We often tie important memories to specific dates, and specifically to annual remembrance of those dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, new places, new jobs, important meetings, promotions, one-time events - the list goes on. Different types of dates matter differently to different people. Then, of course, there are holidays, national days, and the like. Those are often a combination of group memory and celebration with more personal memories, rituals, and gatherings. How we choose to honor such dates, and which dates we cling to, can say a lot about the person.
For me, dates are....interesting in may ways. As a history major, dates are something I’m quite familiar with on many levels. But on a personal level, birthdays have never been a big deal for me. That might come, in part, from always sharing birthday parties as a kid with my brother since they’re only four days apart. But that’s a small part of the equation. Holidays are more important to me now for sentimental reasons, tied primarily to family get-togethers in years past - particularly July 4th at my grandparents’ lake house and Thanksgiving with the family all coming to our house.
April 13, September 10, November 28
November 24, June 8
October 1, September 13, September 1, July 18
March 29, May 4, August 18, September 24
Some dates are…bittersweet. Some are definitely painful memories. Some are positive. Several hold multiple meanings. November 28 is both a very good and bad one. For me, they are tired primarily to major life changes (July 18, September 13) or strongly emotional events (September 10, November 24).
I’m not a gift person. I’ve never been good at picking them out, and they just don’t hold a ton of meaning for me as a receiver. (Incidentally, that opens up another interesting line of thought based in part on the book Five Love Languages) I think that ties into my tendency to…downplay, or at least somewhat devalue, birthdays and many holidays. Plus, having worked for so long in retail and/or foodservice, your take on holidays can get fairly....cynical.
Dates, for me, are tied to memory, and specifically tied to memories linked to strong emotional events. That’s probably fairly typical, but I wonder what type of dates matter most to different people. I think it’s an interesting window into the sorts of things we value most.