I Survived!

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A weird thing happened last week.  I had a birthday and I didn’t die!

I assume since you are reading this that news pleases you.  Maybe that is a bad assumption.  Pleases most of you.

By now, you are likely wondering what in the world I am talking about.  Did you know that a study of over two million people over the course of 20 years found that we are more likely to die on our birthday than any other day?

Sadly, as you review this study, it does appear the statistics are somewhat weighted toward people who take their own lives.  Interestingly, there is a significant number of people who die on their birthday by falling down accidentally.  This might be the best excuse ever for not going out dancing or rock climbing to celebrate a birthday!  Fortunately for me, my birthday did not include any real thrill seeking.  I can recall a birthday or two (lets just say those lovely anniversary dates) where I might have enjoyed myself a lot more than this year.   This was just a nice birthday spent with family and friends, and best of all, spread out over several different days.

Maybe that is the secret to a longer life.  Don’t celebrate your birthday on your birthday!  Spread out the risk by having multiple parties and celebrations.  When I turned 50 everybody joked that October became the month of Joel.  This idea has seemed to catch on with other friends who have enjoyed their own birthday month celebrations during the years of their major anniversaries.  If you are likely to take bigger life threatening risks on those 30, 40 and 50 birthdays, then just spread it out.  Avoid the risk this study suggests.  Improve your mortality!

Plus it is a lot more fun to have a month of parties.  From the sound of this study, I would suggest that avoiding celebrating with family and friends might be depressing.  So those of you that keep your birthday secret, reconsider.  We all need a little celebration for our good health!