What's So Great About Big Birthdays?

What's so great about big birthdays? They inspire us to appreciate the little things

Gerard Dubois for Time

When you're little, every birthday is a big one. But as you grow up, it's O.K. to let them get small. I have mixed feelings about how midlife birthdays, once easily waved at as they passed quietly by, have spun so far out of control, thanks to Facebook alerts and my generation's abiding commitment to our eternal youth.

When my husband asked how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year — the first anniversary of my 49th birthday, he called it — I was at a loss to answer. No surprises, I said; even our routines already supply plenty...

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