I had a birthday last month. This year was kind of interesting because I got to officially celebrate it twice. Once when it was October 23rd in Brisbane, and then again when it was October 23rd in Calgary. Being one of those people who likes to drag out their birthdays as long as possible, living on the other side of the international date line has its advantages.
I like birthdays because they're the one day each year where you get to feel a bit special. Even sharing a birthday with my twin brother Robb, my parents made sure we each got our own celebrations. Lots of years my mom would have one party going on upstairs and another down in the basement - and she thinks I'm crazy with my kids' parties! Apple, tree, enough said!
Despite the celebrations, and the added bonus of gifts, there is a downside to birthdays. Becoming one year older is something I could do without. I don't want to get old. The thought of it makes me feel like one of the "runners" in the movie "Logan's Run." (That comment probably dated me - but I'm sure I only saw it as a re-run!)
I still like to think that I look younger than I actually am - but am I deluding myself? (Purely a rhetorical question.) O.k., maybe I am in denial about growing older. It's not like I'm trying to dress like a teenager or act like I'm still in my 20's. I'm just trying to hold on to a bit of my youth. For that I have a couple of suggestions:
In my experience, kids in the 4-7 year old range generally do not have a fine tuned concept of age. Unless you've told them how old you are (in which case they will remember and let everyone else know) they will usually guess you are younger than you actually are. I remember at Caitlyn's and my dance recital a few years ago, a girl in Caitlyn's class asked me whether I was Caitlyn's sister. Both Caitlyn and I were dressed in our kilts for our performances. Whether the little girl's comment stemmed from our matching outfits, identical red hair, or the mini-face lift that I'm sure my tight hair bun provided, I didn't care - I wanted to hug that kid!
Plus, hanging around with little kids let's you act like one too. How can you feel old when you're making pig faces against the window glass for a laugh?
2) Have friends that are older
I'm not saying that any of my friends are old - just that they are older than me! While I have a some younger friends, many of my close friends have a year, or two, or three on me. I'm quite happy to let them lead the way! They still look hot, which gives me hope, and I get to be the "youngster" in the crowd.
3) Little white lies
Does the elliptical at the gym really need to know my true age? Isn't it bad enough that it wants my real weight too - and I'm sweating? How rude! Then there's the telephone surveys that want to know what age range you fit in - who decides what age brackets they use and when you get thrust into the next one? Is it really necessary to tell them the truth? I think not!
Heck, I lie to my kids too (see point #1 - if they know, they will tell everyone). Despite doing well at arithmetic, they both firmly believe that I am one year younger than I actually am. Paul (who is much older then me) continues to show them the math, but they are solidly in my camp.
Caitlyn made me a card for my birthday. I've posted it here. It was the best present I got! Not only does she love me, she also thinks 1) I'm a fairy queen and 2) I'm only 21!
So while I accept that the number on my cake will increase each year (the alternative isn't pretty), and that in many ways I have gotten better with each birthday, it doesn't mean that I have to feel any older. Because who says Fairy Queens have to grow up!