Last week I celebrated a decade birthday. Yes, Medicare sign-up is just around the corner for me. I’m good with that. And because I have no (knocking wood) aches and pains, I am not moaning about aging.
Birthdays give us an opportunity to be seen in the spotlight just briefly enough to be fun. When complete strangers find out it’s your birthday they acknowledge you. They take a second look, maybe give you a piece of cake, a pat on the back, buy you a drink. Even if only for a moment, there’s a fuss over you. It’s your day. I wager most of us like that.
Personally, I appreciate these milestones – a launch into what’s next in this adventure? Yes, yes, I know death is hovering even closer now, but we don’t know when we’re going to croak anyway – and as the inevitable approaches, I worry about it less. Maybe when my number comes up I’ll be clinging like a parachutist to the edge of the plane changing my mind about the leap, but for now I’m okay with imagining the end. That too is part of the great mystery of nature and spirit. Certainly another, ‘what’s next’? Don’t get me wrong, I love life. Even through the shit times, I have loved life. Now things are good for me so I’m very glad to hang around sharing the joys and more reluctantly, the sorrows of this planet. I’m happy to mark my birthday and I love how my community, past and present, rallies round to cheer.
Facebook sucks in many ways but I enjoy the cyber-celebration. No buying booze or making food or cleaning the house before or after and nobody feels like they have to buy you a present. Friends from across the decades and oceans reaching out with a wave to say – hey! I see you! I remember you! I love you! Who doesn’t like hearing people tell you that they care about you, that they miss you, that you’re important to them? It’s like a little mini version of a memorial service except we get to hear it all. Every message and greeting I received made me remember time spent with each of you, wherever and whenever that was. All precious memories and connections.
Of course I wish we could beam up into each others lives to share a cup or a glass and a proper catch-up. When this is possible and happens, I cherish such celebratory meet-ups more than I love a party. To really talk rather than the too-short chat possible at a party. I like parties too but prefer the one-on-one where it’s quiet enough to really look at and listen to each other. To hear about joys and sorrows, share memories, to remember why we decided to stay in touch in the first place. To spark, for an hour or two, that fire again.
Truth is, there is more of an urgency because with the passing years, days seem to disappear and losses come faster. It shouldn’t be so hard to see the ones we care about but distance and schedules and inertia get in the way. I am grateful for what seems an incredible and rich abundance of people I love and feel loved by. Here’s to all our birthdays – to celebrate that we were delivered into this world and then, remarkably, connected, came to like and maybe love each other. What magic!
Thank you for reminding me on my birthday about all this love – for the gift of our connection somewhere in this incredible journey we’re on. At the end of the day, at the end of the night, it’s all about that connection, all about shared love don’t you think? I’m grateful for and nurtured by yours! XO