AS my friends know, I’m not one for remembering to celebrate birthdays. Other people’s that is. Instead, I favor a new tradition: Happy Birthmonth or at the least Happy Birthweek. No more of that ever-so-fleeting “Happy Birthday” stuff with any suggestion of Happy Birthhour, Birthminute or Birthsecond either ludicrous or simply insufficient. These times seem made for more, though I put my foot down at Happy Birthyear as that translates into one continuous celebration and endless partying. That’s the stuff for “pre-war” eras ( Not that continuously celebrating our lives is all bad. After all, the biggest event in everyone’s life IS birth, and reminding oneself daily of that event isn’t an altogether bad idea.

Still, there’s something personally reaffirming about acknowledging “coming-into-being.” Awareness and empathy surrounding our individual birth is, in my opin, second only to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (the mild paraphrase notwithstanding).

Celebrating not just one’s birth, but the lifelong journey that we each make and experience in our own way, isn’t a bad idea either. It’s the journey rather than its end that counts – a “lesson” so-to-speak that everyone has the opportunity of enjoying, suffering, tolerating or enduring but of which few avail. It’s just too easy to get lost along the way.

I try to remind myself before retiring that irrespective of the events, I can still take individual pleasure, satisfaction or delight in having been born into the world and having the opportunity to wallow in being alive. 

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