Saturday, May 28, 2011

Celebrating Birthdays

Last weekend we celebrated family birthdays for five members. I love birthdays, so there were balloons, ice cream and at least 3 different desserts with candles to be blown out. And then, of course, our traditional rendition of Happy Birthday To You. Each family member sings their own rendition of the song as loud as they can and of course off key.

What do you think about celebrating birthdays? Do you still look forward to that day that is all yours? When you were a child did you count the days to your birthday, or as a teen until you could get your learners permit, or until you would at last be an adult? Can you remember a special gift you received that perhaps you only dreamed about? Do you look forward to birthdays with anticipation or with dread? Do you look upon a birthday as another year to serve others, another chance to do….. (?), another chance to live and love, a reminder of where you have been in life and that mountain still left to be climbed?

Birthdays usually don’t bother me. I look forward to a time of celebration with family. However when I turned 25… that was a hard one. Can’t exactly say why…was it because I was far from home…or that I had just become a mom for the second time…or husband in the field all the time? Twenty five was depressing. Or was it last year’s birthday, when I finally had to admit to myself that yes, I really was a senior citizen. You see my mind kept telling me that there were still childish delights there. So it really didn’t make any difference what my mind told me it was the year that told me. This left me depressed for about an hour!

Birthdays give us each a chance to live in the future and not dwell in the past. A chance to be a child again with all the adventure of what each new day can hold for us.

If I Had My Life To Live Over

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television-and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”…More “I’m sorrys”…

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back. (Adapted from writings of Erma Bombeck)

A birthday is a time to be thankful for another year God has given you, so enjoy your day and be a child. Don’t live a life of regrets and wish I had. Live each day God has given you to the fullest and do take time to smell the roses. Just some thoughts on life.

1 comment:

  1. Paula, Thank you for reminding us - it's the little things that matter. They are the substance of a rich life, at any age! Since my birthday is just 3 days away, your questions are most timely! Mostly, I reflect and have to thank God above that this is real, and He's given me another year to relish it.