Saturday, July 18, 2015

Birthday Thoughts

Tomorrow is my birthday. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. There's nothing particularly significant about this new number, but it's those in-between numbers that seem to hit me harder than the ones ending in zero, five, or nine.

This morning I was thinking that tomorrow my age number changes. The fact of the matter is that I am one day older each day that I wake up. It just so happens that when the day of my birth rolls around I'm "suddenly" one year older. I had to ponder that one a moment. Just because the calendar says I'm one year older does not mean that I suddenly aged one year. No, it happens gradually over the course of a year and there's nothing I can do about that. God created time to move forward.

Hmmmmm. As much as I'd like to stop time and stay at one particular age I cannot.

Another thing I've been mulling over is birthday celebrations. Because my birthday falls in the middle of vacation season I've learned to adapt to whatever is happening around me. As a kid my birthday was always celebrated with family and usually with little fanfare. My mother's birthday is the day after mine so there was usually the shared cake and party.

Those of you with summer birthdays may also understand the angst of not being able to celebrate a birthday at school. I don't know if kids celebrate birthdays at school these days what with all the restrictions and food allergies. In my day, mothers used to bring cupcakes and those cute little ice cream cups with wooden spoons to school on the day of their child's birthday. Everyone enjoyed the treats and the birthday child enjoyed the special attention. In most classes there was usually a handful of us with summer birthdays who weren't able to participate in that fun. I suspect the mothers appreciated not having to worry about it, though.

Over the years I've had many different kinds of birthday celebrations. I've had quiet ones and loud ones. Small ones and large ones. Celebrations with friends. Celebrations with family. Celebrations with coworkers. Parties with karaoke. Parties with bowling. Parties with orange-colored foods. Parties with cake and ice cream. Parties with Italian or Mexican food. Each party has been unique and memorable. And the best birthdays were not because I was the center of attention. (Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not one who seeks to be the center of attention.) No, the most memorable birthdays have been because people chose to share their time with me. We weren't thinking about the age (well, sometimes we did), but we were simply enjoying each others' company and celebrating the connection we have.

I heard a song on the radio yesterday called 39 and Holding by Jerry Lee Lewis. Since I was thinking about my upcoming birthday, I listened with interest. The song is about a man who is trying to hide his age. He's out late every night trying to keep up with the younger crowd, but he doesn't quite fit in. He's still doing the same moves that he did when he was 30 years younger and he's doing everything he can to prove that he's still a man--not an old man. The truth is that he isn't fooling anybody but himself. I think we've all known people like that. Uh-huh..... LOL. For the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to look younger or doing some things that younger people do. But, birthdays are one of those times to write yourself a reality check.

The days leading up to this birthday have been a time of reflection for me. I've thought about the birthdays I've celebrated most recently. All were unique and memorable in their own way. This birthday has also been unique, but not because I have big plans. I don't even know how I will celebrate this birthday yet! I do know that however I celebrate the day that I have a God who loves me more than I will ever understand this side of heaven. I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. And if I ever start looking like an old woman with young hair and clothes.... PLEASE STOP ME!! Hahaha.

Love you all.