Let’s Talk About: Celebrating Birthdays

Mom with Milo. Aren't they cute?

Today is my mom’s birthday, and it’s a big one. (Happy birthday, Mama!) Since I don’t want to be disowned, I won’t tell you her age. But I do think it’s worth talking about this whole aging thing and how upset people can get about turning a year older.

Here’s the thing: I think birthdays are for celebrating, whether you’re turning 10 or 100. I’ve felt strongly about this since one of my mom’s best friends died of breast cancer more than a decade ago. She was in her mid-thirties, and I’m pretty sure she would’ve been thrilled—elated, even—to be able to celebrate another birthday.

I just can’t take birthdays for granted anymore. There’s no good reason to be sad about getting a year older. And honestly? I don’t think this whole aging thing is as bad as some people might want you to believe. (Sometimes I feel like it’s all a ruse get us to buy a bunch of anti-aging products!)

Recently, though, this whole don’t-take-life-for-granted outlook of mine has become even stronger. The past few years haven’t been easy for most people—or, frankly, for me—but surviving some really difficult times has actually given me a huge gift. I’ve realized the best way (for me) to get through a challenging time in my life is to look forward with positivity and cultivate a sense of gratefulness. It’s not easy, especially when times are tough, but I work at it every day.

Mom and me in the '80s.

It may sound like a cliche, but this new outlook has kind of changed my life. I’m grateful that I have a job that I love. I live in a city I enjoy. I’ve been to so many beautiful, inspiring places. I get to talk about one of my favorite topics—natural beauty—on this little blog, and with all of you.

Life can be messy. Sometimes it’s awful. But mostly, I think it’s pretty fantastic. And I’m so happy to be able to celebrate another birthday with my adorable mother. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

So happy birthday, Mom! It’s going to be a good one. I just know it.

I’ll leave you all with one last link: this post from No More Dirty Looks, with six reasons why aging isn’t as awful as the cosmetics industry claims. Well said, Siobhan and Alexandra! I’m with you. —Aleigh

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