Denise Day Spencer

January 10, 2006

Happy birthday to me!

Filed under: Personal reflections — denisedayspencer @ 10:50 am

Birthdays are funny things.

Once a co-worker of mine, the day before he became 50, refused to say the number. When I asked him how old he was turning, he said, “I’m going to be the same age as Mark.” When I answered that Mark was 49, he said, “Then I’m going to be the age Mark will be on his next birthday.” It was as if he thought that as long as he didn’t speak the evil number, age would have no hold on him.

Then there was the co-worker who was going to be 30 the next day. So throughout the shift she went around to every nurses’ aide, patient and visitor she could find, saying, “Ask me how old I am!” When they asked, she beamed and replied, “I’m 29!”

Whether we try to magically elude the power of the number or we embrace the last day before entering a new decade, we all must deal with these mile markers in our lives.

I’ve really only had two birthdays that depressed me. Oddly, they were both when I was quite young–at least compared to how old I am now. One was 27. Strange, huh? I hadn’t yet had children, so I was really skinny. I wore contacts and was still reasonably attractive. I was happy in my marriage and had a great job. So why did turning 27 upset me? I remember thinking, “I’m no longer in my early or mid-20’s; I’m now in my late 20’s. Oh, no! I’m almost 30!” (As I turn 49 today, that seems really funny now.)

And 30 was depressing. Maybe it was because my best friends hung a black funeral wreath on my door and draped the handrail along my front walk with black crepe paper. Maybe it was because my father was depressed. (“Knowing that my daughter is 30 makes me feel so old!”) But really it was the fact that there were some issues in my life that weren’t good. I had hoped that by this time they would be resolved or at least better. Instead, they were only getting worse. It wasn’t so much the birthday as what it represented to me.

But usually birthdays make me feel special. I enjoy the cards, e-messages and cheerful “Happy birthday!” greetings from friends and co-workers. I have fun with whatever my family decides to do for me. I try to be extra nice to myself all day.

Best of all, birthdays are reminders that God created me as a one-of-a-kind person. He knew me even before I was born. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” –Jeremiah 1:5a. He knows how many (graying) hairs I have. “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” –Matthew 10:30. Though I may not always feel like it, there’s a reason I exist and a reason I’m me.

Cheesy, huh? Well, it’s true. So . . . Happy birthday to me!

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5 Comments »

  1. Happy Birthday Denise. I hope your day is everything you could wish for.

    Comment by Hope — January 10, 2006 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  2. Birthdays always remind me of the awsomeness of God creating me as well. I must say, I am glad God created you… and I bet Michael is even “gladder” 🙂

    Happy Birthday!

    BTW, I realy do enjoy reading what you have to say. Keep blogging!

    Comment by Cultural Savage — January 10, 2006 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  3. Hey Super D,

    Happy Birthday!

    BTW: You have a GREAT Name! Michael Knows it Well! Hehe!

    Comment by Dennis — January 10, 2006 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  4. Happy birthday Denise! Hope the day’s a good one. I know you folks over there don’t get much time off, but maybe you’ll be able to find a few minutes to relax.

    Comment by Kurt Nordstrom — January 10, 2006 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  5. Happy Birthday!

    Comment by Ryan Cordle — January 10, 2006 @ 7:41 pm | Reply


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