Remember when you were little and you couldn’t wait until it was your birthday? You’d be so excited, counting down the days, waiting for the day to finally come, insisting that you were now almost 7 which was so much older and more mature than 6. Then the day would finally come and it would be wonderful, there would be presents, special breakfasts, parties, friends, pass the parcel, party bags (I’m going to bring them back, they were awesome), favourite meals, and everything else you could dream of (oh and cake, how did I forget cake?).
Well another birthday has been and gone, and I’m looking back to that little girl who was excited about her birthday (it’s not hard to remember, my family have flooded Facebook with photos of me as a kid) and I wonder what happened. I remember being excited about my birthday 5 years ago, and 3 years ago, and even 2 years ago. But there’s a point (it’s called becoming an adult) where it’s not quite the same anymore.
Remember how when you asked your mum if you could have a party she’d get that look on her face? Parties are stressful, and expensive and require a lot of time and hard work. Last year I had friends around for my birthday so did the whole shebang. There were chips and nibbles; wine and beer; sausages, kebabs and ribs; and let us not forget the cake. The chips and nibbles got eaten, and the wine and beer, but no one stuck around for the barbeque and we never even got to the cake. It’s hard to get excited when you make sure that everything’s organised (and spend money, it was a very nice cake) and it all goes to waste. Now I know why my mum would get frustrated about us putting all the party food out at once.
You rarely get the day either anymore. When people asked me if I had anything planned for my birthday, of course my answer was yes. It was a Tuesday so that meant a chiropractor appointment in the morning and then off to work for the day. With so many commitments in our lives, it’s hard to find the time to just have for us.
Birthdays are also one of those other occasions (like Christmas and Valentines Day) where we remember the people we may or may not have in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I went out for breakfast with my best friend, had lunch with my workmates, had another friend over for dinner and spent the day receiving birthday wishes from a large group of other friends. But there’s something about opening your presents on the couch by yourself that puts a bit of a downer on the day. And it also reminds you of the birthday wishes that you have yet to receive.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my birthday and I don’t want this to sound all negative. But there is a point in your life where things change, where you see it from a different perspective. At the very least, hopefully now you’ll appreciate how your mother must have felt having to plan a party and then spend the afternoon dealing with 30 kids all hyped up on sugar.