Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Are Most Birthdays NOT Special ?

Early on in my life it was apparent that certain birthdays are VERY special.

When I turned 8 I knew I was able to be baptized.

When I turned 10 it was cool because ... "double digits" !!!

Then 12 was cool because I was ordained to the Priesthood and began serving in many roles at church.  This continued at 14 and 16 and 18 in different roles.

13 is awesome for everyone because you're now a teenager!

16 is glorious for dual reasons: driving and dating!

At 18 you're considered an "adult" in most circumstances.

When I turned 19, I knew I would be able to serve a two-year mission (I was called to serve in Los Angeles and they were two of the most important years in my life!)

Most people love 21 because they're legally able to drink (but it's also a "I'm really an adult now" kind of age).

25 may not seem significant, but at that age you can rent a car ... very important if you like to travel.

And then ... life becomes a series of birthdays that are either insignificant or you really don't want to celebrate.

30 ... you're not a "kid" anymore.

40 ... you're "over the hill"

50 ... isn't it about time for more uncomfortable alone time with your doctor?

55 ... AARP, Senior Citizen Discount, etc. ... which all just means "you're too old to really enjoy anything anymore so we don't mind giving you perks because we know you won't use them."

65 (or 66 1/2 or 67 or 68 or ...) ... time for retirement?

75 ... you're still here?  can you still hear?

Sammy the Squirrel came by today to wish me well on
my birthday (on behalf of the whole animal kingdom).
And then around 90 people begin the countdown to 100 and bets are secretly placed on whether or not you'll make it to the century mark.  I haven't known many who have lived to be that old, but the few I can remember seemed to not care much either way about it.

So if you do the math, a person who lives to be 100 will have roughly 16 of those birthdays that mean something while the other 84 are just milestones where people are obligated to wish you well and you are, in turn, obligated to thank them for the kind words.

I say ... meh ... let's drop the pretending around every birthday needing to feel special.  Let's recognize and accept the fact that we (and others) really only care a very small percentage of the time.  But in exchange, when these birthdays DO come around, let's do them up right!

Song Of The Day:
The song "100 Years" by Five For Fighting comes to mind ... Although the song doesn't highlight the birthdays I listed as being special, the message of the song is just perfect.


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