I like birthdays. I know today is Valentine’s Day, but at the minute I feel compelled to write about birthdays.
Everyone deserves to have their own special day. Sure, you might share yours with 21 million other people (the world’s population divided by 365), but there is only one day that YOU arrived on the scene.
And we like having you here. The place wouldn’t be the same without you.
Imagine if everyone in the world was born on the same day of the year – if we all had the same birthday. Think about that – we’d probably celebrate our annual Birth Day in other ways, but it wouldn’t be the same. Our birthdays are ours. Even if we don’t seek fanfare, birthdays remain an internal cherished holiday. Sometimes they even become part of our identity, and while it’s mostly okay to share a birthday with others in our circles, we want our friends and family to remember when it’s OUR day. It’s unlikely that you know more than 2 or 3 of the other 21 million people who share your birthday (unless you are part of a quintuplet or something) and that’s just fine: when it comes to sharing birthdays, the fewer the better.
People have rituals for birthdays. From ice cream to favorite meals to money cards to phone calls, the people who love us come out of the woodwork for our birthday. Even people who don’t know us very well, and sometimes even those who don’t necessarily like us, will send Facebook messages or sign office birthday cards. Although these are token gestures, we nonetheless appreciate them and we reciprocate. Birthdays remind us that we are here, and we all got here the same way, and we will not be here forever.
Aging is a luxury. (It beats the alternative.) I love being around people who embrace birthdays and celebrate them with others.
If you are fortunate enough to have your birthday today, on Valentine’s Day, then while everyone else is exchanging flowers and chocolate you can be opening presents and eating cake. Or perhaps you’re receiving all of the above … double the love. (Although it’s probably harder to get a table at your favorite restaurant tonight.)