By the time I finish this post, I will have turned 50 years old. I spent over 40 years of my life not celebrating my birthday, and it never seemed like a big deal to me. Three years ago, I received a cake and some friends sang "Happy Birthday" to me at a dinner party that was for a different event. It was nice. The very first time since I was three years old. Two years ago, I spent my birthday in Thailand, finishing up my PADI open water SCUBA diving certification, getting a relaxing massage, then spending the last couple hours of the evening drinking and going home with a woman I met earlier. Last year, I was surrounded by strangers in Laos at a hostel, who put candles in some donuts they bought for me, sang the birthday song, then took me bowling.
I never thought much about my birthday. Never really missed it, because it was "pagan" to celebrate it. Just another day. However, this one seems like it should be special. But I didn't know how to tell people about it. It just seems self-important to be announcing that you have a birthday coming up so hopefully someone will plan a party. I don't really have any close friends here yet, so inviting them to a party that I plan seems desperate.
So, I'm ringing in my half-century mark pretty much alone. I have some immigration papers to take care of during the day, a class to teach in the evening. Then I'll probably just go home and get ready for the next day. I'm not trying to have an "oh, pity me" moment here. I'm just wondering how the rest of you deal with your birthdays after leaving the organization.
I just let it happen - coworkers and friends usually do a cake and cards etc. I’ve had a couple of big blow out parties when I was still in my twenties, in my forties it’s usually a small celebration with my husband, and something at work.
Happy Birthday...... yeah I remember turning 50. The only good thing about it was everyone told me ,no you can't be that old you look much younger....lol Fifty was the only bday party I ever had. my sister did a double bday for me and a friend
I remember it very well but my sister doesn't even remember it at all.
Not because something is wrong with her, it's just that she's always throwing parties or going to them.....lol
To be honest i don't celebrate at all either. Just not a big deal to me. I just treat it as a normal day. Some years, my uber-religious JW mother calls me on my birthday to say hello. Not in as a celebration, but just to say hi, and recognize my birthday. I don't think she did it last year.
don't make a big deal of it , some family do send presents which is nice but most don't bother as i don't bother with theirs , it's like the christmas nonsense that I learned to live without , people always feel cheated somehow unless you put some sort of rule in place as to how much you are going to spend , geez supposed to be about the giving ... no thanks
Happy Birthday! Being a born-in and soon to turn 64 I still act like a little kid on my brithday. A few of our friends who know our background makes it a big deal for us. I don't need presents but I do like the singing of the brithday song and blowing out the candles and of course eating the cake. It's kind of like making up a lost childhood. Lol. Anyway have a great brithday and try to do something special. Still Totally ADD
I'm just wondering how the rest of you deal with your birthdays after leaving the organization.
I was born on the 4th of July (U.S Holiday) so every year on my birthday, there were two fun occasion that I wasn't allowed to participate in. Even as a born-in, I never could understand the reasoning behind the JW birthday ban.
When I became a Dad my wife and I used to secretly do a little something special for our boys when it was their birthday. I'd bring home a special desert and after dinner I would recount the night they were born and our trip to the hospital and all excitement that took place on the occasion of their birth. I loved the shy yet proud look that would come across their faces as we let them know in this small and "forbidden" way, how very much they were loved and wanted.
The year we stopped going to meetings, I turned 50 and even though I had lost every friend I ever had, instead of everything going wrong like they say it will, everything got better. I had started a new job and it was and still is the best job I ever had. Apparently when I was hired, someone kept track of when my birth date so on the day before the 4th of July Holiday, my name was announced over the P.A system and I was summoned to the penthouse on the 22nd floor. I thought maybe I was in some sort of trouble or something bad was finally going to happen. Instead, I walked into a beautiful banquet room with floor to ceiling windows and a balcony that overlooked the City and the waterfront. It was all decked out with balloons and streamers and a cake with candles and food and smiling faces. Even when they all began shouting "Surprise !! "and "Happy Birthday!!", I had no idea what was going on.
After realizing what was happening, I remember being embarrassed because I was the center of attention. As a JW's it was drilled into my head that drawing undue attention to ones self is frowned upon. I was a bit panicked because I didn't know how to act or what I was supposed to do or say. Everyone was laughing because they had to instruct me each step of the way. "Go on Pete....Make a wish"...."Blow out the candles" "Open your present", they shouted.
They thought my awkwardness was due to their success at my being so completely and thoroughly surprised. Little did they know that at 50 years of age, I had never ever celebrated a birthday in my life and had never even so much as been to a birthday party let alone had one in my honor. Nor did they suspect that I was half scared that I would be struck down with lightning for participating in a pagan ritual and for not making my usual righteous stand for Jehovah....(AKA the Governing Body).
The following week, I went to the Lake Tahoe Apostafest and a wonderful group of former JW's sang 'Happy Birthday" to me, as we all sat around the campfire on a beautiful starry night.
I well understand the melancholy one can feel when they've reached a milestone that seems as if it should be marked in someway. It can leave a person feeling a bit flat, when such occasions come and go and no one notices. My 50th was memorable but I've had lots of times that instead of being "occasions" like one might hope, they simply came and then went.
Anyway, your 50th year is 365 days long. There's still time to mark the occasion in some memorable way. Make your 50th year one that you'll never forget !
So Happy 50th birthday to you...you're not getting older....you're getting better !