Why I Don’t Celebrate My Birthday

human evolution

Tomorrow, on the 24th of August, is my birthday, my 24th, but I am not going to celebrate, not because of melancholy or depression, no, not at all, for at present I am quite content with my life as it is, and though there is always room for improvement, I have come to the conclusion that appreciating what you have is just as important as striving for more, so the reason I do not celebrate my birthday is that, 

quite frankly, I don’t see the point of it, I mean I would rather liberate myself from the concept of birth and death and the anxiety inherent in them, that is to say, to see your life in terms of having been born one day and going to die some other day is a simplistic way to look at it and if we think about it more deeply we realize that each of us needed a bit more than a man and a woman, our father and our mother, to be born, that although we have all come out of the womb, many different conditions had to be favorable for our coming to happen, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the whole universe conspired to help us manifest, and if by now you are becoming concerned about the length of this sentence please don’t worry but keep on reading because I know what a period is but I’m deliberately refusing to use it so just think of the food our parents had to eat to sustain their existence before having us, and of all those plants and animals who provided it, willingly or not, and think of the sunlight and the rain that those plants and animals fed upon, and think of the lakes we’ve never seen whose graceful transformation into clouds was necessary to supply that rain, and of the lap of the earth which held those lakes, and think of the ancestors of our parents, whose continued existence, from the very first of them, no more than furry animals in forests, to homo sapiens to cave dwellers to medieval troublemakers to the settled men and women of centuries past, has made it possible for the two of us to be here now, I writing and you reading, and who moreover are by no means dead but continue to live in us, our ancestors, their genetic makeup encoded in our cells, and think of all those brilliant men and women who, although unrelated to us by blood, have made our existence possible through the invention of the wheel and of antibiotics and vaccines and baby food, and of those who built the houses which sheltered us during rain and snow and torrential heat, and think of Aristotle and Plato and Socrates and the Greeks of old, and of all those Eastern mathematicians and doctors whose names I cannot even pronounce, who, through their discoveries and inventions, have led to all the technological advances that make our existence not only possible, but agreeable, and above all, think of the Big Bang and the primordial soup of the universe, where it all began, that big galactic orgasm which created the conditions for our existence, and think even before that, to the great unknown beyond our comprehension, and you will understand, I hope, if you have not yet lost by now the thread of this somewhat long sentence, that we weren’t actually born when it’s written in our birth certificates, and that we will not die when it will be written on our death certificates, that we were not born and do not really die, that these are mere concepts, that the universe is like a humongous mass of Plasticine which shapes itself incessantly, and that we quickly lose our small, ephemeral forms, but that then we invariably return to the eternal substance to be shaped into some other form, a chemical rebirth, reincarnation, resurrection, immortality, call it what you will, an endless extension, an endless continuation, like this very sentence which I refuse to end, and so in short, although I do not celebrate my birthday tomorrow, I take advantage of this opportunity to contemplate my existence and to be grateful to everything that has sustained it so far, to my parents, my dear mother, my dead father, and to their parents, my grandparents, and to their ancestors, and to all those men and women who indirectly provide me with all the comforts I enjoy today, and of course, to you for sharing with me this moment in which we intrude upon each other’s thoughts, and to conclude, although tomorrow is my birthday, it really isn’t, for like you and everything else I was really born a long, long time ago, with the Big Bang or even earlier, but still this doesn’t mean I won’t accept gifts, or at least good wishes.

PS: This post, or rather sentence, has a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease of -191.4, which means that if you got to the end of it you have my deepest respect.


52 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Celebrate My Birthday

  1. Happy birthday Vincent! It’s my birthday on the 25th! 🙂
    Here’s wishing you a lovely year that brings you as much fulfilment as you desire. Much love and light to you. 🙂

          1. That is true. For us both.
            I hope we enjoy the adventure that this life is to bring us. Cheers! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Vincent. I agree that maybe this doesn’t celebrate the year of your birth in actuality so we shall celebrate instead your appearance day.May there be many happy returns of that.

  3. happy birthday.I do believe your ancestors are not as old as you think. but never the less, I wish you to have the best day of the year tomorrow whether you know it or not.

  4. Happy birthday, boy.
    And many happy and presumable healthy ones to come filled with laughter, love, writing, insight, and whatever it is that you find fulfilling.
    with deep admiration,

  5. That was a unique sentence, I must say. Sure glad I don’t have to diagram it! I wonder, have you ever disgraced a sentence. Don’t know if that is taught any more. (I don’t remember what to do with an understood subject. Probably put it in parentheses.) Happy birthday.

