I love March! Not only is it the start of spring when daffodils start popping out their bright yellow heads out of the ground, it’s also MY birthday month…and a plethora of other people that I love so much. March is a perfect time to have a birthday…all the new year’s resolutions have disappeared (cake and ice cream)! If you didn’t get that prized gift at Christmas, it’s a great time to ask for it again. And spring…renewal and rebirth are in the air. I’ve learned to see the beauty in each birthday.
Yes, I’m a bit of a birthday indulger. I don’t just love my birthday though. I love everybody’s special day…because that’s what it is. Another year of growth, another year of beauty, another year to love and to be loved…it’s a prized treasure not given to many.
These are the good old times in the making.
When I was in 4th grade, my mom and I moved into a little run-down house in a very small town. I soon met my new best friend, Stephanie, next door. She was a year older but her parents were also getting a divorce. She had a bird and a cool room that her dad had installed her own sink in. She taught me to love Trixie Belden books and her mom took us to a Rick Springfield concert. I loved riding our bikes around town and spending the night with her grandparents who were funeral directors and lived in the mortuary. We love spooky stories!
My mom eventually married my step-dad and while they were on their honeymoon, I stayed with Stephanie and her mom. I remember staying a couple extra nights because I was so sad we were moving away. And they were too.
And that is how it is with young friendships…they are fast, deep, and eventually gone.
Life is fragile and that’s why it’s precious.
Six years later, I got a call that my dear childhood friend, Stephanie, had been killed in a drunk driving accident on her way to band practice one school morning. I hadn’t seen her but a few times since we both moved out of our small town but my heart dropped. My childhood felt shattered.
Up until then, I had only know elderly people who have died, not young women with their lives ahead of them. Not young adults who had college scholarships and big dreams. Not friends who I shared my secrets with. Not young women whose mothers were still young. Not someone who was just like me.
That time made such an impression on my young, overly-zealous heart. I recognized the importance of every stinking day, of every stinking moment, of every year that passes. I got to go to college and meet my soul mate. I got the chance to move out of the mid-west and live within view of the mountains. I got to have four kids and teach them the beauty of 80’s music. I have had the chance to have a remarkably beautiful ordinary life. That’s a gift that many tremendous humans don’t have.
Take nothing for granted…especially free ice cream.
When I was 32, I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grow up…a remarkable old lady. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many and found out that it takes a lot of courage and sassiness to age while keeping a curious and open heart. You have to say “yes” to a lot of new adventures. You have to say “no” to other’s expectations. You have to grow comfortable in uncomfortableness. You have to be cozy in your body and in your soul. And you have to not be afraid of aging! Th beauty in another birthday exists.
Thus my love of birthdays….It’s my own personal new year’s day! I plan my own day, my own party, my own week. I am not shy about its preciousness to me and I have no issue telling everybody. Yes, I do want the waiters singing to me! Yes, I’ll take the free ice cream and the cake and whatever else you want to give me..not because I’m selfish or cheap, but because I have had the privilege of going around the sun one more time. And tomorrow I’ll get to start another trip around with all sorts of new crazy once-in-a-lifetime adventures of the beautifully ordinary variety.
Let’s celebrate you too!
I want to celebrate you. And so do those who love you. The day you were born was a remarkable day for many. We live in this world where we are interconnected to so many other people on a daily basis. A celebration of you is the celebration of all those you touch and all those who came before you. It’s a day of honor for all that you have survived and all that you have given. It’s a joyous moment to celebrate the days you have had and the days you have before you. Yell your age, wear it with pride, and let everyone shower you with free ice cream or cake or all the good sweetness that life has to offer. More importantly treat yourself to the gift of self-acceptance thus seeing the beauty in your birthday.
This year embrace your birthday with a renewed sense of self-love. Think of all the wonderful things the last year had taught you and of all the new things the year ahead will give you. Your birthday represents how truly unique and wonderful you are…let us all celebrate with you. Let’s celebrate the beauty of birthdays!