Hi all! It’s Tuesday and I’m feeling a little better still than I was yesterday. I’m still having a cold, but it’s mostly manageable now.
Today I’m participating in Truthful Tuesday. This week’s question is: as you have gotten older, do you still celebrate your birthday, or has it become just another day to you?
The presumption behind this question is that, as we get older and the effects of aging become less positive than they were when we were a child or teen, some people no longer appreciate their birthdays.
I find, and maybe this will change when I get even older, that the opposite is true. I will be 35 in June and have found that, with increased age, does come increased wisdom. I am probably not old enough yet to start feeling depressed about my life’s regrets. That doesn’t mean I don’t have many, but they don’t weigh me down that much as of yet. I hope that won’t come either, but I’m pretty sure it will.
In contrast, when I was a child, I feared growing up. My birthdays were fun because of the gifts I got, but that’s about it. I never felt that flash of excitement that some children and teens feel as they get older. No, not even (or especially not) when I turned twelve, sixteen or eighteen.
When I turned 30 in 2016, I did have some mixed feelings. I was excited to be allowed into the over-30s groups on Facebook but also felt that, at my age, I could no longer have emotional outbursts. I still did. That latter feeling subsided over time though as I realized a neurotypical ten-year-old wouldn’t have meltdowns like mine.
My birthday has always been an exciting yet stressful event. Now though, it’s more exciting than stressful usually. My parents don’t make a point of telling me to act grown-up anymore. For this reason, them visiting me for this occasion – usually the only time a year I see them in real life -, is mostly fun.
I do indeed still celebrate my birthday. Months in advance, my husband starts asking me what I want for my birthday. It’s also a bit of a tradition that he takes the week around my birthday off from work.
Most years, I spread out my birthday party over several days, as I don’t want to have the house full of visitors. Last year, the visiting restrictions due to COVID were lifted the day before my birthday. This meant that my parents could actually take me out for a ride in their car rather than having to sit in the care facility’s garden for the entirety of the visit.
My mother-in-law visited me the day before and brought me the giant bear soft toy. That’s another thing that makes birthdays fun: I love getting gifts. Of course, I can buy myself the things I really want too, but I actually like the fact that people give me something I wouldn’t buy myself.
Maybe, now that I’m inn my thirties and don’t have to act grown-up, as I’m on disability and in long-term care, I can finally feel the excitement of being a kid at heart.