How to Double the Birthdays You Have Left
Are the years going by too fast? Are there likely fewer birthdays ahead than what you’ve already had? I have a possible solution to this problem: more birthday celebrations. Today is my half-birthday, making me 57 1/2. Maybe I’ll even celebrate quarter-birthdays in a few years.
Lost my marbles, but then found this one!
Think about it: the older we get, the more amazing it is we’ve survived another decade, and then another year, and then another six months, etc. Why not celebrate? I know that from 35 to 55 I wanted to forget about my birthday, to ignore that another one had snuck up and was marking my path toward decrepitude. But around the time I gave up trying to convince my body that it was anything near young, and friends started struggling with and even dropping dead from heart attacks and cancer, it became clear that Time was now in a reverse mortgage. I don’t know how much it is worth–is my lifespan a mansion or a cardboard box? But it’s my half-birthday and I’ll party if I want to ;D
Time cannot be stopped, and it seems to go faster because we’re so familiar with it. The more familiar it is, the more we live on autopilot, doing things by rote. Routine is really good for getting tasks done, but it’s a lousy way to live life itself. Changing things up, whether in small ways or large ways, becomes challenging and absorbing, and keeps us too busy to notice the passing of time, or at least not notice it so much. But it can get harder and harder to change things up voluntarily after, say, the age of fifty, and certainly after sixty; even changing the way you watch t.v. can throw you for a loop, let alone deciding to sell the house and move to Costa Rica. Not that it can’t be done, but circumstances and inertia can have a tremendous impact.
It is easy, however, to simply meet the passing of time head-on. By celebrating my half-birthday I’ve automatically doubled the number of birthdays I have left, right? No, I don’t know how many that is, but I figure if I only have one actual birthday left, I’ve now got two, and if four birthdays, there are now eight, etc. If my actuarial numbers say I have 25 birthdays left, why then I now have 50! And if I have fifty birthdays left, that’s like still being in my thirties, hmm? A saggy, baggy, wrinkly thirty, but not so much if I don’t wear my glasses in front of the bathroom mirror. Whoever said Time is an illusion has nothing on me. I’d rather hang with the one who says that Age is a state of mind.
Of course the alternative would be to become ageless, to no longer be concerned with temporal matters. That would truly be a minimalist alternative to birthdays. But I don’t wanna. I’m going to have something spicy for dinner and extra chocolate for dessert, and go wild and have a large glass of wine. The birthday state of mind is just a bit of gratitude and mindfulness, and a big wink at the gloomy fellow over there with the scythe.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to me. And many more.