notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Birthdays

A few years ago I wrote a post – Oh, Grow Up! –  in which I wrote about the childish things that we need to leave behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I think we should act like children a lot more often than we do – especially because we mostly still feel like children inside. And so we should let our little angels and monsters out to play a lot more often.

As a matter of fact, a friend of mine posted recently on Facebook that she was feeling uninspired. She has recently moved out of state, and she has been very busy. She has been devoting a lot of time to volunteer work – at a hospice, at the local library, as a literacy tutor. But she writes:  “Why does it not feel like it’s enough? What am I missing?”

Many of her friends told her she was wonderful, terrific, selfless. “Hang in there,” they said.

But I wrote and said, “FUN. You are missing FUN. Have some.”

And she said. “You are right! Everything feels like work.”

So I believe in Fun. I believe in experiencing childlike joy. And I even wrote a blog a while back – “In Praise of Childish Things” – extolling the virtues of returning to those simple pleasures.

But I also wrote about the annoying immature stuff that adults should leave behind.

And one thing I wrote, in particular, haunts me.

Birthdays.

I wrote:

No one cares that it’s your birthday. Everyone has one. You aren’t special. Don’t expect your co-workers to remember. Consider yourself ahead of the game if your spouse remembers.

Well, I’ve changed my mind.

I was wrong.

Your birthday is important.

You should celebrate the day you were born. Everyone you know should celebrate the day you became our companion in this world.

Your presence should be celebrated every day. But if we have to pick just one day, let it be your birthday.

Years ago, my brother-in-law called me on my birthday to say “Happy Birthday.” He asked what I had done that day.

I said, “I went to work.”

He said, “Why didn’t take the day off?”

“Because I’m not seven,” I answered.

Once again let me say this:

I was wrong.

Not because I didn’t take the day. off.

Because I didn’t think it was big deal.

It’s a big deal.

I have a sweet friend that NEVER forgets a birthday. She keeps a special list and every single one of her friends gets a birthday card. She must buy cards by the hundreds.

And I have another, newer, friend, who has some inside information on people’s birthdays and brings cards to Zumba class for everyone to sign.

And another friend who is the best cake maker in the world. And if you work in her office, there is birthday cake in the conference room almost every week.

Today is my husband’s birthday. He joined the human race today.

And we’ll celebrate his existence.

Celebrate yours.

And share the cake and ice cream, please.

 

 

49 Comments

  1. There was a time when my own birthday wasn’t a big deal. But as I get older I realize I don’t have as many in front of me as I do behind me. When I turned 45 I threw myself a party. When I turned 65 (last year) I threw myself ANOTHER big party. I celebrate that I’ve made it this long in this crazy world. And I hope I throw a big party every year I make it up another ladder rung.

    Like

    • Exactly! When my husband turned 70 a few years ago, at first he said he didn’t want a party. And then he changed his mind. He said, “I’m here. Let’s celebrate.”

      Like

  2. Happy Birthday to your hubby! Love the pics. My birthday is Monday…it’s my 65thm and I’m not dreading it: in fact, I’m looking forward to saving around $600 a month on health insurance AND free admittance to the Y or our local fitness place. I’m starting the celebrating tonight…and it’s going on for at least two weeks!

    Like

    • The best thing about turning 65 was Medicare. I love it. (I wish they had dental coverage though).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Me to! They do have a dental plan now, you have to enroll. For $33.00/month….it does help around 50% to 80% depending on the procedure.

        Like

  3. That’s beautiful, dear Nancy, and Happy Birthday to your husband, the lucky man!

    Like

  4. Thanks first Happy Birthday too you dear so well and i feel do well enjoy life family never friends ok your awesome day today i wish you those better to you Allah / God i suggest you dear never left return and never behind you only look forward best and best serve do best dear i am also ordinary an my best luck i am still single in this time well never your business to you celebrate Birthday only thanks no mind

    Like

  5. Happy Birthday to your husband 🙂 I love birthdays and I like celebrating them. In fact this was my very first post on my blog: https://preetisspace.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/happy-birthday-to-me/

    Like

  6. i am all about celebrating birthdays!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So true. I always struggle on my birthday as my parents didn’t make a big deal of it growing up. But I think we owe it to ourselves to celebrate the day we arrived in the world. Nice post.

