The Alternative is Death

In a year where we have witnessed some very public deaths of people with whom we have a cultural connection, e.g., Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, and in a year that many of us have lost people close to us, I have a hard time feeling any shred of sympathy for people who are begrudgingly “celebrating” their birthdays.

Image result for sad birthday

First off, if you’re so unhappy with turning 40 or 50 or any other age, why then bring attention to it by griping about the occasion on social media? It is disingenuous for an adult to make a claim of “I’m so troubled by this,” and here’s why. This person’s lack of authenticity lies in the reality that mature people don’t tend to look for attention for things they cannot control. It’s like being “so troubled” by having FICA taken out of your bi-weekly paycheck or snow coming from New England clouds in February.

Complaining only makes you look either ignorant on how things work–in this case, how 365 days add up to make you a year older– or desperate for your observers to tell you how fantastic you look despite your calling attention to how old you perceive yourself to be.

It’s pretty pathetic. Because what is the alternative to aging?


That’s right. For all your bellyaching over a number, a date on the calendar, there are people who actually ache over the empty space left by a loved one. For all your woe-is-me, which is a not so cleverly disguised “tell me how great I look,” there are people whose lives are now truly woeful over the loss of someone they loved.

While I am not usually one to criticize another adult’s behavior, this trend of people bemoaning their birthdays followed by well-wishers making ego-stroking commentary needs to come to an end.

We all ought to simply recognize the stark reality that 365 days equals a year and that none of us has control over the turning of the earth on its axis.

Get over yourselves and be glad the alternative did not occur.

5 thoughts on “The Alternative is Death

  1. Well said. I’m certainly guilty of privately complaining to my spouse of how “old” I feel sometimes (mostly just complaining about aches and pains that come with the territory), but I do feel lucky I’ve made it this far. Not everyone does. Everyday is a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

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