It's my life: Tric Kearney

HALLELUJAH! It’s St Patrick’s Day or as I like to call it… My Birthday!

Yes, believe it or not, I was born on March 17 and, after what must have been many hours of thought, something about the day inspired my parents to call me Patricia.

I know there are many who dislike their birthdays and others who don’t want them even mentioned, but I am not one of those. 

In celebrating my birthday, I and my youngest daughter have much in common. Her birthday is in February and the countdown to it begins on December 25, moments after she opens her last Christmas present.

I’m not sure why I love the day so much, perhaps it’s a fall back to my childhood when birthdays were very much celebrated, but other than Christmas Day it’s one of my favourite days of the year.

I know of people who wait anxiously for their birthday in the hope loved ones will spoil them, only to be disappointed if they don’t. I take no such chances. 

My preparations to ensure the day goes well begin a couple of weeks in advance when I start giving subtle hints: “It will soon be my birthday.”

As the days pass I use every occasion to remind my family of my special day.

“Thanks Mum for ironing my top.”

“No problem, remember that on my birthday.”

Occasionally I panic as I remember the horror of one birthday when Himself imagined the perfect gift was money to buy myself whatever I wanted. 

Unfortunately, what I wanted was an already bought gift, wrapped in fancy paper. 

I tried to hide my dismay, but my asking where my real present was and the expression on my face, may have given my true feelings away.

Forever traumatised by that memory, in the days immediately prior to my birthday I discard my subtle hints tactic, leaving all in no doubt as to my expectations: “I can’t wait for my presents,” I say at breakfast, dinner and tea.

My gang pretend to ignore me but come my birthday, surprisingly enough, they never disappoint. 

What with presents, Lent on hold for the day and the whole country in party mood, it all adds up to what must be one of the best days in the year to have a birthday. And boy do I enjoy it.

“Mum, will you pass the remote control?”

“Sorry I can’t, it’s my birthday.”

“Mum, will you let the dog in?”

“I can’t, it’s my birthday.”

“Mum, do you want a cup of tea?”

“No thank you, it’s my birthday, pass the wine.”

The only downside to my birthday is the fact I am a year older. I am now so old I often have to remind myself of my year of birth in order to calculate my age. 

I comfort myself with the knowledge that I feel much younger, but unfortunately, one glance in the mirror dispels that notion.

However regardless of the fact life is racing by, I do think a birthday is something to be celebrated. 

As a friend of mine pointed out one particularly sensitive year: “Celebrate today, for you will never be this young again.”

So with those wise words foremost in my mind, I intend to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and my birthday in style and when I wake tomorrow, older than ever, I’ll avoid all mirrors and immediately begin my next project, cheerily greeting family members at breakfast with: “Good morning. Can you believe Mother‘s Day is next week?”


Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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