Voting for Birthdays

Dry Your Tears And Celebrate You!

May 31, 2011 by

“Do you have a birthday coming up?”, I wrote.  “Skipping it, thanks.”, my friend wrote back.


I find this hard to understand. Why would anyone skip an opportunity for birthday cake, balloons and the possibility of sparkly confetti? It’s not just the bright colors that make birthdays a delight.  Every birthday is a chance to celebrate the lives of those we love, and even those we merely like!  What makes them so fearsome to adults?

Whatever you think about aging, it’s hard to argue for the alternative.  Someone ought to caution us not to let the inexperience of youth inform our opinion of age.  What treasures will the lucky ones find?  What does a person know at 95 that she didn’t know at 55?  Why decide we don’t want to be older before we know what it really means?

Yearly, I declare my own birthday to last an entire week.  I tell everyone who will listen that it’s coming up, like a little kid (“I’m going to be this many!,” I say, if enough people lend me a hand), and I delight in the good wishes.  Sometimes people even bring me little gifts and I open them slowly, reveling in the pleasure of the festive, affectionate surprise. It doesn’t matter what the gift is.  This past year, one friend brought me three fresh zucchini in a pink beribboned basket and they were extra delicious just for being a gift!

Of course I respect the wishes of friends who don’t want to acknowledge another year of their lives is beginning, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to celebrate their presence in my life.  I’ve collected information about the likes & dislikes of the friend in the exchange above.  What will I do now with my carefully laid plans for a vegan chocolate sunflower seed cake with toffee bits?

So tell me, what is it about birthdays that makes some people sad? Help me understand. Is it the passage of time? Is it the reminder that we are always changing? Tell me and in exchange I promise to regale you with tales of time well spent, reaches of dreams realized and lives changed from spare to lush over the years, like the exuberant pink umbrella of an old crabapple tree in springtime.


About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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1 Comment

  1. Rebecca Crichton

    I’m totally with you Bonnie. I always tell people it’s my birthday and enjoy the kind words that news brings. I always celebrate my birthday with some kind of gathering. For many years it was all women except on the ‘big’ ones – half and whole decades. Now it’s anyone who wants to come. Life needs joyous acknowledgement and birthdays give us that chance. Thanks for the great cake offer, I gladly accept.

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