Monday, January 05, 2009

Re-Thinking Birthdays

I've been wondering lately: how selfish are we on our birthday's? Seriously.

I kid my sister about it, but she almost literally makes her's a month-long holiday. "I can't do my laundry... for crying out loud, it's my birthday in 12 days!" Okay, she's not that bad. But I do call her "The Birthday Diva."

There is a lot of sort of culturally-induced pressure on us to make sure we have a great day on our birthday. We're supposed to get well-wishes, phone calls, cards, gifts, etc. If we don't, our birthday's ring sort of hollow. Our birthday's are all about us.

And then I think about who did all the work on our birth dates. The wonderful women who hauled us around in their wombs for 40 weeks. And then went through that unimaginable experience of bringing us out into the open world. And then put up with all of our shenanigans, and loved us despite them, for however many years we've known them. When I consider all of that, it makes me think that we're putting the wrong person up on a pedestal on our birthday's.

From now on, I'm resolved to treat my birthday as I would Mother's Day. I'll accept the well-wishes & kindness when it comes. But, from now on, I'm going to focus my mind & energies on spending each October 23rd celebrating my Mom's goodness in giving me the gift of life. She's not with me anymore, but I'm going to devote that day to her: whether that's remembering her, donating some service or money to a charity she loved, or whatever.

I kinda wish I had a couple do-over's so I could have practiced this in her presence. Put her up on a pedestal instead of letting culture dictate to me that that day is all about my personal happiness.

From now on my birthday will be "Thank Mom Day." Just thought I'd share that out loud...

1 comment:

coffeedrinkingpreacher said...

That is a great idea.

"birthday diva" -- gotta love that!