    1. I hope you mean diagrammed, not disgraced. 🙂 If so, I may have tried a few times but I cannot say I’m keen about it. Diagramming sentences is like measuring and counting flower petals.

  6. happy birthday boy…. god bless you.u have a great thought seriously n what i feel is on every birthday we are becoming older and tht is decreasing our years of living… so even i dont cherish my day much.

  7. Happy Birthday! I celebrate, but in my own way, by myself. No party, no crowds, just me and God. I’m thankful to be the age I am now (even though I don’t look my age). Enjoy and celebrate your own way.

  8. Happy Birthday!

    Your post reminded me of the little statement cards at the end of Chuck Lorre’s television shows. I really enjoyed it. However, although I agree with everything you said, I still believe there is a reason to celebrate, even if it’s not really for you. In my family, even though none of us really want to celebrate our birthdays (everyone has their own reasoning), my mother has always insisted we celebrate. In her mind, it’s not about us, it’s about her — she was the one that went through labor just so we could be here, therefore, we NEED to get together to make her happy. She isn’t shy about telling us that repeatedly LOL. So we do. And you know what? Even though I hate celebrating my birthday, I never regret doing it because you get to hang out with your family for a while and then go home. It’s a lovely thing.

    One of my friend’s celebrates her birthday in a unique way as well. She also hates birthday celebrations, but she used what she saw my family do (cave into our mother’s wishes to celebrate) and started her own tradition — she writes her mother a hand written note every year. She gives the gift to her mother. It’s a good way to acknowledge your birthday, but celebrate someone else instead — a gift to your mother (going to dinner, writing a letter, sending flowers, just picking up the phone), these are good ways to celebrate what is, according to what you wrote, something to celebrate simply because we were fortunate enough to reap the rewards of everything that came before us.


    1. Indeed, it is so. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Having a small family that lives closely together, family reunions have never been necessary here, but I can understand why they are important for families living apart, and especially for parents. While I did not celebrate my birthday in the traditional sense, I did use the opportunity to spend time with someone dear to me, and it was a memorable day indeed, so you can say that I did follow you advice. Hope to see you around here.

      1. My family lives close together — we’re all spaced out over a five mile radius, so it’s not because we don’t see each other. We also have weekly dinners. It’s just that it makes my mom happy. I’m glad you had a memorable and good birthday, even if it wasn’t in the traditional cake way 🙂

  9. What a fabulous idea. Like Kafka. I like periods, though. But the fluidity of life is something one cannot deny. One’s birthday only feels different from other days if one acknowledges it. I hate acknowledging mine. If only others would let me forget it.

    And so, this birthday, I won’t wish you a happy birthday (although I do hope it was nice). Instead, I’ll wish you a wonderful life, and ask again for your address. I am a terrible terrible friend!

    1. Dear Jessica, I hope you are well. I do think of you now and then, and keep an eye on your fb activity, and although we don’t speak as often as before, time and distance shall not erase you from my memory anytime soon. My address? I shall send it to you.

      1. I hope I shall never be erased from you memory. You shall never be erased from mine. There are souls that resonate. Ours are among them. Please do send me your address whenever you will. Perhaps this holiday season would be the perfect time for a gift.


  10. So you don’t want people to wish u Happy Birthday on your birthday !! Really great thought…and actually there is no point in wishing or celebrating that day….what so special right ?? We grow elder…we lost one more year to celebrate life !! We move towards the end …..But still this the most happiest day for your family and therefore i wish them Happy Birthday of Vincent !!

  11. Happy (belated) Birthday! 😀 That was certainly difficult to read as a single sentence, but worth it!

    So instead of celebrating your birthday, you celebrated the fact the you are the ever recycled atoms of the universe, created by the Big Bang. The fact that you have sustained your own life up until now. The fact that you even exist in your form at all.
    That, in many ways, is perhaps the most noblest of reasons to celebrate. 🙂

    Hope you had a good day!

      1. I’m good, thanks! 🙂
        Having lived in the city for a while now, things aren’t as green as the scenic countryside. I haven’t seen much frogs either… perhaps my Tweedles were a subconscious response to this in the form of mechanical frog-like creatures?

  12. Finally someone who gets it. I too don’t make a big deal out of birthdays. People look at me life i am growing horns when I say this.

    Happy much much belated birthday!

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