    Like

  8. Judith

    Happy birthday to your husband, I love the photos! Celebrating birthdays is a tricky one, I love my birthday being recognised by my friends and family, but I’m not a fan of the “office birthday card signed by everyone who doesn’t know you” and a fuss made by your work team. It’s not for me. But that’s not the same for everyone, I was listening to the “Happier” podcast by Gretchen Ruben and there is an episode discussing this topic and a women who had recently lost her husband said that having the people at work recognise her birthday was really special, so I guess there aren’t any hard and fast rules x

    Like

    • We all need to do what is comfortable for us. But even without a big party, we should all spend our birthdays celebrating our own presence, and doing something especially nice for ourselves.

      Like

  9. Chris

    Happy Birthday Tom! I hope he went horseback riding.

    Like

    • Moonie had a vet visit today, so it was pretty stressful for the big guy. And Moonie didn’t like it much either!

      Like

  10. Happy Birthday to your husband! I think birthdays are SO important that when I met my husband and found his birthday was Christmas Eve AND his family followed the traditions of Byzantine Ukrainian Catholics which said no meat/milk/dairy products as a fast on Christmas Eve so he did not have a cake since he was 7 (when the Byzantine Church followed the Roman Rite calendar and “Russian Christmas” was no longer in January…well, I freaked! So, back in 1976 I instituted “Birthday in JULY”….like Christmas in July. Each year there is a small cake on December 24th….but nobody remembers a card or gift or anything. So I make sure his FAVORITE cake is made on July 24th, and there is always a card and a special “just for you because I am so glad you were born and I don’t want that feeling to get missed by Christmas Eve” gift. Yes….I so agree…birthdays are important !

    Like

    • This reminds me that I always felt bad for kids who had a summer birthday, because they never got a chance to have their class sing Happy Birthday. But you also reminded me of the good thing about summer birthdays.

      Like

  11. I always disliked my birthday for two reasons… one, that it is in the winter so I couldn’t have pool or beach party birthdays and, two, it’s pretty close to Christmas so it almost seemed like an irritant after all the hoopla (as in “Oh, it’s your birthday? It was just Christmas!). Fortunately, my parents always made it a special day for me. And now, I get to do what I want the whole day and my husband makes me my favorite candied orange cheesecake. Yes, I’m seven years old again but oh well.

    Like

    • So true. I always felt bad for people who had Christmas birthdays. I had a friend who always got a “combined” present. Gypped, if you ask me.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jen

    Happy Birthday to your husband! I hate people making a fuss over me (makes me want to go hide in the corner of my bedroom until the day is over) but I’ve come to realise it’s probably important for my kids to have the opportunity to ‘celebrate’ me and that being open to receiving the attention and love is a gift to them (as much as it is to me). But I draw the line at presents….I DO NOT accept presents (eek!).

    Like

    • I used to be embarrassed about presents too. But I have learned to be gracious, and just say, “Thank you so much. I love it.” After all, someone buying you a gift is only trying to show you their affection.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pam

    How does one get past the feeling of being at an end in their lives, and yet life is going on as if they weren’t even there or ever have been… Birthdays are only a reminder as to what I have lost… and that that has come to an end in my life… you sound like such an upbeat person, I admire you for that, and wish you all the best, and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your hubby…..

    Like

    • Oh, that must feel so sad… I’m sorry you feel that way. It must hurt sometimes. I think of my birthday as a reminder that I do exist…and matter. Maybe I am closer to the end of my life, but I still have a lot of living to do. I have found that birthdays sometimes also help me “get off the stick” – and impel me to get something done.

      Like

  14. True true..birthday is meant to be celebrated and Cherish the real “you”..

    Like

    • We all make a tiny difference in the world, and should cherish our entry into this place.

      Like

  15. I loved this post! Just last night, some friends of ours took me out for a belated 60th birthday celebration. I really didn’t want to do, thinking they were making a big deal out of nothing. But you know what? We had a great time together, and now I will always have fond memories of my 60th birthday celebration. Sometimes we do need to tap into our inner child!

    Like

    • Good for you. And I think it feels wonderful when someone wants to celebrate your existence.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I stopped celebrating my birthday at a very young age. I had convinced myself that everything bad that happened had happened because I was born (I know, let’s not get into it). Anyway, I was fortunate, because my birthday happens to be on one of the biggest party days of the year. A day when a whole lot of people dress funny, eat and drink a lot and basically act like children. There is always a party to be found. So when ever a co worker or family member or friend wanted to celebrate my birthday it was much easier for me to just celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 😉
    Happy Birthday Mr. Nancy!

