I am in a couple of hours 57 years old. My rather elderly (aged 40) mother gave birth, old-style, in Much Wenlock Cottage Hospital on 1 January 1955...with a midwife and the local GP, who (as he and Mum always used to joke, for years after) only got there when everything was more or less over. (This isn't just self obsession -- it's a story I heard repeated at the said GP's Xmas party for years and years in my childhood and adolescence... with greater or lesser shades of embarrassment, on my part)
So my birthday has always been (for me) a New Year occasion. And always bound up with New Year's Eve... everybody is pissed and enjoying the 'rite of passage' and at some point after midnight I nerve myself to say (or not to say) "and..errr.. excuse me..it's my birthday.
Anyway, at 57, happily and very very gratefully married for more than quarter of a century .. five thoughts on birthdays as you get old(er).
1) Bloody lucky (version 1). I am still alive, 57 years on. I've survived 2 children and various bits of medical intervention (including a benign breast lump/aka clot of milk, when I was breast feeding, and that seemed like imminent death at the time). Most of the people I work on (the Romans) were dead or dying by their late 50s. So thank the Lord, and modern medicine.