Why I don't celebrate my birthday

Paul Lines By Paul Lines, 26th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1bf_js2m/
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

I am often called a grumpy old man for not wanting to celebrate my birthday and here are just some of the reasons why I take this approach

A grumpy old man

As my birthday approaches I become a grumpy old man. At least that is what most of the people close to me think and who am I to dissuade them from this view? And what has caused them to reach this opinion? The answer is quite simple really. I do not celebrate my birthday and they all find this quite disturbing. There are no cards on the mantle, no banners on the wall. In fact there is nothing in the house to show that today is another milestone in my life, another year gone by.

So why do I not celebrate my birthday? I could come up with a thousand flippant reasons for this, such as I am on the wrong side of the life clock, closing rapidly in on ‘midnight and goodbye’, or that such celebrations are a waste of money and energy, but in truth there are far more fundamental reasons. I do not shy away from celebrating my birthday either because I have a problem with cleaning up the mess that is left afterwards nor because I am as people say, just a grumpy old man. It is more because of my personal perceptions and feelings about the day itself.

My grumps

One thing that really irritates and annoys me about birthdays, although maybe it should not, is the cards and messages from relatives who only ever bother to contact me on this one day of the year. Those cards, with terse messages or words that have been written by someone else, can be meaningless and cold with no hint of affection. It is even worse when you know that sometimes it is only done because of a misplaced sense of duty. I have one particular sibling whose wife writes out all of the birthday cards for the year early in January and checks the calendar each month to see which ones need to be sent off. As far as I am concerned they need not bother for me. If I am important and mean something to these relatives, this should be apparent throughout the year, not just on one day.

Another reason I shy away from birthday celebrations is because of the frustrating habit many people have of bringing up the age old comments as you reach certain ages. For instance, at eighteen or twenty-one you are supposed to get the key of the door? What door? I was not presented with such a key. At thirty it is time to settle down and at forty, why are you not married? Is there some law that says I have to be?
After that milestone, comments usually become more pointed, inconsiderate and thoughtless. For example, at fifty the comment at least one person is likely to make is "not long to your pension," and sixty brings "soon have a free bus pass" and so they go on. For goodness sake, please keep these thoughts to yourself. I am quite happy with where I am in life and do not want to be constantly reminded that the years I have to spend on this earth are disappearing at an ever increasing rate.

A birthday tale

This seeming fixation with what you have to look forward too at birthday time brings back a story someone once told me or something I read. Actually it was more like a proverb. The tale, which is based on the biblical notion that we live for three score years and ten, goes as follows:

When you reach the age of twenty the law of the bible says that you will have two thousand six hundred weekends left to experience and enjoy on this earth. You should therefore put that number of marbles in a jar and pick one out at the end of each subsequent weekend. The moral of the story in this case was that, when picking out the marble, you should reflect on how well you had acted during the previous week and how much enjoyment you have gained and given. It the result of your deliberations is not positive, you should resolve to do better during the time remaining as represented by the marble left in the jar.

My plea

Birthday cards remind me of this story. Not so much because of the moral aspect but simply because every time a card arrives it serves as a reminder that another fifty-two marbles have been spent. Personally, I prefer to just open my eyes each morning and enjoy the day for what it is and brings. Do I want to wake up to be reminded that another year or decade has gone by? No Thanks! Please leave me with my blissful life of taking each day at a time and enjoying it without worrying about how much future there is left or reminders of a past that has flowed beneath the bridge of life, never to be recaptured.

Links

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Other articles that may be of interest:

Death of an estranged father
Maintaining friendships as an introvert
When someone dies and there is no time to say goodbye

Tags

Aging, Aging Process, Birthday, Birthday Party, Birthdays, Celebration, Life Experiences, Life Journey, Partying

Meet the author

author avatar Paul Lines
Having spent a large part of my working life as a business consultant, I am now a full time freelance writer offering content for on-line and print publishers, as well as focusing on creative writing

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Comments

author avatar Emgee
28th Feb 2011 (#)

This is very a very interesting view point.

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author avatar ppruel
28th Feb 2011 (#)

Hehehe, this made me laughed but interesting article.

Dude Paul we have the same reasons. When my birthdate comes the one who celebrate it is my wife and children for 17 years now.

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author avatar Paul Lines
28th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Emgee

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author avatar Paul Lines
28th Feb 2011 (#)

They do want to make a fuss ppruel

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author avatar Jerry Walch
28th Feb 2011 (#)

I wouldn't celebrate my birthday either if my wife didn't make such a big fuss about birthdays and other special occasions.People have accused her of creating holidays just to have something to celebrate. For me it's just another day I just don't think about them in any of the ways you mentioned in this wonderfully written article. I learned many years ago to live each day to the fullest because there might not be a tomorrow.

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author avatar Denise O
28th Feb 2011 (#)

Well Paul, I can understand how you feel. I too hate those cards I get once a year and then the sender could careless about me the rest of the year but, I do have to admit. I do not celebrate a birth 'day', mine goes on for a week. Just my thing I guess.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Paul Lines
28th Feb 2011 (#)

Jerry, I am with you on this. Denise, I guess the one advantage of a week-long celebration is that, by the end of it I would be forgetting what I was celebrating :)

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author avatar James R. Coffey
28th Feb 2011 (#)

My grandmother told me that until you are 30, birthdays are for you. After that, they are for those around you. Everytime I'm not in a birthday mood, I remember that little talk. It works!

