Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY! And Why I Care So Much

                  On October 2, 2013 I will be 46 years old!

                  I do make a rather large deal about my birthday; it is very special to me.  I make sure to do or buy ONE thing for myself (no matter how small) and designate it as “For Me, For My Birthday”.  I tell people it’s my birthday, I even give everyone their “two months’ notice”. I wear a tiara—a very SPARKLEY tiara.  Every single year. (It makes me feel special). (Cue MARIA…”I Feel Pretty”)

                  Every single year, this one included, someone asks me why I make such a big deal about my birthday.  I grew up listening to my father say, “I don’t care about my birthday; it’s just another day.”  First of all let me point out that every day is really ‘just another day’; any significance, good or bad, is what we choose to assign to it.  Secondly, I disagree on the dismissals of birthdays.  Just look at them from the perspective of one who knows he or she may not live to see another one.  That alone lends importance to the day.

To me, my birthday is two things:

              1.      My Birthday is my own, personal “New Year’s Day”.  I worked in bars for too many years to see December 31 as anything other than “Amateur Night” or a “party” holiday.  That right there takes any valuable significance away from it.  The whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing—a great idea—but very impersonal from the sheer volume of participants.  At best, most of us only actually have accomplished one solid thing by the next December 31: we successfully mastered writing the year down correctly.  It may have taken us a few months to do it, but by the end of the year we can write out a check with the correct date on it.  In any case, the end of the calendar year celebration is impersonal—everyone is doing it.  On My Birthday Eve, I reflect on the year I’ve had, the years before, mistakes, triumphs… all of it.  And I promise myself to try better, harder.  I’m not in competition with anyone else to follow through with my resolutions; no teacher has ever asked me to write down resolutions I’ve made on my birthday; nobody asks what I plan to do or be.  It’s very personal.  And on My Birthday Eve the next year, I am only accountable to myself if I’ve achieved or not achieved my goals.  Because things we hope for ourselves, and promise to and for ourselves are very personal.  And only we ourselves are directly affected by them.  MY Birthday is personal; it’s about Me.
                                   
              2.      My Birthday is the one day of the year that I (capital “I”) celebrate ME.  The day that I fully appreciate all that I am and have.  The one day that I am guaranteed not to be so hard on myself, so judgmental of myself, so insecure.  We go through our lives, nose to the grindstone, looking down so often.  On My Birthday I make sure to stop and smell some roses. To look up, no matter what the rest of the year up to that point has been like.  I even appreciate my age.  I laugh at the fact that I am now what I used to think “old” was.  Because I don’t feel it. Or, at least I don't feel what I thought I'd feel like at this age!  Every new year brings more to the table.  Even the lima beans (and I can’t stand lima beans).  Because each new year also brings-to me-hope.  Even if it’s the ass-backwards form of hope implied in the statement, “Well, it can’t be any worse than last year.”!


So there you have it. I’m a Birthday Fairy and now you know why. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get my tiara ready for the morning.