Birthdays – the more you have of them, the longer you live!
I had one this week and found myself wondering why we celebrate birthdays.
What is so special about remembering the day you were born?
Perhaps we’re just obsessed with counting the number of orbits we make around the sun.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve successfully completed sixty-two orbits.
Maybe we’re conducting the big countdown to our ‘use-by’ date.
That used to be given as ‘three score years and ten’ – that’s seventy, for those of you that need to google the meaning of the phrase. Now we aren’t so sure. We keep extending the life of the product, in a haphazard sort of way that offers no guarantees.
When we become parents, I think we celebrate the birthdays of our children as a way of extending the joy we experienced when they joined us, and as a way of letting our kids know they are special to us.
As children, I suspect we pick up on the specialness bit, as we enjoy the feeling of being the centre of everyone’s attention on that one day of the year.
For adults, birthdays are one of the few moments in our lives when we feel noticed. On your birthday, people wish you a happy birthday, and you can enjoy celebrating with your friends and family – it’s even more fun when someone else pays for it.
Then we have the people who don’t want to celebrate, who don’t want anyone to make a fuss about them. I find this behaviour intriguing. I wonder if these guys really are over birthdays or if their behaviour is driven by a sense of not being worthy of our attention or best wishes, even for one day.
There is another group, those who don’t mind all the birthday attention as long as you don’t expect them to acknowledge their actual chronological age – the twenty-one again or perpetually forty crowd.
I enjoy birthdays. I don’t mind acknowledging my age, and it’s fun to be made a fuss of on the 8th of April every year, for no other reason.
Over to you.
How do you feel about birthdays?
Does it matter if no-one remembers your birthday?
- What impact does it have on your sense of self-worth?
- Do you feel disappointed?
- Why does it matter to you if no-one remembers?