Friday, 8 June 2012


“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln
The older one gets, the less attention one pays to birthdays. They tend to follow each other more quickly it seems than when one is young. And one definitely does not one want to make a song and dance about it, with birthday parties, cakes, presets and such like, less likely to be afforded much importance or prominence. Well-wishes and a card are the main expectations or perhaps a dinner out. Gift giving is likely to be confined to close family members and the day passes quickly into obscurity.

The birthdays of our childhood are memories, which time has gilded and sugar coated. Parties, cakes, presents and carefree laughter seem to be things of the past that are more difficult to attain or which certainly have lees of a lustre of excitement and enjoyment than one remembers from one’s younger years. It is part and parcel of growing older, more mature and perhaps even wiser one would think. It is a shift away from the “me” mentality to the “we” mentality, maybe.

A birthday dinner with the special people one shares one’s life with may be the most apt and enjoyable birthday celebration. Personally, I am now loath to engage in excesses of social interaction associated with birthdays. Parties have become tiresome and even a formal dinner party can be quite an effort, especially if it is attended by people one only marginally knows or likes. Small intimate gatherings of people one loves, likes or shares common interests with are much more preferable.

Each passing year makes us older, each year added to our age makes us wiser, hopefully. Each year brings us closer to the inevitability of death, so perhaps there is the reluctance to acknowledge our birthdays the older we get. It is important for us to make the most of time, enjoy what we can, do as much good as we can and pay less attention to our age. A life well-lived is a life well spent. Birthdays have nothing to do with it. Some people live a short but eventful and useful life, while some elderly people die and lament their wasted lives…

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