Celebrating birthdays with tea can be a great alternative to the age-old tradition of going out with friends and getting plastered, or having a mild heart attack when you walk in your front door and are greeted with shouts of “Surprise!” Yes, tea is a saner and safer way to celebrate. But it’s also a great soother of “decade birthday angst.”
It seems that every time we approach one of those decade birthdays (20, 30, 40, 50, etc.) a severe angst can set in. Each has it’s own particular character, based on that stage of your life:
- At 20, we are leaving our teen years and setting a foot into adulthood.
- At 30, we start to get a sense of our purpose and path in life, with our goals in sight and possibly a family started.
- At 40, we take stock of how far we’ve come on that path and our progress toward those goals.
Then, there’s 50 ― the half century mark. The biggest, angst-wise, for many of us. For those of you who haven’t reached it yet, keep reading to find out what’s in store. For the rest of you, see if you’re 50th was anything like this.
I remember my mother’s 50th birthday and the days leading up to it. Many of you out there were probably in your 20s when your mom hit the big five-oh, but I was still a snotty teenager. She was a bit wigged out by the date (we’re talking big time “decade birthday angst” here), going so far as to tell us to forget about it entirely — no card, no cake, no presents, etc. In all seriousness, though, I said to her, “Wow, Mom, you’re gonna be a half century old! Who knew you woulda lived that long? You gotta celebrate!”
Dead silence all around.
Did I mention that I said this at the dinner table? And we had guests? Oh, well. Live and learn.
She finally relented and enjoyed the festivities!
My turn eventually came round. That half century mark was approaching, looming over the horizon like a high-rise as you drive toward the big city. My life flashed before my eyes. (Yes, I know that’s only supposed to happen when you have a near-death experience, but I guess my angst was pretty severe here.) My first day of school. High school graduation. College graduation. First job. Dating. And so on. Then, hyperventilation kicked in. At this point, hubby became a bit concerned. As people often do when someone doesn’t feel well, hubby suggested a cup of tea.
Now, there are certainly a lot of health benefits being attributed to tea, but I don’t remember “decade birthday angst relief” on the list. I guess calming and soothing are part of that. So, I said “Sure.” We trudged together to the kitchen, put the kettle on, and prepped the teapot. By the time the water had boiled, I was feeling better about that whole 50th birthday business. By the time I’d finished my second cuppa, I was feeling positively happy about it.
You might suspect that it wasn’t just the tea, that hubby holding me in his arms while the water heated and then the tea steeped in the pot was a contributing factor. You could very well be right.
Whatever the case, I survived that milestone and am wondering how I’ll take the next one. As long as hubby is there to fix me some tea, I’m sure I’ll survive it. Don’t forget a cuppa tea as your decade birthday approaches, whichever one it may be.
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