Getting Older and Hopefully Slightly Wiser

I once heard someone say that disappointment exists between expectations and reality.  I think that is a very true statement I tend to keep close to my heart during, for example, my birthday this month.

I’ve tried over last number of years to keep my expectation around gifts in check by not expecting anything at all.  Thus I avoid disappointment over something I thought I ‘deserved‘ for some reason when I don’t get it.  I’ve also realized there is an additional upside of expecting nothing: I’m very touched by every little gesture people do for me.

I had mentioned a week early that I was taking off a Friday for my birthday at work.  I was then touched that several people wished me a happy birthday as I was leaving on Thursday.  It isn’t much of anything, but I noticed as I get older I care less about the stuff of birthdays but more about the acknowledgement of the day.  I would rather get five wishes of ‘happy birthday’ than six cards any day of the week.

I also had an odd experience this year as I was asked by my wife what I wanted for my birthday.  My first response: a complete and utter blank look.  Nothing came into my head at all for a while.  I had at that moment no wants (for the record, yes it felt sort of zen like).  It was only after paying attention to my life for a few weeks did a few little things come to me that I would enjoy: like a sample set of teas (from David’s Tea), a new set of workout clothes (my old pair is like 10 years old) and two DVDs.

So the big day arrived and guess what I’m thrilled with my day: no work, a good meal planned at home (all appetizer supper) and a nice bottle of wine to go with.  Perhaps I’m getting a little more wiser as I get older and I realize: I don’t need much to be happy in life.  It’s not to say I don’t enjoy the odd restaurant meal out, but I rather prefer a more causal meal at home with my family when I get to do some cooking (which I enjoy).

So has your birthday celebrations changed as you got older?  What did you start doing and what have you stopped doing?

4 thoughts on “Getting Older and Hopefully Slightly Wiser”

  1. I know I was getting old when on my birthday I started to like getting new clothing (pants, shirts, jackets) whereas when I was a kid I never liked getting clothes.

    For my last birthday which was a few weeks ago, my dad took me out to eat, then a few days later my ladyfriend took me out to eat and later baked me a chocolate cake. She also bought me an electric can opener (I told her a month earlier I wanted one of those). My brother got me a book to add to my summer reading at the pool. I don’t tell anyone else I know about it any more. All in all, a fine birthday, my last one as a 40-something.

  2. Firstly, HAPPY BIRHTDAY…

    now, I just had a birthday that allowed me to apply for my very small pension from an old job, so that was fun–sort of.
    I really hate birthdays–they have always been a let down for me. With the kid gone, my mom passed away and a husband who seems slightly brain damaged at the thought of having to think of something i might enjoy I just find something really nice that I would never buy normally and just treat myself. No cake, too many allergies, and the same with supper…..
    This year I got myself a laser treatment….hopefully zapping a year or two from the face….

  3. Happy Birthday!

    Hmm. No change I guess except that now I adore getting small useful things from others now – mostly to do with cooking.

    Like lorain, I treat myself on my birthday (and at xmas) to the guilty pleasure kind of things.

  4. I really like your comments about Birthdays etc.

    Your comments put life in perspective for me.

    My Birthday is just around the corner and my kids, wife ask me what I want I suggest they donate a few $$ to charity of there choice.

    I am a lucky man not much I need in life that is really important but having family to celebrate the day with me is wonderful.

    I guess what I would like in my life is bit more serenity but that is fleeting at times.

    I have to remember to be grateful for what I do have in my life.

Comments are closed.