Birthdays….a good thing

I often wonder why so many people get bent out of shape about their birthday. They don’t want to acknowledge it and often deny it. They skirt around their age. Why do so many people think birthdays a bad thing?

I love celebrating my birthday. It means I’ve lived another year. I’m very happy about that.

Perhaps it goes back to growing up as a kid. We always celebrated birthdays. My mom would order a big German chocolate cake that was covered with sticky coconut caramel pecan frosting from a lady in town who was known for her cakes. Not only was the cake delicious and covered with gobs of frosting, it also meant that you got to go into Little Falls, which was a big deal forty plus years ago.

I really started celebrating the year I turned 40. I managed to have fun the entire week that year. I started on Monday with three of my girlfriends (one convinced her husband to be our sober cab) taking me to Ivan’s on the Bay for martinis and dinner. Yes, it goes without saying, we had a blast! That year I went out with different friends or family every night. Co-workers decorated my desk and filled my desk with black balloons.

40th birthday desk decorations

They brought in a cake and called everyone in the office into the conference room and proceeded to sing happy birthday to me. The week ended with a fun birthday party surrounded by family, friends and neighbors put on by my husband. To this day I am still impressed with that. He executed the whole ordeal. Not usually his thing and a huge feat for a man whose usual contribution to our social life is: “Tell me where I need to be when. Who are we going with again?”

Again this year I celebrated the whole week. I didn’t set out to plan it that way; it just happened. Lunches with friends and co-workers. I enjoyed an afternoon being pampered with a manicure and pedicure. I also love volunteering and it just so happened that the Monster Dash (a Team Ortho race in the Twin Cities) had their packet pick-up the Friday after my birthday. I was able to take some vacation time and give to other runners as well as to a great organization.

I completed the week by celebrating with my husband, kids and their significant others with a fun dinner followed by a great show put on by an a capella band, Six Appeal at Pioneer Place in St. Cloud. It was the perfect ending to what turned out to be a birthday celebration week.

Over the past 45 years I’ve learned it’s really not about it being your birthday, it’s about choosing to be alive. Birthdays are just a good excuse to step it up a notch and feel extra vivacity for a few days.


    • Mary on October 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    What a great birthday philosophy, Shari. While I’ve always liked my birthday and never had a problem with admitting my age, about 5 years ago, my birthday started becoming just another day. Maybe I need to rethink it and start planning my own birthday week celebrations.

    • Linda LeBlanc on October 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I with you Shari, birthdays are great and need to be celebrated!!!

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