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This year on my birthday, I have reached a milestone number. As people say – life starts with this number. Few express it as half-life already lived! Before a few years, I had seen a wallpaper somewhere stating, ‘Naughty at 40’. Now today, this has hit me and left me thinking. Something deep inside me tells me I should celebrate! Celebrate all the days now leading to the birthday and the days after that.
Remembering birthdays when I was growing up were special. I still remember my mother lovingly and still today taking the photo out of my 1st birthday and sharing the memories for the day. Print yes before four decades used to be a luxury. My memory attached for my birthday is the dairy milk chocolate I used to get 1st thing in the morning. I was excited right before my birthday approached, waiting for it. That used to be the feast for me.
With passing years, as I grew up, I remember in kinder garden my mother had dressed me like a princess, making me wear a ‘pink lenga’ and ‘dupatta’. I even had got privilege to distribute toffees to all my classmates. That day I truly felt like a princess.
When I was a teenager, birthdays meant for me was staring at greeting cards. Receiving cards and letters with lots of poetic words and lovely messages. Wearing a new dress, flaunting in between families and friends for the whole day along with my favourite food made by my mother, especially for me, was worth waiting for. I laugh now, remembering how I used to count my treasured greeting cards compared with the current year to know whether I have received more than the previous year or not! These cards had something fascinating about them. My heart used to get very elated while reading them and flipping them repeatedly.
Time flew by, and with adulthood came lots of responsibilities and complications. I agree I was too busy at times to celebrate. And before I could realise it, I was busy planning and celebrating the birthdays of spouses and extended family members. Then came motherhood, which simply meant birthday celebrations for my little one and no more celebrations for myself. As a new mother, I remember that all I wanted as a gift was a good night’s sleep. Nothing else mattered to me.
As my baby started to grow as a bit of a champ, again, birthdays began to shape into surprise gifts. Before my birthday whole week, she did all the messy things with paints and colours, trying to make a surprise card managing to hide it from me. She succeeded in getting life back in me. Last year, my bedside was covered with handmade lovely cards and messages with tag lines when I opened my eyes on my birthday. She must have shared the excitement with her friends in class, and they joined hands with her sharing the joy for her mamma’s birthday!
Today something inside me urges me to pause. For the last few years, I have been ungrateful and stubborn for not celebrating my birthday due to unrealistic and unreasonable reasons. Today its been more than four decades since I added a number to the population on this planet earth. Yes, I have laughed, cried, tormented over numerous things. I agree. I don’t like many episodes that have occurred in my life. But yes, as we know, nobody’s life is perfect, and I have given a significant time of my life to understand this simple truth of my life.
With my life’s experience now, I understand the value of time in this world. Life is a gift. God is great! We are blessed with miracles all around us in the form of the sea, rivers, nature, mountains, trees, sunrise, sunsets, rains, flowers, birds and much more. I am grateful for all those times when I have been saved from unpleasant incidents in my life. I appreciate my presence on this earth. Am sure there is a meaning of me being on this earth and alive.
I may not know how many more years I would be blessed to see this miracle of the almighty, but for now, I want to cheer for all the good and bad times I have had so far.
There’s one thing I am pretty sure of now when it comes to my perception of myself is I am unique. Now by this belief, I will find my true fulfilment and happiness. Fostering a good, healthy sense of self-acceptance is an essential basis for a happy life.