Partial Birthdays and The New Year

Partial Birthdays and The New Year

Photo by Charles Luk

Here I am sipping a lovely cup of Darjeeling tea reflecting on the fact that it is actually 2014 now. I know it’s 6 days into the year, but it still doesn’t feel like it.

It’s like a birthday. Do you instantly feel a year older when the clock strikes midnight on that special date that you await every year? When someone asks you, “So, how does it feel to be one year older,” do you have an answer? I certainly don’t.

Every day throughout the year we age a little bit more. Every day after our birthday we’re a little bit less the previous age and a little bit more settled into the age we are, until we get about halfway through the year when we start to become more and more of the age we’re going to turn on our next birthday. It’s like a gradient of ages.

When it becomes a new official year, we’re still in the midst of the gradients of the previous year and the year we now call home. So, it might be the actual calendar beginning of the year now, but as we get further into 2014, the feel of 2013 will fade more and more until about halfway through when there’s no 2013 left.

To take it one step further, it’s really these junction points on a never-ending loop that we celebrate at the winter and summer solstices and the fall and spring equinoxes. If we observe all four points, we celebrate the whole seasonal cycle and not just the winter solstice, the end which is also the beginning.

Or if you’re like me, you celebrate the summer solstice more than the winter, just because it’s warm and lovely. {:

But, all four points of the cycle are important to observe and reflect upon, and maybe this points to it being a good idea to celebrate on the quarter, half, and three-quarter marks of our age as well.

It’s super simple to figure out, too. Just take your birth month, and figure out three months later. Got it? Ok, now tack onto the end of that the day of the month that your birth date falls on. Ok? That’s your quarter birthday. Add three months to that, and you get your half birthday. Add another three months, and that’s your three-quarter birthday.

For example:
Let’s say your birthday is on May 16th.
Three months after that is August, so August 16th is your quarter birthday.
Three months from then is November, so November 16th is your half birthday.
Three months later is February, so February 16th is your three-quarter birthday.

Now, I don’t see this as a reason to demand a lot of gifts or anything, or expect others to be all that interested. I certainly wouldn’t go up to my friends and say, “Hey, dudes, it’s my three-quarter birthday. Where’s my gift? Zomg, how could you forget it?!” But, it might be fun to set up a meditation ritual for set intervals throughout the year, to reflect that every moment that passes, we grow just a little bit older.

Ahh, but most people don’t want to be that aware of their aging, now do they? {:

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