Monday, March 21, 2011
What is it about birthdays that bring out so many emotions? There is the joyous celebration of another year older when you are a young child growing up and looking forward. There are the milestone birthdays of sweet sixteen, twenty one, thirty, all marking a new stage of life with endless possibilities, hopeful aspirations and heartfelt wishes. There are the quiet birthdays, celebrated with just a chosen few, to mark the passage of another year. Some birthdays are remembered more than others, like the birthday when you received a much wished for gift as a child, or when a special friend or relative attended. Then there are the deeply cherished birthdays, celebrated after a life or death event or a serious illness. As we get older, we are achingly aware of the time passing by, marked by first the 40th birthday, then the big one, our 50th, ushering us into a new territory. This is when we are aware of the limitations, the passing of time, the holding on to every year. And that is why we love birthdays so much. They give us a chance to look back at where we have been and to reassess our priorities for the coming year. A celebration of all of the love we share with others and gratitude that we made it this far.