The Birthday Reborn: 6 Facts & Thoughts
Yesterday was my birthday.
I’m not writing this so you could wish me a happy birthday. In fact, I was shocked that more than 225 people wished me one via Facebook, which is what inspired this post. As I sit in a hotel in Chicago, enjoying my special weekend, I realize that birthday joy, like everything else in the world, has been impacted by technology and changes in the way people live.
- The birthday celebration had its origins in ancient Egypt (celebrating gods, rather than ordinary folk like me). Human women’s birthdays weren’t celebrated until the 12th century.
- When I was a kid, birthdays were a big thing. I was all about “creating memorable experiences” even back then (a glimpse into my future career path as a marketer). I themed my birthday celebrations, created mix tapes for dancing, and even handcrafted decorations. My daughters’ birthday parties were also epic blasts.
- I recently attended my granddaughter’s first birthday party. My daughter is carrying on the family tradition. She decorated her home with a Pooh theme and baked a smash cake, which is apparently the big thing in baby parties these days. Technology has clearly altered the party-planning and gifting process. The invitations and related finery were created on Canva, and many of the gifts were purchased on Amazon. Party-planning has become simpler and more creative, due to the miracles of Pinterest.
- I no longer fear aging (and neither should you). Although I do sometimes fret a bit about ageism in our society, I am wiser and calmer than ever. I plan to live to at least 100. Here are my ruminations from my last birthday. It was one of my most popular posts of 2016. I’ve taken a healthy interest (pun intended) in biohacking and medical advances that reverse the physical and mental aging process.
- The “Facebook birthday” is a new tradition. I did get two paper cards and three phone calls. My 90-year old mother called me from Tucson, as she does every year. This year she relayed a story of the night I was born. It was really sweet. But most good wishes this year came via Facebook wall posts and text messages. I opted to LIKE and thank each well-wisher personally. Although I could have saved time by posting “Thank you all for your birthday greetings,” I went “old school.” After all, people took time to send me digital flowers and cakes…the least I could do was express gratitude individually. Speaking of flowers, we can now gift them with ease…anywhere.
- What’s timeless (other than me, of course)? At the end of the day (or the year) it’s not about how many greetings one gets, what type of cake one eats, and whether the flowers are pinned on (as in the accompanying photo), ordered online, or digital…it’s all about blowing out the candles (literally or metaphorically) with people you love. Last night I had an awesome dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (part of the Hillstone family). Of course, I got serenaded with the oldest English language song. I laughed out loud, toasted another year gone by and imagined the next decade of adventures and wisdom.
Thank you for making February 10th, 2017 the best birthday ever!