It’s birthday time again, I have several friends and coworkers with birthdays around this time of year. Most of them are about my age (42) and almost none of them are celebrating their birthday. That always seemed odd to me.
I get that some people might not want to be reminded of their advancing age. Life always seems better in retrospect, youth is magical and infinitely desirable…at least according to Madison Avenue. Birthdays can be depressing, things undone, opportunities missed. The frustrations of life can well up and make the thought of celebrating another year of life taste like ash and bitter herbs.
That’s why it’s so important to celebrate our birthdays. The candles on the cake are a fire we light to stave off the darkness all around us. The noise and signing can drown out the whispers of our mortality and the grumbles of everyday life. The cake itself is to remind us that life can be sweet.
And life can be sweet. Find things you enjoy and focus on them when the monsters from the id come knocking on the door. Spend time with your friends, they’ll be gone soon enough. Do something you love, while you can. Make the day special. Celebrate. Burn bright.
The alternative is to let the darkness win.
Unrelated (mostly), I finished another short story. This one actually has a happy ending. I’m still not sure if the ‘voice’ is clear and pseudo-authentic enough. We’ll see what the Wordslingers think in a couple weeks.
Writing is another way to keep the darkness at arms-length, for those of us who have the bug. Seriously, if you’re feeling miserable, write. Maybe it helps by letting you escape this world and wander into one of your own making. Maybe it will help purge the bad feelings by putting them on the page. Maybe it will just distract you long enough for your body to come back into balance with your mind and spirit. But it works, whatever it does.