Coming Of Age

I love it when I read something that sparks my imagination.  This morning it was a post from a friend on Facebook about the construct of time.  What it said was that time has no meaning.  We have simply developed constructs related to the rotation of the earth and the orbit of the earth around the sun that have dictated our actions.   Of course this got me thinking about different constructs and how it would impact our perception of age.  Imagine, if there were 26 hours in a day and 375 days in a year?  Instead of being 57 years old I would only be 51.  Then again, what if there were 22 hours in a day and 355 days in a year,  I’d be almost 64 years old.  That’s an interesting thought considering how we celebrate birthdays and the impact that our age has on our life.

Birthdays:  A Modern Construct

I have had the pleasure to celebrate my birthday 57 times.  Every year at the beginning of September I am reminded of the day I breathed air into my lungs for the first time.  This hasn’t always been the case, in fact, birthday celebrations were originally thought to be a pagan ritual and not supported by early Christianity.  Even Egyptian society limited celebrations to their Pharaohs.  Common man didn’t get into the act until centuries later.   What we saw instead were ‘coming of age’ celebrations.  When a boy transforms into a man and a girl into a woman.  These are still done in numerous cultures.  What a different perspective to mark a transformation vs an age on a calendar.

Some Milestone Transformations Worthy of Celebrating

I would love to toss aside my birthday in favour of more life affirming celebrations.  I can imagine my life’s celebrations as:

  • my birth
  • beginning my formal education
  • riding a bike
  • joining a team
  • completing my formal education
  • puberty
  • losing my virginity
  • demonstrating my citizenship by voting
  • mastering a skill
  • committing my love to someone
  • building a family
  • living with purpose
  • parenthood
  • sharing wisdom
  • grandparenthood
  • becoming the wisest elder
  • death

For some of these, there is a physiological link to when they would occur, but for others, they occur when you are ready to make them happen in your life.   How satisfying it is to be celebrated for those events in our life that make us the unique individual that we are.   Sometimes it’s easy to celebrate once a year, after all, it’s the same day every year and doesn’t require us to pay attention to the other days.  What an impact it might have if we put birthdays aside and paid attention to the events and milestones in our lives that weren’t bound by a calendar date.   They would be uniquely ours and occur throughout our lives, not just once a year.    So think about the things that are worth celebrating in your life and share them with the ones you love.  It’s definitely worth baking a cake.