Something I’ve been thinking about for quite a long time, and even more so after writing in a birthday card for a friend recently; is our ability, as humans, to place incredible emphasis on ‘dates’ and ‘occasions’ for some reason or another. Now, I haven’t put too much thought into writing a card for quite a while and not since undergoing a lot of mental changes, so writing this proved not only a challenge but quite a thought-engaging process for me, which I wish to go into detail about.
I don’t have any problem with a celebration, in fact I love celebrating. However, what I think our problem is, is this unreasonable view on certain days as somehow being more important than other days. And then it becomes almost like an obligation to prepare for this day in some way. It gets to the point where people are hurt, angry, resentful or whatever emotion when this particular day hasn’t gone to ‘plan’ or been ‘planned’ for by someone important to them. ‘He didn’t get me anything for my birthday’, ‘My partner is going to be overseas on my birthday’, ‘I can’t believe you’re not spending Christmas with your family’, ‘this is terrible I can’t believe this is happening on x day’ and so on. But then the opposite holds true, we feel so happy when things work out on that day. But I ask, why? Why do I need to put special emphasis on a day just because its ‘that’ day which society has deemed to be more important than another day. The zen idea of letting go of attachments applies to this as much as any other attachment.
While I was writing this card, I kept thinking back to what it means to be living in the present moment, and it was hard to reconcile these thoughts because the whole point of living in the present is letting go of the past. Which got me thinking, our ‘special occasions’ are always tied to a date in the past. If that’s the case, celebrating a particular day for something that isn’t real anymore doesn’t make too much sense to me. Why do we feel the need to place special focus on these dates? If you observe nature, there is no such thing as this day or that day, simply now. And what is happening in nature now is tied only to what is happening now. The seasons are constantly changing, but not because nature thinks ‘oh, it was Winter before, now it’s time to be Spring’, but because of the relative position of the Earth in our solar system.
But it’s just the way it is right? As humans, we like to celebrate for some reason or another. We like reminders, we make time limits, having things to ‘look forward too’, yet it’s all imaginary in the end. The only reason we even know what ‘day’ it is, is because we invented time. And, I won’t go too much deeper on this thought as I have an idea for my next post based on it. But I’ll state that: By creating a calender, we have artificially created ‘dates’. Try to picture any day of the week without reference to a calender. It’s both mind-boggling and inconceivable. But if it were the case, it wouldn’t be possible to have ‘special occasions’ tied to something in the past. And this is what I attempted to express in this card. That while it’s her ‘birthday’, none of that even matters because I’m celebrating every moment of our existence.