    Like

    • Birthday holidays can be a curse sometimes, but the best things about them is #1 – that it helps everyone remember – and #2 – that you can celebrate with a whole bunch of people!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. botshelolifestyle.wordpress.com please follow my blog, the journery of a young black south african male and how he teaches himself to be a good father to a year old daugher… i dont mean to intrude

    Like

    • I wish you good fortune on your blog. And a word of advice – to share your experiences better, also share others’ experiences. You did not comment on what I wrote, and in the future, you should do that if you wish others to reciprocate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you.. i am new in the community and i try to learn as much as i can.. advise received..

        Like

  18. Happy Birthday to your dearest husband!

    Love what you have written. I have actually never thought of celebrating birthdays from this perspective.. WOW! Thank you for this profound post. Birthdays should be celebrated.
    Love from Pakistan.

    Like

    • Thank you Nazish. I hope in Pakistan birthdays are celebrated with great joy.

      Like

  19. https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/

    Lovely post!
    Happy Birthday to your husband – hope he had a great day.
    I love birthdays and count down the number of sleeps when it is around the corner. I love celebrating and usually take the day off.

    Like

    • I have – a few times in my work career – taken the day off. I usually opted for a massage and a lot of self-indulgent pampering. And it felt terrific.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I Love that you changed your mind about Birthdays because I’ve always enjoyed celebrating my family & friends Bdays. I even used to celebrate my Bday for an entire month just because I couldn’t get together w/everyone I cared about on my Bday so I’d spread it out over the month. Ha! The only thing I’ve hated about my Bday like anyone else of course is the getting older part; so after 40 I stopped celebrating my own Birthday because I didn’t want people to realize how old I was getting. I know how vein that sounds but I’d adopted my grans philosophy on women & age= “It’s No Ones Business How Old A Woman Is” She even went as far as to remind us that it’s impolite to ask a woman how old she is(?) Bless her vein ambitions for trying to keep the lid on her age whilst she graced us w/her beautiful presence here on earth. As much as I loved her determination to keep her age private I’m starting to feel that she did herself a great injustice. My Gran was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen Not because we’re related but because it was a fact. I spent my whole professional life working in the Fashion Industry so I’m not feeling nepotism when I say that. I think she missed out on celebrating the fantastic way she’d kept the years off her face in her later days. Although a majority of that I recognize simply as genetics. I’m now thinking that we all should be pleased as punch w/ourselves if we can stay w/in some recognizable semblance of our younger selves after we glide through 50+. So I’ve decided to reclaim my Birthday as a genuine right of passage & embrace the fun of celebrating my own Birthdays. Thanks for your wonderful words of inspiration. I really like the change of heart you’ve had for Bdays now! Great writing!

    Like

    • Thanks. Your gran sounds quite wise. So far though, I enjoy telling people how old I am. Sometimes I get a kick out of being the oldest person in the room.

      Like

  21. I like the style and kind of poetic trueness of your writing. It is true. Birthdays ARE important, because life is. I think most of adults simply prefer to convince themselves that they aren’t, because otherwise they would be in trouble for a lot of things, we so not manage grown up adults’ feelings, it would be very painful to still be sensitive about these topics, and about kindness, and all these stuff that we normally attribute to what children “should” get… But what about the adults?? It’s painful to grow up, and I think it’s because we don’t celebrate adults birthdays, adults joys and enthusiasms. Me for example, I am going to be 22 years old on the 13. June 2018, and I’ll have an exam on this date… ^^’

    Thank you for your post, I am glad there are some adults who are kind to adulthood 🙂

    Like

    • My advice is to study hard for that exam and do great – and THEN go celebrate. Celebrate being 22 and very, very smart!

      Like

  22. Loads of people my age (15) don’t like to celebrate their birthdays but I think we should all celebrate ourselves sometimes!!

    Like

    • Enjoy your birthday and being a teenager. I loved being a teenager because it was almost as if I could enjoy being both a child and an adult – and that I could choose which one I wanted to be at any given moment,

      Like

  23. If you don’t celebrate your birthday, what else will you celebrate? ??

    Like

    • Exactly! Being here is a prerequisite for all the other celebrations.

      Like

  24. I thought I should let you know about this company I came across. Right now, they are actively hiring people who know how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

    If you fit the profile, then you can make great money doing this, as is explained here:

    https://socialsalerep.com?hyden4128

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: