I was about to write the sentence "It’s my birthday" but my mind got all literal and argumentative. It wants to know how anyone can call a calendar day "mine." Yet every year we make that declaration about our birth days. These special days make us nostalgic about the past and prophetic about the future.
My birthday is October 23rd and this year the celebration started early. Two weeks ago I received this bouquet of flowers from a loved one. It’s hard to say which is more beautiful, the flowers or the message. The note reads:
“When my phone crashed, I lost content including birthdays. So, even if I have the date wrong, I didn’t forget you. Never ever! Here’s wishing you the best birthday — the entire month of October."
Thoughtfully chosen cards are arriving — some hand made with touching messages about the bonds that unite us, the fun we've had together, and loving wishes for more of both.
I feel blessed to have wonderful family, friends, and colleagues asking for dates to celebrate together. They’re researching events that reflect our shared interests. I am humbled by their generous gifts of valuable time.
There are people who shun the observance of birthdays. I respect them but I am not one of them. I like every excuse to celebrate. Bobbing balloons signal the joy of life. Lit candles indicate its fragility.
Maria and I share the same birthday. We connected instantly and it’s uncanny how many personality traits we share. Our horoscope says:
“Born on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, you are determined and receptive, with deep awareness. The ruler, Scorpio, implies that you possess great inner strength, passion and mystery, while the Libra influence means you are kind, charming, romantic, diplomatic, and a lover of balance, beauty, harmony and peace, with a strong sense of justice and fair play.”
If you too want to feel good about yourself, look up your astrological sign. Descriptions of positive traits appear instantly. If you have a desire for balance you must dig deeply to unearth negative traits. In my case: “stubborn, opinionated, determined, possessive, and mercurial.” Interesting! Horoscopes offer clues to our idiosyncrasies, but none of us can be defined by mere adjectives and adverbs — we’re nouns with so much more substance and variation.
People we hold close know us. I treasure the caring that goes into their selection of presents — some feathery, some sparkly, others earthy, all stylish. They’re mostly black, indicating the givers know this recipient's preference, and the gift is often offered with, "When I saw this, it reminded me of you.”
Birthdays don’t make me worry about aging. Numbers don’t correlate with my sense of self. I feel neither too young nor too old for any activity, and the round numbered decades are not dreaded landmarks. I'm unskilled at guessing or remembering anyone’s age — how does it matter?
I’m grateful that birth days arrive only once a year. It makes them notable. Each message, each gift, each contact reinforces a unique relationship that makes every day worthwhile.