I have never been one to fuss over birthdays, especially my own. Neither have I stood on ceremony when it came to anniversaries, holidays, Religious days, or National days. It has been a struggle all of my adult life to try and understand why other people are different from the way I am in that regard. I do my best to leave people to celebrate in their own way, even if that means that maybe I think they overdo it sometimes.
I wish I was given the same respect. But as I mellow with my age, I can even begin to tolerate and understand why people aren't willing to let me be nonchalant about bithdays and other notable dates. But, when it comes to my family, I can sincerely say that for the most part, they allow me to be unenthusiastic for holidays and birthdays. Maybe some would say something out of earshot, but I have never heard anyone complain to me about the "lazy approach" I take to someone else's birthday. I am completely hit or miss when it comes to remembering these dates, even though my mom filled a small calander book for me, complete with every relatives' birthday, including all of the little people we call nephews and nieces. (They truly are so cute!)
I have come to the conclusion that it is hopeless for me to change whatever it is that causes me to miss these important dates. Furthermore, even when I remember, I almost always forget to send a card. Along those lines, I would encourage everyone who knows me to forget to send me a birthday card every year...it wouldn't be missed...I wouldn't even know who had forgotten, and might not even remember it was my birthday. But I know; not everyone is like that, and sometimes I wonder if I am really offending people seriously by by being so careless about their days.
I hope they aren't offended, because I surely do not want anyone to be offended, especially not on account of me. But I am also sort of hoping (wishing, really) that my lack of a birthday greeting or anniversary greeting isn't even missed. There were six children in my family...it is possible. There's a lot to remember when it comes to special events and days with that many people, and I tip my hat to those who pull it off; I truly do.
Yet deep inside, in the honest place, I realize I am not all that fussed about being this way. Is that selfishness? Or is it just the way I am?
I have never been one to dwell on these days. I also have never been one to make much of the past. History, although interesting and intriguing, doesn't seem all that important to me either. I can't even tell you when John F. Kennedy got shot, and someday, I'll probably forget September Eleventh as well. Dates and numbers denoting certain things just don't mean all that much to me. Christmas and Easter seem more like Monday and Tuesday to me than a holiday to celebrate.
What is far more important to me is the people who were affected by those dates and numbers. You could cuss me out for forgetting to send you a birthday card, and I'd be far more concerned about how you are today than how you were on the day I forgot to send you a card. Even my own birthday mostly goes forgotten, save for my family who all send cards. I can't remember the last time anyone came to visit me on my birthday, except maybe the Lachappelles (good friends who have been mentioned here numerous times). The truth of it is, it doesn't bother me that no one visits; in fact, I am kind of uncomfortable with the day and the idea that someone would go out of their way to visit me. Why visit me that day, but none other?
Why call me or send me a card to let me know you are thinking about me on that day, but on none other?. Why can't I send you an email every so often, or call you to let you know you are on my mind? Why is a birthday card more important than a greeting on a day you didn't expect anything?
Do you see why I find it difficult to understand the whole special day thing? I am the first to admit I try to make my daughter's birthday special, but then again, I try to make every day special if it is within my ability to do it. My daughter knows how much I fail at that, but I still try. When her birthday comes around, I don't want to feel like a hypocrite. Every day is a living day, not just her birthday.
But there are two ways to look at this, and my way is only one way. Others might say, "Can't you just do something special for them one day? Is it that hard"
I was about to say I wish I was different, but that would have been a lie. I don't wish I was different. I wish I was better at making every day special for people; but anyone who knows me also knows I have a lot to learn in order to pull that off. I guess I just don't get the special day thing, and although I know I'll make attempts to remember, I'll still forget someone, and I'll be left hoping they weren't offended because I did.
I do not stand on ceremony, and the past is the past. I have lived a life that could be filled with regret, if I could just remember what it is I am supposed to regret. I cannot honestly say I regret not sending more greeting cards.
My only hope in all of this regard is that I do not create a regret in someone else's life. I do sincerely wish that the greeting card industry had never been born, but now that it is a grandpa already, I can only hope it dies quickly. I say that, because I know I'll never be the one to remember to keep the greeting card grandpa alive by faithfully sending cards on every birthday and holiday. If the greeting card grandpa is left in my care, he will starve to death.