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Friday, December 23, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Birthdays

Part of me (the part I see in the mirror, I think) would sincerely love to freeze time in place, have all the fun I'm having, but never grow any older. Come to think of it, I should have done that a few decades back!

But never mind that. It's one of the truisms of life that we either grow older or we don't. Princess Diana is one of those who will never grow any older. We will always remember her young and beautiful, looking like the queen she might have been. Given that's the only other option we have, I'm grateful for growing older. I'm grateful for birthdays.

As I passed mine this week, I thought of a man I knew years ago when the dh and I lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut. "Ron" had been a combat soldier in Vietnam and had lived through some harrowing scenes. As he approached his Halloween-time birthday, he told us, "Ever since 'Nam, I have promised myself that I'd celebrate every birthday as a gift I might never have had."

Ron had the right idea. We may not appreciate the wrinkles, the changing jawline, the once near-black hair that's now silver unless we cover it, but if we love our lives (and how could I not? I've been so blessed!), we have to appreciate every birthday we get.

As a kid, I never bemoaned my Christmas-time natal day. I came home from the hospital on Christmas Day and my dad has often claimed I was his best birthday present ever. As people around me put up decorations and glittery lights, I always felt they were celebrating with me, and everybody got into the season. When you think about it, some Pretty Important Folks celebrate their birthdays in the same week as I have mine, and that's worth celebrating, too.

This week I'm thankful for birthdays, for every one of them I've shared with the wonderful people I love, and for every one I may yet have in store. As we celebrate one important Birthday this weekend, I wish you all a very merry Christmas.

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