While my birthday gets closer this week, I am reminded that I am getting older. This is something that can easily be forgotten throughout much of the rest of the year. I don’t find it particularly intimidating, but many do. Aging is an anxiety causing experience for many people. This entry is dedicated to the group who dreads the yearly landmark of their birthday.

Birthdays are the one annual event that marks our time between birth and death. Early on in our lives it is exciting. However as we get older, it can bring on anxiety and depression. There are different reasons for this. One is being already unhappy with your current place in your life. Many times people who are unhappy set goals that they did not reach, and annual landmarks are sad reminders that goals went unreached. It also is a reminder that we are here under borrowed time, which can be intimidating. However what if it wasn’t scary? What if we learned to be more open about our mortality in a way that made it less intimidating? Is that possible?

If we learn to accept that none of us will get out of here alive, we can work through the fear of the reality. We get caught up walking through our daily lives not accepting this as how the world works. I’m not suggesting that we have to think about our death at all times, but being fearful and in a state of denial aren’t the answer either. Recognizing your life as one that is limited can help to keep your life in perspective. Why use up such valuable time with drama, sadness, resentment, etc?

Instead of looking at getting older as a curse, look at it as a gift. If you have drama in your life, figure out what you can do about it, and work to change those things. If you resent someone, ask yourself why you are agitated by that person so much, and try to slowly change your perspective. Use your birthday as a reminder of what you want to change about yourself as to improve on your life.

Although some get overwhelmed by their birthday tally increasing, it doesn’t have to be this way. It is an indication of time that is passing us by, but that is not all bad. With time, comes knowledge. So with this birthday, I celebrate another year. I hope you will as well when your next birthday comes around.

  1. Milestone birthdays can especially be a shock. I like the idea of persepctive, though. Like seeing yourself on your deathbed with no more birthdays left as an incentive to live more fully today. I’ll need to remember that when I hit the big 5-0…

  2. I prefer to think of every year as being the best year of my life. The reason is because it is the only year you will ever be able to experience right then. Daniel Dennet in his book, Consciousness Explained gives a great, depthive explanation of consciousness in the moment and what that means. I think it relates well to the book Flow, and to my own blog post http://www.pohclinic.com/1/post/2012/05/pursuing-a-greater-happiness.html
    Always interesting to consider ourselves passing through time!

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