As my birthday comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on a few conversations I have had throughout the week. People close to me asked throughout the week what my plans were for my birthday. While I did go out to eat with family over the weekend, today was generally just another day in the life of Josh. A good day at work, beautiful bike rides to and from the office, a board meeting at an organization I volunteer for, and a spirited jog this evening. In my eyes, it was a great way to spend the day.
As a kid I can remember being really excited about my birthday. I can remember camping trips, crazy cakes that looked like cheeseburgers, and all the assorted birthday games. However, over the last several years I have been apt to let the day slide by without a mention to anybody.
Facebook and Myspace have eliminated the ability to keep your birthday secret, but my desire to not “celebrate” the day has not changed. Friends have been debating the merits of my ‘cynicism’ or ‘grouchiness’ all week, so let me just put it all out there and lay this argument to rest.
Birthdays are traditionally about celebrating your life, the year you’ve had, the future that is coming, the accomplishments and successes, etc. Of course at that magical moment of 9:54 pm, or whatever time you were born, you don’t feel some big change, but its a recognizable milestone that passes another year.
That’s fine and dandy I suppose, but why not celebrate each and every day? Call me cliche, but isn’t life worth a joyous attitude every moment? Today has been no different than yesterday or last Monday. To celebrate today as anything else, discredits every other day of the year!
In no way am I arguing that one ought to be a grouch on their birthday. Rather, one ought to live each and every day to its fullest and celebrate life. Birthday’s ought not be the occasion where we send a quick birthday message and make our annual reconnection, but we should be living through those relationships throughout the year.
We get so busy and scattered in life that we believe sending a quick card or message of celebration on a special day makes up for the rest of the year when we rarely speak. If you’ve been frustrated at some point this year that I “forgot” to send you a message on your facebook account, fear not! Rather, I’ve been feeling guilty that it was only your birthday that caused me to think to say hi.
So for my birthday, and for your birthday, let’s truly reconnect. Let’s move beyond the simple card at work and get to know each other better over coffee. Let’s forget about the gift cards to iTunes and go work on a house for Habitat for Humanity. Let’s think of all the silly things we could celebrate each day of the year and have a Happy Festivus. Let’s enjoy life together every day of the year, so when that “special day” rolls around we both forget to even celebrate!