Photo by Victor De Schwanberg/Science Photo Library
Growing up in my family, fall meant lots of birthdays, my mother’s, my grandmother’s, my dad’s, a brother’s, mine
what? again?. Now I add in my daughter’s and my dog’s everyone celebrates their dog’s birthday, right? nothing at all weird about me.
Birthdays weren’t so earth-shattering back when I had had fewer of them. Forget my own birthday, now that I have a living, breathing time marker in the form of a daughter, I get hit each year by others’ birthdays. My fuzzy girl is 11 and my unfuzzy girl is 9? What the what??
I think as I get older, I cling to things, people, ideas and I stop noticing how everything is changing all the time.
Then birthdays come along like a thug with a baseball bat. He starts off with taps and pokes, and then when you’re not looking, WHAM! he cracks it on your head! He whacks you in the guts!
So all those days, hours, and minutes of not noticing, or overlooking, or refusing to acknowledge
la-la-la, I can’t hear you the passage of time come tumbling down.
I think if we get comfortable, and we usually get comfortable, we only want change that we create or we feel is desirable
All other change should go to the neighbor’s house.
And it has.
But it has also come here.
And these single days, these birthdays, are just the formal reminder that every day, all year long, everything is evolving, in small and huge ways.
And if we can resist struggling against it, if I can swing that front door open wide and welcome the changes I see in and around me, then the single day
with chocolate cake, please will have less punch in mah guts.
At least, that’s my birthday wish — to aim for noticing more and more often. And get fewer punches.
And for all fall birthdays, Happy Birthday and Happy Noticing to you!