I'm not a fan of birthdays.
I can't seem to pinpoint exactly when I began to feel an aversion to this particular day of the year. It may have started when I was a kid - traumatized by the public spectacle of the O'Charley's servers singing "Happy Happy Birthday - my response was to promptly hide under the table. As I got older, I would always intentionally choose a birthday dinner at a restaurant where I knew no one would sing.
Other than that, no one has ever made me feel badly about my birthday. In fact, everyone is so good to me (and I am beyond blessed by my family and friends). From words of encouragement to various cash and prizes, I should look forward to this day. But, I don't.
As I get older, I believe that my panic around my birthday stems from an acknowledgement of my mortality. The aspect of getting older and experiencing all of the difficulties associated with age is terrifying. I'm worried about losing my mind. I'm anxious that I won't get to experience all that I want to, or worse yet, I do and won't remember. The only solace is in knowing that as soon as I leave this Earth, I will finally be home where there is no more pain, aging, or heartbreak.
Last week, I visited my Grandma. I told her who I was and also told her that we have a special day coming. You see, my Grandma's birthday is the day after mine. We are exactly 40 years apart in age. Instead of focusing on what might be coming, I think I'll take our birthdays and simply focus on being content with the present. I have so much to be thankful for, and I have so much to celebrate.
For our birthdays this year, consider donating to Alzheimer's Research: