and dinner.  Maybe even a party.  Some people enjoy telling everyone it's their birthday and expect special treatment.

I ask you - WHY?  You were born.  You are still alive.  The way I look at it, we should celebrate
that fact every day - not just one day a year.  Why should I get gifts for surviving another year? There were some years in my life that I was surprised I survived.....but that's another story.

Growing up, I never had a party but I certainly didn't feel deprived.  My mother suffered with serious illness every single day that I can remember her.  Each day she lived was reason for celebration.  The only party I ever had was when I turned 19.  It was a surprise party and that was fun.  But I certainly didn't expect it the following year.

No, I'm not a Scrooge.  I celebrate birthdays and when the kids were young, I went overboard with parties and gifts.  In hindsight, I think I felt pressured.  All the other parents were doing it and it was expected.  But when does it stop?  When you are 18?  25?  50?

Making it another year is certainly reason to celebrate when you are a senior golden oldie. Yet, I have listened to people struggle with what gift to buy their aging parents who needed NOTHING! A card, a hug, an unexpected visit, a dinner out - wouldn't these be cherished more for those seniors whose children have grown and moved away? They could come on any given day of the year -- not on a day when they would be expected.  I have heard so many older people share how much they wish their family would remember them throughout the year - not just on their birthday. 

Sometimes birthdays are milestones.  I remember turning 50 and was so proud at how skinny I was - now that was reason to rejoice.

Turning 60 was tough as the previous ten years were strenuous.  Turning 65 was even tougher, feeling I had accomplished very little in my life and throwing a few pity parties of my own.

Yet, isn't it a matter of perspective?  I have learned to look at what I HAVE accomplished and that is reason to celebrate.  Every.  Single.  Day.

What about you?  What are your thoughts?  Do you agree that we put too much emphasis on the birthday celebration?  Let me know -- just don't get mad at me if I rained a little on the parade. PLEASE.

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