People spend time and money trying to avoid getting old. They work out at gyms, eat healthy food, meditate, and avoid habits that can age and harm them such as smoking, but you can’t stop the clock. Still, it’s true that people age differently because of a variety of factors due to genetics, environment, and social attitudes. They say people who attend church, have a network of close friends, keep physically and mentally active, have hobbies that they enjoy and that relaxes them, and are pet owners are less likely to suffer from chronic illness and have a lower rate of heart attacks and strokes. However, each year we move closer to that final curtain. So “Happy birthdays” tend to be less happy after you’ve grown up. So why do people continue to celebrate birthdays? We all know that you don’t have to be old to die. Just check out the dates on headstones in any cemetery. We also know that life is too short even if you attain a ripe old age.
This year is a special birthday for me, and I plan to celebrate it in a special way even though I won’t be traveling somewhere exotic, having a big party, or even going out to eat in a nice restaurant. Because of COVID 19, I’ll be staying home with my husband, daughter, and cats. We’ll have food and a cake delivered. We might play a few games, watch a TV show or movie, or just talk. The main thing is that we’re all doing okay and are able to be together.
A few weeks ago, I learned a long-time friend of mine passed away from Covid-19. Clare was a decade older than me and had diabetes and heart issues. She’d been in a rehab after a stroke but was getting better and would’ve been released if she hadn’t caught the virus. She’d survived heart attacks and a minor stroke, but she was no match for the Coronavirus. I miss her very much.
Birthdays are times to plan the years ahead and also to look back at those that have passed. Our lives are a series of chapters, much like a book. We’re born, spend our childhood learning and growing, graduate from school, work, sometimes marry and have a family along the way, and then retire, and die (not necessarily in that order). I’ve been lucky to have done all that except the last two during my 60 years on this planet.
So as I blow out the candles on my cake on Saturday, I’ll be thankful for another year that passed and hopefully the next one to come. The only wish I’ll make is for an end to the virus that has changed the world and for a new beginning. I’ll wish that my family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances stay healthy and safe. That’s what will make this birthday happy.