By Eliska Counce, TSB Contributor
Yep, it’s that time of year again: fall has begun, temperatures are dropping, and my birthday is this week! Forgive me if I squee a bit. And I am celebrating it. I’m gathering with my friends to toast. I’m traveling to spend time with my BFF. I’m running a 5K on the actual day with some friends. I’m buying myself stuff. I am going, as they say here in the South, whole hog. It’s just the way I roll. As a Southerner, I am always on the hunt for any excuse for a party.
But it got me wondering: am I being a little childish here in my birthday mirth? How do other adults feel about celebrating their own birthday? Am I strange? And so in the interest of science, and as I am wont to do, I took a little poll on the interwebs about how people feel about celebrating their birthdays. I’m afraid my findings? Either I’m a giant woman-baby, or y’all are a glum bunch of adults. And as I refuse to believe the former, let’s address the latter. Y’all need to do some serious adjustment of your birthday attitudes.
I mean, really. Remember when you were waiting to turn ten or twelve and the excitement of your family planning for your birthday? Packages were destined to arrive in the mail from generous relatives. There was a party and cake and ice cream and friends and games candles and singing. For you!
If there’s a zenith of life, it’s got to be an elementary-age birthday. If you had my mom, you got to choose your birthday dinner menu and in general, a fuss was made over you. AND IT WAS AWESOME. Why and when as adults did we decide doing this for ourselves was in bad taste. Why did we give up celebrating special times?
So at what age did we decide we hate having birthdays? After the 21st birthday hangover? I simply do not get this attitude. Hubs is a prime example. It’s very Eeyore: What’re birthdays anyway? Here today, gone tomorrow. Everyone I asked told me that it’s pretty much just another day for them. It was so sad.
AND I OBJECT. Life, in case you haven’t noticed, grownups, is kinda hard some times. The news isn’t good. Seems to me when life gives you any, and I mean any, occasion to celebrate? We need to grab that excuse with both hangs and wring out an awesome time. There should be champagne. And cake. And merriment. This isn’t childishness. It’s an appropriate response to commemorate an important occasion. Time to bring a little swing to your world of stiffness!
I apply this philosophy to any time or occasion I can throw a party or celebrate. I’m Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m Cajun for Mardi Gras. Hell, I’m even an honorary Mexican on Cinco De Mayo. I’m dressing up on Halloween and passing out valentines to anyone who crosses my path. And on my birthday? I’m shamelessly throwing myself a party and calling my closest girlfriends and a taxi.
Life’s too short, people. I do not endorse your austere attitudes toward to your special, natal day. If we’ve got to work hard (and we’re all working harder than ever now), we’ve got to play hard to keep in balance. And I think especially a birthday is a great day to celebrate yourself. Yes, that’s right…it’s your special day. It’s the day you made your debut to smiling faces and loving hands that lifted you into the world and said “We’re so happy you’re here!”
There isn’t another you. There will never be another you. I say one day a year, let’s celebrate your being here, you, you gift to the world. It’s not self-aggrandizing toot your own, proverbial horn, beat your own drum for one day, to say: hey, world! I’m glad I’m here! I hereby give you permission to take your birthday light out from under that bushel and let it shine. The world needs more reasons to revel.
So. On my birthday, I plan to ceremonialize. Exalt. Fete. I’m going to let loose, live it up, make merry. If I’ve got to keep aging (and it does beat the alternative), I’m gonna rejoice and party. I’m using most of the month to do it. And when the next holiday or birthday comes around, I’ll do it all again. And I encourage y’all to join me in this mind-set. Because life can be too serious a place all too often. Grab an excuse to celebrate. Hell, celebrate the fact that’s it’s a Saturday. Find an excuse to revel. Because life’s too short and you’re too special not to.