I was talking to my mother recently about how uneventful my (ahem)th birthday was. “Seriously Ma, I tried to make things happen but still all my effort was for nothing, this b-day was lame.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful and blessed to have seen another year of life. With all the chaos erupting around the world just waking up day to day is a gift, but I wanted to party like a rock star! My mother listened to me vent, smiled and said simply, “That’s how it is baby, as we get older things start to slow down, sometimes life just gets boring.” Hell no, I won’t accept that! If this is what life and prayerfully birthdays to come are like then I don’t want to grow up, I want to be a Toys R Us kid.
What is it about growing older that takes away the enthusiasm of our born day? For the select few who happen to actually be rock stars, there isn’t much going on in the form of birthday celebrations. For her birthday one of my girlfriends had a small private shin dig at a local bar; another friend drank a bottle of wine and slept on her day. When I was younger I partied from March 1st to the 31st. I didn’t care that my birthday was in the middle of the month, the way I figured it in the weeks before my day of birth mom was preparing for my arrival and the weeks after she was glowing with the excitement of having her first child; either way I was celebrating it all. Whether it was planned or impromptu, something stayed on the agenda for March. The past few years of dull birthdays have proven to me the pomp and circumstance is gone.
During my early twenties the girls and I were unstoppable, not even weekdays halted our vibe. We’d party till we almost dropped, drag ourselves home with just enough time to shower, change and head out to the 9-5. Yes it was a struggle, hung over and exhausted at work downing chocolate bars and soda in an effort to keep my eyes open (coffee never worked for me) but it seemed so worth it. Now the same party people who used to shut the club down can barely make it through happy hour. My mother likes to mess with me and say its “old age setting in.” Damn that! Central Park is old; the Brooklyn Bridge is old; I am not old!
My mothers’ words haunted me. I believe everything in life is what we make it. I refuse to allow my life to become boring and slowing down is not an option; so I made another valiant attempt at birthday excitement. However, after one uninspiring road trip, a full weekend of torrential downpours and a birthday dinner in my honor (which I missed-but my very inebriated friends seemed to have enjoyed) I was over the whole thing. I later ran into an associate, a few years my senior, who inquired about the fabulous things I did for my day. I couldn’t lie, I would have liked to paint a wonderful picture of birthday bliss but all I could do was shrug and mumble “it was ok.” With a tinge of nervous laughter I recounted the “wise words” my mom imparted. I expected my friend to dismiss them, as I planned to and tell me something optimistic. The smile left her face as the reply “Yeah, well, that’s true” escaped her lips. What is wrong with everyone?
As I write this I’m singing the Toys R Us theme song in my head; “I don’t wanna grow up I’m a…” The truth is I am a grown up and although I would love to party like I’m twenty five, I am a (choose whatever age you like and insert here) year old with a demanding job and an even more demanding child. I’ve gone from planning my birthday month to scheduling play dates, coordinating after school activities, attending recitals and trying to figure out fourth grade math. My excitement these days comes when I beat my daughter at Mario Cart. Maybe that’s it, I went through all the toil and trouble to force fun that was right in my Wii controller all along. As my friends and I sit around and lament on how seemingly boring we’ve become but the reality is we’ve only matured into responsible adults. I could party the night away at the hottest spot in the city but I’d rather curl up with a glass of wine and a book, maybe do some writing, watch the shows I record but never have time to watch on my DVR or get some much needed rest. I spent so much energy trying to re-live the reckless abandon of my youth I wore myself out only to concede I’m not as young as I used to be and now I’m *yawn* tired and need a nap (gasp) like old people!?
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