Turning 31 has no real significance other than the difficult-to-accept fact that once again I’m a year older. And I’m facing another 8 years of birthdays with exactly the same significance.
Look at 30 for instance. A mile stone. Another decade passed and you’re entering the distinctive next stage of life. Worthy of a celebration.
Looking back at years 29 – 26, they were all worthy of celebrating, purely because they started with a 2. The twenties, the most virile stage of a man’s life. Beyond the 9 lies a world where Viagra stops being a recreational drug and eventually becomes prescription medicine.
25 is obviously a huge cause for celebration. A quarter of a century. It sounds impressive. There’s a connection with a century, an insinuation of longevity, perhaps even immortality – you are 25 after all you feel like you’ll live forever.
Birthday celebrations at age 24 – 22 are difficult to distinguish from all the other parties you were having.
21 is an obvious, universally celebrated coming of age. Keys are involved, but I’m not exactly sure of their significance. I wonder what I did with my key?
And then there’s 20 – the marker of a decade. But unlike the celebration a decade ahead, this celebration more looks forward to what is to come: responsibility, goals, achievements, possessions. At age 20 there is little time to retrospect the doings of a child, in fact, in my case, I hastily moved on from years 19 and below without too much reflection.
But those first 19 years each warranted their own celebrations as each year marks advancement on year 0 when you knew and could do nothing.
Three decades of birthdays with significance of varying degrees. Over. What am I celebrating today? That I’m a year older, have even less hair on my head, more hair on my torso (and nose, and ears), my knees hurt when I cross my legs and my body is still as scrawny as it was when I was 18 – save for the spare tire?
Luckily I don’t have to wait until age 40 to next find significance in a birthday, because my 31st celebration involves people I know, like and love.