October 16, 2021

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My father’s right: I am not a kid anymore, I shouldn’t expect gifts and balloons on my birthday

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Uday Deb
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It’s going to be my birthday. Now my father tells me that I should grow out of wanting to treat this day as something I expect the world to notice. I am not a kid anymore that I should expect gifts and balloons (I don’t expect this, the balloons that is) and to be the centre of attraction (I do expect this). I am a middle aged man, and that is objectively true, and if the undertone of my father’s opinion is that I am self-obsessed, then I am not saying he is wrong, after all he knows me well, but be as it may my fixation with myself, I believe my birthday is even more important now, precisely because I am no longer a child.

Once upon a time, birthdays meant people and presents. It had nothing to do with self-reflection, setting goals and tracking your journey. When you are young, your goals are set by life itself, up a grade every year, school to college, natural progressions, then falling in love, getting married, starting a family, these are all things we are pre-programmed to do, and we go from one to another, without a thought. Till we reach middle age. Then what? Many pass their goals onto their children, living vicariously through them, using their natural progression as a proxy for theirs. This is terrible for the children, and we all know why. Some others become depressed and aimless, and sad, without understanding why.

As for me, I am well aware that more of my life is behind me than in front, that I won’t win a cricket game for India with a last-ball six or progress above middle management, no matter what baloney self-help books want to sell me. That is why it is even more important for me to look at what I have done, and what it is I can do, like an annual self-evaluation they make you go through at work, cut out what’s not working and double down on what is. Time does not lie endless in front of me as it did when I was 18 and I can’t be anything I want to be, which means every moment and every decision matters even more, and every birthday becomes progressively more significant.

So yes I am not going to back down on this. I am a middle aged man, and I want to celebrate myself, cause if I don’t who will? I am here. I exist. My life matters. And it’s going to be my birthday.

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Disclaimer

This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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