"Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth."
- Ralph Parlette
This time last year, I was probably on my tenth Ketel One and soda praying that my boobs would stay put in my fun, new party dress and that my fake eyelashes would last the night so I wouldn’t end up looking like some washed up old starlet whose good days were long since behind her.
No, I wasn’t living out a Carrie Bradshaw fantasy - It was my 40th birthday party.
The lead up to 40 was ridiculously stressful. Talk about reflection! Whoa. The last milestone birthday I’d had was 30 and that was a completely different time. I was grateful to be out of the drama and confusion of my twenties and ready to take my life by storm. Turning 40, however, loomed like a long put-off dentist appointment – I could no longer avoid it and hoped that it wouldn’t hurt too much.
My party was incredible; so many people showed up and I spent a large part of the night greeting people with my signature greeting - long arms up and outstretched and my mouth open wide with excitement..
It felt like my wedding and as each time someone arrived, we’d sing in unison, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”
It was an odd night, however. Though I was thrilled to see so many people I knew and loved, I couldn’t help but cringe every time they gushed, “Happy Birthday!!” The truth was, I loved the party – I just wished we didn’t have to talk about the birthday.
In a few short hours, I’ll be 41. There is no party this year. No party dress. I’ll get back to you on whether there will be any vodka. Somehow, after 40, it seems silly to celebrate anything that follows. I’m not going all maudlin on you here, I’m just saying that 40 is a tough act to follow.
Still, it seems odd not to celebrate something.
This year, I’ve decided to celebrate my life and the people in it. Maybe that’s what aging is all about – getting away from the “me” and focusing on the people around me. It may sound corny, but who cares, it’s my birthday, right? Why focus on what’s bad about it when there’s so much good stuff to be had.
So, here’s to all of you – may we all have an incredible day.