Birthdays are the one day a year that every child looks forward to, when family and friends come together to celebrate. You get presents, cake, a party, and plenty of fun time with loved ones. Birthday celebrations are always an enjoyable and memorable time for any child.
But as we get older, birthdays feel less and less fun and important. Our attitude towards birthdays tends to change and we actually start to become anxious when the date looms.
There are a couple of reasons. First, as we get older, the less we care about presents. In my case, I prefer to be around my family and the people I love on my birthday more than receiving material things (unless they are from King & Country). The joy we get out of receiving presents just isn’t the same as when we were young. Admit it, not all presents are wonderful.
Second, as we get older, we start to dread the idea of aging and all the negative things that go with it. We start to think about our own mortality. The threat of illness and financial insecurity makes us anxious about aging. And, in our society where everyone wants to live longer but can’t stand their bodies or faces showing signs of aging, it isn’t easy to get away from the fantasy of looking young forever. All this simply magnifies our fear of physical decline, feeling unwanted and loneliness in old age.
It’s quite difficult for me to imagine what kind of person I will be when I am old (I’m 59 going 30), but I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the wonderful life I’ve had so far. Feeling grateful brings me peace of mind and excitement about the future. Another thing that helps me is to be around young people who are engaged with the world, full of energy, ambition and creativity. Having the opportunity to share my wisdom (benefit of aging) with them makes me feel alive.
In your next birthday celebration, follow-up the Happy Birthday song with Que Sera, Sera and sing along.
Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be!
Saw this recently – “If I have to live my life again, I would make the same mistakes…..only sooner”. Amen!
Best of health,