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author avatar Paul Lines
28th Feb 2011 (#)

Sound advice James

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author avatar Humza
1st Mar 2011 (#)

vey true, it really pinches when u recieve hundreds of calls on ur bday and ot a single one on the rest of the 364 days!
its ver weird and irritating!
very true paul, nobody is dying for such wishes which are seasonal and come along with just a day and "NO LIFT" board the rest of the yr
its better to stay alone rather than expecting calls from the birthday wishers for the rest of the yr as well!
great share, thnx alot!

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author avatar Paul Lines
1st Mar 2011 (#)

I agree Humza

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author avatar Paul Lines
1st Mar 2011 (#)

I agree Humza

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author avatar Blossom S
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

Your sibling's wife is really 'funny' lady. I can't imagine it. Interesting article indeed. I love the pictures too.

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author avatar Paul Lines
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

Thank you Blossom. I agree about the siblings wife:)

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author avatar Artur Victoria
9th Mar 2011 (#)

Sure ...
Thanks for sharing it

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author avatar JohnH
14th Mar 2011 (#)

too funny, and I am with you on this idea of non-celebrating!

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author avatar Paul Lines
15th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks John

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author avatar Melissa D. Ing
2nd Apr 2011 (#)

OH Paul :-) And I missed your birthday. Lovely article but you still should celebrate. As for age, I've been sticking with 105 for several years now.

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author avatar Paul Lines
3rd Apr 2011 (#)

Guess I might be a mite closer to that than you Melissa :-)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
17th Apr 2011 (#)

Hello Paul, notice how most of us agree with your view? You've hit the nail on the head. Thank you

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author avatar Paul Lines
17th Apr 2011 (#)

Hi Tranquil. Thanks for that. Nice to know I am in good company

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author avatar vpaulose
20th Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you my brother Paul for your good information. Please guide me to write better.

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author avatar Paul Lines
23rd Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you for the comment Vpaulose

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author avatar D in The Darling
9th May 2011 (#)

Wow! This is amazing.

You just reminded me of a song I wrote for a disabled friend; "Happy Birthday". Every day lived is less a day on one's lease of life bringing us closer to our death. Should we really be celebrating? Only if it means the quality of life shared!

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author avatar Paul Lines
9th May 2011 (#)

Thanks for your comments, which were insightful

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author avatar saurik
20th Jun 2011 (#)

I have never celebrated my birthday before and i wont celebrate it in the future because it doesn't make sense to me.

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author avatar Paul Lines
21st Jun 2011 (#)

A man after my own heart

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author avatar Tranquilpen
10th Jul 2011 (#)

Hello Paul, for some reason, I have dropped in on this write again, I off course feel the same about birthdays, still, James Coffey's Grandma has a point to make.Best wishes my friend, Andre'

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author avatar Paul Lines
11th Jul 2011 (#)

Hi Andre
I shall have a look at James Grandma's comments
Cheers, Paul

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
23rd Jul 2011 (#)

You had this 72 year old chuckling throughout, Paul. I swore I could hear Andy Rooney's voice as I read this. Great share.

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author avatar Paul Lines
24th Jul 2011 (#)

Glad you found it fun Steve

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Apr 2012 (#)

I always remember my father's take on birthdays. Everyday is same, celebrate life each day - why only one day? Life has to be lived every moment. I am with you on this, Paul, grumpy old man or not! siva

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author avatar Paul Lines
14th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Siva

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author avatar SARodrigues
3rd Dec 2012 (#)

As a 26 year old that doesn't celebrate birthdays since my 18th I can certainly relate. Unfortunately before that I still lived with my parents and someone would always get a cake; I don't even like birthday cakes!

Personally, I see it as just another day, there's no point celebrating it. Birthday presents? The only thing I want is to be left alone; it is one of those days I'll turn off the phone to get a quiet day. My perfect birthday would be one when no-one remembers it and I'll go out have a cup of coffee with a couple friends just like any other day, without anyone bringing up the subject. Here is something I don't get: there is a whole year to tell someone something nice and buy him/her something, why does it have to be on that day?

Either way, birthdays remind me how much I didn't accomplish and how I'll be judged for it. When most friends are already married and have kids, that happens a lot.

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author avatar Rido
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Grumpy old man does not conform to the pattern of this world. How blessed he is. The Bible had mentioned birthday celebrations but associated with loss of life. The Pharoah hanged his chief baker while King Herod was forced to put the head of John de Baptist on a platter. The children of Job while having birthday celebration, he prayed for them.
The disciples of Jesus did not celebrate any birthday nor the Bible say that we have to celebrate birthdays.

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author avatar Sir paul porkalab
5th Mar 2013 (#)

Stupid article, stupid theory you old grumpy twat. Grow up! byut celebrate growing up! nuff said.

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