Today, I am not Making Plans for Nigel

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones but of moments” ~ Rose Kennedy

Someone in my family is celebrating a milestone birthday today. I use the word celebrate very loosely, not sure he is actually happy about it. Birthdays can be tricky. The older I get, the more I understand that not everyone wants to put on the party hat. I get that, I don’t always feel like donning it myself.

So, this year, rather than throwing what has become a once-a-decade surprise party, I decided to honor the wishes of the celebrant and take a low-key approach. As is the norm, I bought him a few gifts and will make a special meal or two. I did one other thing, though, something that I haven’t done before. I came up with a list of: (insert milestone age) things I like, love, enjoy and admire about you! Coming up with that list actually did a lot for me. After 22 years of being part of a couple (almost 19 of it married) I don’t always focus first on the things I like, love, enjoy and admire about him. And when I do, I sometimes forget to share them. This was a good exercise–I highly recommend it.

In honor of my husband’s birthday, I am posting a video from his favorite band ever. XTC. I admire the fact that he has remained loyal to them for this long. I like (yes, like) listening to him sing their songs. I enjoy hearing him talk about them. And I love that I can almost always find something related to them to give him as a gift.

Happy birthday R.! The moments have definitely trumped the milestone.

Do you always enjoy celebrating your birthday, regardless of which one it is?


3 responses

  1. Happy Birthday to R. !

    When we were little, it was all about the stuff and the cake. It was easy. No pressure. Then, when we were in our teens, it was about the milestones of getting to drive, graduation, independence, and eventually, legal drinking. (Yes, I said legal drinking, because most of us were drinking beer or bourbon on the sly well before age 21…or 18, depending on whether you were a Gen X’er or Boomer.)

    It’s not so easy once you pass that magical 21st birthday. The Birthday loses it’s luster. The birthday shifts from a carefree day to a spectre of what we have left undone, dreams unfulfilled. At some point we even start to dread the once-beloved birthday, viewing it as a spectre of our own mortality. Surely as we spend them, it means there are fewer in the tank.

    BUNK! I believe that as we age, we should recognize it as a celebration of the anniversary of our birth. Every card, every Facebook sentiment, every birthday wish is a “Hurray! I’m glad you’re here. You make a difference.” It’s a shame we come to hate our birthdays or downplay them as we age. We all deserve our own little festival, once a year, not to be shared with anyone else. (I kind of feel sorry for twins, triplets, etc, because they ALWAYS have to share their birthdays.) Maybe we don’t need or want all the “stuff”, but isn’t it nice to get a brightly colored envelope in the mail?

    • I loved your comments, very insightful.

      I don’t always enjoy celebrating my birthday but not because of the fact I am getting older. I am not always comfortable being the focus of attention. And not because I am a shrinking violet, or particularly virtuous in nature. I don’t like not being in control! 😉 And when you “allow” others to celebrate you, you give up control. I need to work on that.

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