It’s my birthday today, but so what? Not that I would get offended if you wished me “Happy Birthday”, but I’m left feeling slightly indifferent about it because I don’t really understand what there is to celebrate. What is a birthday other than a highlight of the fact that we’ve accumulated one more year of life on earth or worse yet, that we now have one year less to live. And could it be that celebrating someone’s birthday has become yet another automatic social celebration brought on by the absence of having something worthy to celebrate?
Besides, why wait for an event such as someone’s birthday to share with them your sentiments? Isn’t it worth more to disclose these thoughts and feelings whenever and as often as the opportunity arises? That’s precisely why I always remind my children that “I love them” at the end of a phone call or just before leaving after we’ve spent time together, even if they’re already young adults.
Also, as I’ve already written in a previous article addressing the truly intended gift, I find that there’s much more value in giving a gift just because I feel the desire to do so, rather than because it’s expected due to a social norm or tradition.
I actually understood the real impertinence in wishing “happy birthday” once I wished it to my father on his 80th. In fact, instead of being happy I thought of him, he was rather taken over by sadness, which confirmed my point that whatever age we’ve reached we shouldn’t be delighted that we’ve aged yet another year. I felt quite uneasy after realizing that my wish had brought him feelings of sadness and nostalgia. That’s why I decided that from then on I would approach the whole thing differently; celebrating only true accomplishments.
Thus, as aging brings me a certain degree of restlessness about the fact that I have one year less to achieve everything that I set out to in this life, I therefore aspire more than ever to continue to work towards realizing my projects in order to celebrate as many achievements and accomplishments as possible. And since I want to stay active in society, living to the fullest until I can no longer do so, I hope there will be many more achievements and accomplishments to celebrate than birthdays within that time. So don’t worry if you haven’t wished me a happy birthday, because I’m sure that you’ll be there when I have real reasons to celebrate.
How about you, do you enjoy celebrating your birthday?
© 2012 – 2011, Jacques Dufort. All rights reserved.