Today is my birthday. Birthdays have a tendency to make us think about ourselves, whether we want to or not. The older we get, the less happy we tend to be about having another birthday, when in truth, we all should be thrilled when the day comes around. Long life is a gift we should never take for granted; it’s a gift too many people don’t receive. So as I was thinking about birthdays in general, I managed to pull a poem out of it. Enjoy your day—I know I’m going to enjoy mine!

Thinking About Birthdays

Birthdays can sometimes be
a fist to the gut,
like kneading bread.
Year after year
we take a solid punch,
yet we're still mostly standing.
Like a young fighter,
aiming to be on top of the world,
we crave more to test ourselves,
to prove we can do it all.
We want to be old enough
to do all the things we dream of--
stay up late,
eat what we want,
drive a car.
to be in charge of ourselves,
and not have to do what anyone tells us
because we will know it all.
Time cannot move fast enough.

Then without noticing,
time speeds by us.
In the blink of an eye 
birthdays become numbers we dread.

We see our children grown,
living lives of their own,
even though they are always babies in our eyes.
We look in the mirror
and can't quite comprehend 
the reflection staring back at us.
How can this old person be me,
when inside there's still someone
wanting to laugh and dance
and celebrate life and all its joys?

I try not to dwell on the numbers.
Math was never my subject;
and besides, 
no matter how much time we have,
it will never be enough.
Why waste it on things we can't control?
I'd rather spend my time
delighted by all the little joys.
Let's sing and dance. 
Let's eat cake and raise a glass.
Let's laugh. 
Let's love.
Birthdays are a wonderful excuse,
but being alive is the only excuse we need.

~Elise Skidmore ©2023

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  1. I love that poem! We’re like wine. We get better with age and learn what’s really important in life. Let’s age well my friend. ✌️🫶🥳. Happy Birthday! #69!!!