When did the custom of celebrating birthdays begin?
And - What's the point of celebrating your birthday?
I know many of you are probably saying: What?
Of course it's a good thing.
Nobody better forget my birthday.
I recall that when my birthday came around in my younger days I was very excited about it. Just the fact that we were in the month of October was enough reason to celebrate. Nowadays, it's still nice, but definitely less exciting as I near 50. Still, what should my attitude be about my own birthday? Did I accomplish something by living one more year. Many times I have semi-sarcastically congratulated co-workers in their birthday card for making it another year.
What should the occasion of another year of life completed entail?
It's nice to have your birthday remembered, to have people honor your birth and show their appreciation of you. But what should it mean personally?
My work used to give a day off for birthdays. They stopped that perk a few years back, but I still (usually) take the day off anyway. Partially to passively protest losing that benefit, but mostly to have time to reflect on another year in the books. What did I accomplish? What do I need to accomplish? I think there is a benefit to this kind of Self Examination. It allows you a moment to assess where you're at and think about where you need to be. Not that you can't do that on any other day. But an anniversary like a birthday seems a very appropriate time to pause and consider just those kinds of things.