Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Half Birthday

Today is my half birthday! It’s exactly halfway between my most recent birthday and my next one. Kids take notice of such things, but we adults don’t, and maybe we’re the poorer for it. But, then, these days I often think “grown-ups” need to just chill out.

Kids are often obsessed with the minutiae of time, which figures: They’ve experienced so little of it that a month or a week—sometimes even a day—seems like an eternity. Kids know how long it is until Christmas, or how long since their last birthday. “I’m 8 and three-quarters”, they may say. Actually, kids outside of America may not say that, since they really have no reason to learn fractions when they live in a decimal world.

The point is, kids notice and, if not celebrate, at least take note of achievements in time—like half birthdays—and they don’t really understand why adults don’t.

Yeah, why don’t we?

Some adults just consider it childish, and we’re oh, so above such things. Mostly, I think it’s about not wanting to be reminded that the days ahead of us are becoming fewer. None of us wants to be without our loved ones, some of whom can’t make it to the end of the race with us. But while we obsess on the end of things, kids revel in the continuance. I think they have it right, and we “grown-ups: need to ease up a bit.

None of us knows what’s at the end of life, though many have firm beliefs, so why dwell on that? Why not savour every moment? Why NOT celebrate the day we’re 38¾, 56½ , or 93 and one month? Each day is worth celebrating for its own sake, and so is the fact we get another day with the people we love.

There will inevitably be a day that turns out to be our last. When that day comes, if we’ve loved honestly, openly, and without reservation, and then are loved in return, then I’d say even that last day is a good one. It’s the journey that matters, and how much of a good person we were along the way, not when the journey ends.

So, I say, celebrate each day, even a half birthday, like the wonderful thing it is. Seriously: Why not?

Public Domain photo at top by Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.


rogerogreen said...

Happy half birthday! I even wrote a post about mine, which isn't until September 7.

AmeriNZ's sis said...

Happy half birthday to you!!! I had never heard of that until a couple of years ago and I thought it was a good idea. People often take their birthday off from work and coworkers don't get the chance to plan and have a celebration for the "birthday child". Instead, celebrating the half birthday allows all employees to be celebrated. Actually for me, birthdays are more than celebrating another year in one's life. It is also celebrating the day the person was born. The actual birthday or the half birthday is something worth celebrating. Since it's your half birthday, may I have the other half of that cupcake?? (A typical sister question.)

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Of course you did… ;-)

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

I seem to recall someone once declaring, "Jesus wants us to share!" But, I'll gladly share, even though I'm a non-theist. ;-) Actually, to be honest, I'm not much into sweets any more. This is a good thing, considering how hard it is to lose weight and make sure it stays lost (usually I take the weight on a long drive to a remote area, but it keeps finding its way back!).

Seriously, I actually remember as a kid mentioning to Mom that it was my half birthday (or some other fraction…), but she was completely unimpressed and didn't share my enthusiasm for celebrating it. Imagine that! ;-)