12 Most Meaningful Reasons to Celebrate a Birthday
When you’re first born, still in single digits or even hitting 21, birthdays are pure joy: cake, ice cream, parties, friends and lots of presents. Somewhere along the way, however, many of us start dreading them.
It’s only natural to get reflective and wistful as we pass these annual milestones. But there are many reasons to celebrate birthdays. And, as someone who still loves birthdays each year, here’s a list of my top 12.
1. You still have one
My dad says that having birthdays is much better than the alternative. Glib and flippant? Maybe. But true? Absolutely. It’s confirmation you have another day on this Earth to live and love.
2. Wisdom really does come with age
I am so glad, now steaming through my fourth decade, that I don’t have to make again the bloopers I made in my teens, twenties or even thirties.
3. Self confidence also comes with age
Young confidence is sometimes hard to separate from arrogance. But seasoned confidence is subtler, more assured than arrogant (for most folks, anyway).
4. Accomplishments really rack up
The older you get, the more you’ve done. Take stock of your life and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’ve done a lot!
5. You’ve figured out the shortcuts
For the things you love to do, you probably don’t even realize the depth of your mastery. But with years of practice comes true skill. For instance, I rarely use recipes to cook, I know how to soothe a baby without looking in a book for clues and the garden in front of our house is thriving with just me as its caretaker.
Whether you’ve been with your partner a long time, or not, you’ve no doubt loved intensely at some point in your life. Aging means you’ve had more time to love and more opportunities and people to love. That’s wonderful!
Who said only the kids get to munch on birthday food? I treated myself to a wonderful chocolate croissant this morning for my birthday. And I didn’t feel one second of guilt.
The older you get the more friends you have from different phases of your life — from grade school and on, through the different schools you’ve attended, jobs you’ve held, groups you’ve joined and cities you’ve lived in. Chances are those folks are sprinkled through your collection of Facebook friends. And when birthdays roll around, many of them send messages and cheery tidings of good wishes. It’s a daylong dose of happiness from people throughout your life. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
9. You reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going
I think this is good thing. When you’re young, you merely celebrate birthdays. After you’ve put some real miles on your tires — so to speak — you can appreciate the journey. And you don’t take things for granted, as you tend to do without that perspective.
It’s a day that no one is going to mind if you sing, blow bubbles, dance or just giggle a lot. You can be kid. But you can enjoy that like a grownup.
11. Being grateful
In our younger years, we might whine when we don’t get the gift we want. Or, when something else disappoints us that seems like a big deal to our childhood selves. With maturity, we know how to put those things in perspective. We know what’s trivial and what really matters.
Birthday cake is still one of the very best things about birthdays, no matter how many you’ve had.
What are some of your favorite things about birthdays? And do you celebrate, or hide, when yours comes along?
Featured image courtesy of Alan Cleaver licensed via Creative Commons.