So ... it's my Gregorian, crawled-from-the-womb-of-my-mother birthday. I'm 29 years old today. That means next year I'll be 30, and that's an age I've always longed for. Why? I can't say exactly. I just feel like it's some kind of prized accomplishment to hit 30. Twenty-nine, it seems, is not so exciting. But at least I remembered my birthday this year.
I slept in, went and got a massage thanks to a gift credit from an awesome coworkers, bought myself a birthday cake to take to a friend's sukkah tonight, and am now sitting outside of a Whole Foods still greased up from my massage drinking something called RUNA that advertises itself as "focused energy." Only 50 calories per bottle! Hoo-rah!
So what is my wisdom? What is my grand statement of day of birth clarity?
I honestly don't have one. Birthdays, it seems, are irrelevant at this age. I don't get gifts anymore, and the only in-the-mail card I got was from the stellar Tenzin (thank you!). It's another day, and that's okay.
If you look back to Tanakh, the only birthday ever mentioned was Pharoah's, and he was no friend to the Israelities -- so why do we even celebrate birthdays? Age, it seems, was only important at the point someone died or something major happened.
Perhaps someday a biography will state, "At age 29, Chaviva moved to Israel." And then it will skip forward to the next age-significant moment in my life's chronology.
When I was in kindergarten I had a bowling party. After that I think it was mostly sleepovers. My 16th birthday involved miniature gummies that were shaped like hamburgers. When I turned 21, I met my (mostly) underage friends for dinner at Old Chicago and then went bar hopping with my newspaper coworkers and imbibed quite a lot of Bomb Pops (perhaps the most delicious girly beverage on the face of the earth). After that? Birthdays stopped being fun and started being obligatory. Two years ago, I got my first ever surprise "party" on Shabbat when my ex-husband took me out while sick to a friend's apartment where there were mini-festivities as I sniffed and coughed and felt like utter hell.
So there we are. It's 2012, I'm 29 years old, and it's really nothing special. I'm crazy stoked for Sukkot, but I'm realizing that leggings or tights or something warmer than what I currently seem to have in my wardrobe might be necessary.
Here's to another year. And celebratory birthday leggings. Chag sameach, everyone!