One of Life’s Simple Pleasures
I love the month of May. My birthday is in May and I LOVE my birthday. As a kid, I even loved when it is. It doesn’t compete with Christmas (I always felt so sorry for the December birthdays who had to share their special day with Christmas) and school is still in session. Summer birthdays missed out on the fun. No one had a summer party and as a result, there was almost no birthday acknowledgement from anyone other than your immediate family. I was a farm kid in the 1960s who didn’t see many children other than my siblings during the summer. So, a May birthday was perfection!
I did not see anything interfering with this setup. Now I’m a Mom. Thankfully and happily – I am a mom. Now my birthday sometimes falls on Mother’s Day. Yup – you guessed it! Two separate gift-giving occasions, right? Well, sometimes. It’s a topic of conversation and teasing each year and I’m fortunate to have a very thoughtful family who has made sure to recognize my day.
I know others who are really “into” their birthdays. I’ve heard people celebrating their birthday WEEK or a birthday MONTH. My day is enough and I will always love my birthday. I’ve decided it’s due to the following ideas in my head:
1. Okay – the most obvious. Live each day as if it’s your last! We never know. You know the drill: life is short – plan the trip – buy the shoes, eat the cake!!!
2. I love the attention. Don’t judge me. Who doesn’t like a little special treatment? It’s my day and it’s only one day a year. Think about it. How many times are you recognized as being special when you haven’t done a thing to deserve any recognition? We bust our chops for accomplishments throughout our lives. I’ve done nothing to deserve this, but one day every May, I am treated like a queen. I didn’t even do anything on my actual birthday. (My Mom should actually be the one recognized for HER efforts!) I tell grocery story cashiers and baggers when it’s my birthday. They ask how I’m doing so I share that it’s my birthday. People usually react with a smile but there are those that look at me like “you’re what – like 100 years old and you’re still smiling about it?”. Yup, still smiling.
3. There are presents and cards involved. I’m at a point in my life where I can pretty much buy what I need and some of the things that I want. Presents are different. They are fun – happy – exciting – and from my loved ones. It’s a sign of their love for me, right? That’s the way I see it. I occasionally tell them that I don’t need anything – and I probably don’t. Still, I love the presents and cards.
4. Cake. Do I really need to say more? My all-time favorite birthday cake is angel food with powdered sugar icing. Just like my grandma used to make. I love it.
5. Birthday Dinner. I love this part and I know I’m lucky to enjoy it. I get to pick out a restaurant for my birthday dinner. It can be somewhere a little nicer – maybe more expensive than our usual outings – or not. I spend a lot of time thinking about this one and always look forward to it. I even order dessert.
So, what’s not to love? My husband doesn’t seem to care about his birthday. Go figure! My birthday has become a part of my personality – I see me when I see my birth date. I feel a kinship for the month and for the day. It’s my favorite number.
It’s the little things in life – like birthdays – that make us smile and give us those simple pleasures. So enjoy your special day, whenever it falls. I can’t wait for mine!