Friday, May 22, 2009
Today is my birthday.
Unlike many who view getting older as depressing and don't want to celebrate, I look forward to mine every year. At some point, many years ago, it might have been in high school, I started celebrating the week of my birthday. Later in my twenties, I decided I would celebrate the whole month. Now this may seem a little over the top, and I don't mean that I have birthday cake and blow out candles every day for the entire month, although that doesn't sound like a bad idea. I'd probably be sick of cake after the first week, but maybe not. I do love me some cake. But I digress. My month long celebration is more about being in the birthday spirit.
I see it as an opportunity to consciously celebrate life. My life. It's very easy for all of us to get caught up in day to day routines and responsibilities, taking life for granted. When my birthday comes around, I reflect on the past and wonder about the future. I think about all of the ways in which I am fortunate. And there are many. I feel gratitude for experiencing great joy along with great sadness. For feeling love, friendship, laughter, anger and frustration. Because all of it adds up to the fact that I am alive, right now, at this point in time, in this great big wonderful, and sometimes horrible, world that we live in. It beats the alternative, which is not physically getting younger. That is not possible.
I do not want to be sixteen again. I had some great teenage years, but there were also some growning pains and plenty of heartbreak, not to mention having to be in chemistry at 7:05 am. Nor do I want to revisit my twenties. Yes, I was young and thought I held the world by a string. But those years transitioning into full fledge adulthood had their tough moments that I would rather not relive. No, I think I'll stay right where I'm at.
Many years ago, when I was young and had my whole life ahead of me, I made a decision to embrace getting older. I usually view the glass as half full. It was a good decision.
Today I turned 42. I think it's going to be a very good year. Because along with getting older, I like to think that I'm becoming better. And I still have the rest of my life ahead of me.