What makes a birthday so special? It’s a day that happens once a year … just like every other day, after all. Do we celebrate because we made another successful “trip around the sun?” Could we, like the queen, pick a day when the weather is more suitable for a celebration and just choose the day we want to celebrate?
These are the thoughts I pondered while I was getting ready to host about a dozen neighbors to fete those born in August. There were a total of four birthday guests, all appearing so much younger than the number on their driver’s license would indicate – active and full of life.
Each of us mingled and wandered, chatting easily with each other and inevitably bringing up the subject of age. It struck me that, at least among our little sampling, it was clear none of us understands how we got here and who that old person in the mirror is each morning.
We toasted the celebrants and munched on finger foods, including the obligatory birthday cake – or in this case cupcakes. We laughed and shared stories. We discussed the important and unimportant things that came up.
A few hours passed and our guests started leaving, creating a ripple-effect of departures. In no time the house was empty again. Greg and I toasted another successful event as we finished the last of the wine in our glasses. Then we surveyed the damage, put away the perishables and left the rest for the morning.
Maybe it doesn’t matter when your birthday appears on the calendar, or even if you choose to ignore it completely. Maybe what matters is celebrating yourself and your friends whenever the mood strikes.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Celebrate life.
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