I have to give a huge nod to Ronit for her mad skills at coming up with the quirky title of this post. I hadn't yet had the boost of creative juice to realize that today, my 30th birthday, is a new version of me.
I'm not really sure why or when the 20th, 30th, 40th, etc. birthdays became such a big deal, but the reality is that after 21, you don't have many other major milestone "something happens" birthdays (if you're born in the U.S. anyway).
- Ten was a step toward the teens.
- Fourteen was getting a job (technically I started two months before my 14th birthday).
- Sixteen was a driver's license.
- Eighteen was the right to vote.
- Twenty-one was the right to (legally) drink.
And then? Well, I guess 25 meant that I didn't have to pay up the wazoo on rental cars, but other than that, not much happens. I haven't gotten gifts in years (this year was the first in many for receiving gifts, thanks to my most awesome MIL), and the attempts at attempting a birthday party simply didn't happen.
So my 30th has mostly come and gone without much fanfare. My Hebrew birthday was last week, and after a nice dinner out with Mr. T I got violently ill (glutened?) and have been under the weather ever since (bummed that we spent the money when I just regurgitated it all). Today was a work meeting, a visit to emergency care (again), and stressing over finances (again, as we're paying rent in two locations for the second month in a row with money we don't really have).
Perhaps, then, too much value is placed on birthdays. There are many in the Jewish world who believe that celebrating birthdays is a no-no, something in the vein of what pagans once did and something that Jews aren't meant to (in the Bible, the one birthday mentioned is that of Pharaoh, believe it or not). I joked with Mr. T today that henceforth, mommies count time in the days of their childrens' lives.
Time to spend the few hours left of this Chaviva 3.0 upgrade mumbling like a madwoman in HaShem's general direction. All I want for my birthday is peace, strength, patience, and a healthy, happy, curious child.
What do you think about birthdays in the Jewish world? Was 30 a big one for you or did it float by without any recognition?
FYI: Sukkot was amazing. We spent time in the north with friends in Ma'alot minutes from the border with Lebanon where we ate delicious chili and chatted the night away in the sukkah. We spent the next day driving back home with a detour past a winery that I visited ages ago that just wasn't the same, but I got to see some beautiful landscapes of Israel that reminded me of Colorado with their greenery. Check out some of the pictures over on Flickr!