Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Happy Birthday to me!

Another new year, another birthday almost immediately afterwards.  So much opportunity for reflection in two short days.

I've had a lovely day.  Frank put a present out for me before I awoke, we went to the raspberry farm for lunch, the boy wrote me several sweet birthday notes and so many friends have sent me cards, gifts and lovely messages on facebook.

Here's the thing though.  Birthdays feel a little self indulgent to me.  I'm not that special and I've had enough birthdays to make the day feels like it's just a day.  I indulge myself by asking that I not have to cook... then spend the day feeling a bit guilty about how much money gets spent on eating out. (No one else cooks much around here)

I feel the love from other people, so it's not anyone else's problem.  It's me.

I'm still figuring out if I'm healthily humble and realistic about my place in the world, or if my birthday discomfort is yet another faulty signal from my busted sense of self worth.  Maybe it's both? 

I remember someone asking why we celebrate birthdays - it's not like they are any great achievement.  Stay alive for another 365 days and you've made it back to where you started, another birthday.  They are kind of inevitable.  Someone else told me that nobody in one of the more populous countries of the world thinks they are specially chosen to change the world and leave a mark - they are one of more than a billion and they are tiny.  Maybe my birthday discomfort has grown from these snatches of conversation - I'm no great person for surviving another 365 years, and in a world of seven billion and counting, I'm just one of the crowd.

I don't want to sound ungrateful - I've loved every message and greeting and wish and card and restaurant meal.  They have given me a sense of connection and place.  Thank you for every bit of love and care you have sent.  I'm feeling the love.  (But I did three loads of washing, stewed the rhubarb, made a cake and folded the washing to keep my feet on the ground.  It's not all about me, even on my birthday.)


At 7:50 pm, January 02, 2018, Blogger 2paw said...

Happy birthday. I do not like a fuss either. But I have reasoned that it is not about me, it is about other people: it is a day when they get to show their love for me, and I in turn am grateful. Then I get to show my love and appreciation on their birthdays. It is not that we don’t love and appreciate people all year, but birthdays are a chance to formalise it. That is my two cents worth!! I think you have invented ethical birthdays, like ethical tourism!! Sounds like the people you love spoiled you very nicely. Yum, raspberries!!

At 9:57 am, January 10, 2018, Blogger cecily said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes 2paw!

You're right. People like showing love and appreciation. I know I like showing people love on their birthday. Maybe I need to learn to have more of an open heart so I can better receive the love.

At 11:31 am, January 10, 2018, Blogger 2paw said...

I have learned that. I love to be kind and helpful to the people I love, but I eschewed their help and kindnesses by trying to be too independent. I want them to feel the joy of helping and being kind too, so now I graciously accept. It is a hard thing to do.


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