Well hello there!
Here we are again.. yup, you guessed it! Birthday MONTH! 🙂
I always seem to resurface this time of year.. if not now, usually around the New Year.. then make my way back right around February.. aka – Birthday time. I know its a little repetitive, and probably somewhat annoying, but no matter how often I blog about life, Birthdays (yup the word should always be capitalized), and being grateful for both, I’m constantly finding myself having this conversation with people who have already heard it and have, say, “forgotten”.
Biggest pet-peeve (after liars): People who say they “hate” their Birthdays or “don’t like them”.
Ok fine. And not to sound harsh here, but hey, there’s always the alternative (cliche much?). But seriously, if that’s what you would have preferred the past year, or years even, is to die vs being graced with another year of wisdom, age, and knowledge – then well then I’m just a jerk for making you see any gratitude in having a day of birth at all.
And what I seem to find is, most people who “don’t like” their Birthdays, are normally the ones who aren’t living their lives to their potential, or expectation – and see growing “older” as just another day closer to having aching bones and wheelchairs.
You see this is where I want to slap all of these people.. with words of course. Hehe.
Because age means nothing.. that number you are so focused on? It just describes how long you have been blessed on this planet. It does not define who you are, and what you can or cannot do. It does not define your dreams and aspirations. There are 80yr olds running marathons.. and 21yr olds killing themselves on prescription drugs. I know those are extremes.. but really where would you prefer to land? Somewhere in the middle I’m sure.. but I’ll tell you what.. I’d love to be that 80yr running just a 5K! My point is, aside from major issues that physically and mentally deprive a person, i.e. dementia, certain stages of cancer, losing a limb (which even still doesn’t hold some people back!) the only thing that creates an “old age” mentality is yourself. You choose whether or not you want to join a book club, focus on your career goals, life goals, join a running club, yoga class, jump out of airplanes.. whatever. YOU make YOURSELF OLD, not the number of years you’ve been alive.
And to be clear, I’m not making anyone enjoy or celebrate their Birthday as much as I do. I’m just trying to explain that by saying you don’t “like” the day you were born – shows not only a choice of non-motivation to age gracefully, but also a level of ungratefulness. And some of you out there may be saying.. “Now hooold on a minute.. I didn’t SAY I was ungrateful!” Oh you didn’t? Well let’s just look at this logically here.. I can understand how we can sometimes be grateful for things we “don’t like” like say – coffee, or my bed, or friends, and being alive. Oh wait I LIKE ALL THOSE THINGS.
Ok so then.. I’m not grateful for liars, or traffic, or death. Oh wait.. I DON’T like all those things! Point is, it’s difficult to be grateful and not like something that you’re grateful for. Ok, so maybe sometimes I’m grateful for traffic because I was able to finish a really good song on the radio, or it kept me from a car accident.. I don’t really “like” the traffic per say, but I like what it has given me and am grateful for the song, or the non-accident.
So looking at this in a broader, still logical sense – to be grateful for life doesn’t mean you have to “like” Birthday’s – but yet the whole purpose of the Birthday was to GIVE you life. Just like the whole “purpose” of that traffic (if you believe in the Universe or God) was to keep you safe from an accident and let you listen to something that makes you happy. So in essence you sort of “didn’t mind” that traffic because, in this simple instance, your song was playing.
That’s where we need to be people – have a sense of “I don’t mind my Birthday, because I am grateful to have made it another year” vs “I hate” or ” I don’t like”. Because if you value Life at all – it only makes sense to value how you got here in the first place.
Another pet-peeve: When people use death as a “reminder” to be grateful for life.
I know this sounds a little harsh again, but shouldn’t LIFE be your reminder every day that you are alive?! Why must we wait until we lose something to be grateful? Why are so many of us incapable to find magic, and value, and gratefulness in our everyday lives? How about changing that perspective, especially on a bad day, to “Today royally sucked, but I am grateful I at least woke up this morning, and was able to tell ____ I love them. Or even “Ugh I’m sick today, but I’m grateful for sick-days because at least I don’t have to work today and can catch up on my Netflix shows”. Or more so, I’ve been having health issues but I am grateful I have a great Dr. and a great support system (friends/family) to help me in recovery or to battle this”. See what I did there?! Turned obvious life issues into something we can be grateful for.
And I understand tragedy exists and evil. I am a realist – an optimistic realist to be exact. I know and understand, and even sometimes expect bad or the negative side of things to happen. However, I keep faith and hope that the “good” side prevails. Does that always happen? Of course not – but it definitely provides a more positive way to look at any situation.
Find reminders everyday to be grateful for LIFE. Then hopefully, If/when a bad thing happens, or you experience loss, it’s not that you didn’t know it was coming.. but you have learned to grieve and move on – in essence, understanding the loss and being sad (because we are still human), but being grateful that you were able to enjoy the time you had vs feeling like every good moment has been taken away. Because you can’t “take away” moments, you know, they are always with you <3.
So here’s to another amazing Birthday Season where I look back, pause, and then look forward. To see where I have been, where I am, and where I aspire to go. Never to hang out too long in any of those ideas though, because as we know, time is of the essence and we never know when tomorrow is our last tomorrow. Celebrate what’s in front of you, and celebrate LIFE.