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Yet Another Birthday
Yet Another Birthday

14 May 2019

What they call a ‘significant birthday’ is fast approaching – it is but a couple of weeks away, as I write. I hope you’ll understand, if I go a bit ‘mushy’!

How to celebrate

Let’s get it over with, then! I’ll reach what I still think of as ‘retirement age’ in June.

I am a civil celebrant, so you’re going to expect me to arrange a ceremony for myself (and, maybe, even conduct it myself!). Well, no, you’d be mistaken. That’s not what I’m doing.

However, I do plan to mark the occasion publicly. So I am going to receive a religious blessing during a (regular) service in front of people that I love. (I’m an active worshipper, so it’s not hypocritical for me to choose the religious option. After all, I offer my clients the ceremonies that suit them.)

Irrespective of my example, I absolutely encourage people to celebrate a life-cycle event. Be proud of how far you’ve come and appreciate what you have to be grateful for! I get it that not everyone will decide to mark it with a public event, though.

It’s also lovely to have an excuse to make a fuss of ‘the star’ or be the one in the spotlight – but that won’t rock everybody’s boat. Persoanlly, I’m with those who prefer to keep it mostly low-key.

In fact, I shall be taking a city-break as my ‘big treat’, as well as enjoying a couple of meals out with selected family and friends. I imagine that some alcohol may possibly pass my lips during this period!

Personal

I have reached the time in my life when I have become aware of the transience of life. I can look back as well as forwards. Nobody (yet!) can really predict their life-span or what will befall them before they reach it. So take stock and appreciate what you do have.

I acknowledge that, as far as I can tell, I am in pretty good health (for my age!). I still have body and mind that function effectively, despite odd wobbles, and I am so grateful. I appreciate the maturity I have acquired, yet I can still run for a bus. I may even remember my Oyster Card!

I exercise, enjoy eating (more judiciously, these days), listening to and (in a choir) singing music, and I appreciate nature. I watch sport (on TV these days) and manage to do puzzles and occasionally some reading. Life could be a lot worse.

The Past shaping the Future

What is important to me is where I have come from (and how I have developed and been able to contribute to other people). I know I had reached an impasse in my fifties. I never anticipated my mid-life crisis (who can?) and I went through a ghastly few years.

Without that ordeal, I would never have evolved. I would never have leapt at the opportunity of becoming a civil celebrant. I might not have been the husband and father I have become. I would never have the (mainly positive!) challenges of my current life.

I look forward to each day, and that’s so important for me. I am blessed with my family and my friends. I am blessed with the work I do. I am blessed by being able to feel positive, wanted and loved. I am blessed that I can contribute valuably to my family, friends and clients.

I am so grateful for the love, trust, patience and support that have been shown to me.

I wonder whether I’ll be able to say all that at my next milestone?! Or what my next milestone will be?

Author:

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.

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