Thursday, January 5, 2012

ON FUN ~ That's Right, I'm Old...


At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am over 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Growing old beats the alternative. Dying young looks good only in movies."
~ LESSON #36

Well, it took 35 lessons before I got to one that I call my own. One that I use as a mantra. I have never understood why people bitch about their birthdays. Because they don't want people to know their age? It makes them feel old? Well, duh! Birthdays mark another year of living.

The pessimist will say that they mark one year closer to death. That would be troublesome were we to know what age death would come. But we don't. It can come anytime. To have another birthday means our time hasn't come yet. Good, yes?

Also, to complain about a birthday can be an insult to someone around you. It can make someone older than you feel even older to have someone younger say that they are at that "old" threshold. It can make someone who has lost a loved one feel annoyed with your careless thoughts. The same for someone who is struggling with a serious illness.

Don't you realize that life is all we have? That it is to be celebrated? To be appreciated? That a birthday is more than cake and presents or a number to fill in on a form? It is the anniversary of the miracle of birth. A moment to admire the wonder of being alive. A time to appreciate what we've learned and what we still need to do. People who get to have lots of birthdays are the luckiest people of all. Our new nephew was born just yesterday. I can't wait to celebrate his birthdays with him.

12 comments:

Kathleen said...

I could not agree more! I guess this means in a year and a half I should change the name of my blog to Boarding in my Fifties? Seriously, I feel like every birthday is a gift and I'm so grateful to be another year older and hopefully wiser too.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I really enjoyed Regina Brett's book and I love your thoughts on birthdays. I turned 55 on my last birthday and don't feel a day over 45, haha. Seriously, if you've got your health, you've got everything. Congratulations on the arrival of your nephew!

Lin said...

I like birthdays, I just don't like to walk around like I'm 8 telling everyone and expecting a fuss. I like a card from my family and maybe a nice present--but I can totally do without the fake fuss. I know a few people (adults) who act ridiculous on their birthdays and it drives me crazy!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Well happy birthday to your new nephew! I couldn't agree with you more on this one. Yeah, well, I did get a tiny bit weird when I turned 40 but not for long. Birthdays a big party in our family, but we have friends that get fighting mad if you pay any attention to their birthday. What the heck?

stacybuckeye said...

I love when people make over my birthday! As I get older I understand better why some people just want to ignore the date and the fact that they're aging, but when you do that you miss out on so much fun!
Congrats on your new nephew :)

ds said...

A hearty welcome to the latest extended Bumble family member! It is wonderful that Sammy will have a cousin his age to grow up with.
After years of denial (and cheerfully foisting off the date to a niece) I decided with my last birthday that I'm finally playing with a full deck. Silly, but it worked. Still, it's much more fun to celebrate kids' birthdays; they get so excited, it's infectious. Many many birthdays to the entire Bumble clan!

cardiogirl said...

Congratulations on the birth of your nephew! I have about three weeks til mine is here -- 44, gingah!

I have to say I like the 40s. There's no real reason, I just kind of like seeing those 4s.

For some reason I think your b-day is in January. Am I right? If so, Happy Birthday! If not, have a great January!

Janet said...

hear, hear! I love my birthday, I'm happy to be alive :-)

kaye said...

I agree--everyday is a gift. Looks like the little one might have had some trouble at birth. Those birthday's are even more precious because they are so hard won. Every day with my girlies three is a blessing because it was so very hard to get them here. Thanks for sharing these lovely life lessons.

jehara said...

I really get annoyed when people bitch about their age. Especially when they are barely in their twenties. I, for one, never feel like this. I LOVE birthdays and cannot ever imagine not loving my birthday.

Hear, hear, Molly!!!!

Tami said...

I love my birthday and think everyone should make a grand scene and fawn over me all day - although that rarely happens. You have the right attitude - I'm not a bit ashamed to say I'm 50 and every one of those lines on my forehead or around my eyes was earned!!

Susan Drummond said...

I'm not a big one for celebrating my birthday, but not because I don't like for people to know how old I am, or that I'm getting older. I just don't like people to fuss over me. I love other people's birthdays though. Congratulations on the new nephew!