Posted by: jevcat | September 23, 2010

Birthday Life Lessons, Courtesy of Fred, Ginger, Irving, and Kitten George

I recently celebrated a birthday and, although we are in what Victorians called “reduced circumstances” it actually was quite nice, and provided certain insights.

The evening before my birthday, my brother treated me to a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers double feature at Film Forum:  Follow the Fleet and Top Hat.  I love Irving Berlin’s music for both of them (was there ever an Astaire/Rogers film with bad music?  I don’t think so, although certainly some is more enduring than others:  “Let’s K-nock K-nees” from The Gay Divorcee springs immediately to mind in the “less enduring” category).  In my current situation, there were definitely messages there, though.

From Follow the Fleet:

“Get Thee Behind Me, Satan” for those times when I’d rather do anything but look at one more job posting, send out one more resume (it may not work better for me than it did for the character in the movie, but everything turned out okay for her, so it will for me, too, right?).  But we all need times to just “Let Yourself Go,” too, and have some fun.  And, when things seem bleakest, the only way out is through:  “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.”

From Top Hat:

“Isn’t This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)” shows how to make the best of a bad situation.  And what better wish could I have gotten for my birthday than this text from my brother:  “May all your life’s dramas be resolved as tidily and satisfyingly as in Top Hat.”

The next morning, on my actual birthday, I awoke to find the kitten, George, gazing wide-eyed out the window at the world, and I realized that young as he is, I can learn some things from him:

  • Sleep and playtime are both important.  Very.
  • When you need attention, ask for it.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  And again.  And again.
  • If you do something that doesn’t work out, act as though that’s the way you intended it to be and move on.
  • Greet every day as though it was your first:  with wonder, eagerness, excitement, and curiosity:  the world is new every morning and life is an adventure.


  1. I’m glad you had a good birthday and received such wondrous gifts of love. May the New You Year be abundantly blessed!

  2. lovely lovely! And, those are indeed great films. I wish we had such sweet offerings these days!
    Happy belated, and blessings on your journeying.

  3. Thanks, Jane. It was YOUR birthday blog hitting Fresh Pressed that introduced you to me! (Yours was better.)

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