me & the groundhog

February 2, 2008 § Leave a comment

Today is my birthday. I’ve always loved having my birthday on Groundhog’s Day. For starters, I’m not one to necessarily have a big celebration centered on me, so when people ask when my birthday is I like that I can say “Groundhog’s Day” rather than the date, because they won’t necessarily know what day to write down and make a big deal of. (I do realize that by publicizing my birthday on my blog I’m contradicting the previous point, but humor me — after all, it’s my birthday.)

Second, it’s on a great day. February 2, 2/2. The date has a great ring. Plus it’s some major holiday in certain pagan religions, so if I want to boss anybody around on my birthday or do something that’s a little iffy, I can claim that since my birthday is a major holiday I’m probably a reincarnation of a pagan goddess & they should let me have my way. So there.

Third…well, I do bear more than a passing resemblance to a groundhog. Big teeth, crazy fur, sleepy in winter. Thank goodness it’s not platypus day or something like that, though — they’re cute in their own special way, but that association would have been murder in grade school.

Anyway, even though I don’t celebrate it in the typical fashion, I do love my birthday. I love seeing who remembers it and comes out of the woodwork to wish me a happy birthday. I love the excuse to get together with my family and eat cake, pork chops, ribs and my other favorite foods. I love having people who love me.

This is the first year I’ve really faced up to the fact that I am getting older with each birthday (thanks, little grey hairs that I ripped out of my scalp — great to see you!), but you know, that’s great, too. I might still be seventeen in my head, but I much prefer to feel seventeen and be older, because from here my past it a bunch of funny stories, but when I was in it, it didn’t seem so hot.

I just lost a good friend, who was also the mother of a good friend, to a very long (almost thirty years) battle with cancer. At her wake, someone got up and shared a story of being with my friend in a group of women who were discussing the aging process. All the other women worried about how their faces, their bodies would sag and change, how they didn’t want to age and wished they didn’t have to have any more birthdays. My friend (already having gone through her first round of treatment) spoke up after hearing all this. She told them that she couldn’t wait for her birthday every year, that she treasured each and every birthday she had and looked forward to all the changes, challenges and age spots they brought.

I thought about that when I noticed the two grey hairs on my head yesterday. And you know, it didn’t stop me from ripping them out (I mean, c’mon! I’m still seventeen, right?), but it made me smile while I was pulling them because I remembered to appreciate the life that put them there.

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