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Happy Birthday: It’s Not All About You

I don’t place much significance on my birthday.

The feeling probably stems from not having extravagant celebrations growing up. No birthday parties. No huge family gatherings. No expensive gifts. I was given money, though. High school was when I began going out to dinner with friends. College came and went and I continued to have dinners or share the day with my significant other at the time. I still haven’t had a birthday party. I haven’t really cared for one.

I’ve realized that although I don’t place much significance on my birthday, my friends do. They’ve surprised me at midnight with cake and gifts. They’ve secretly pooled money to buy me jeans and tasteful whiskey and a burr grinder.

Justin and I discussed the idea of birthdays and he convinced me that birthdays are significant. It’s not simply a day to expect special treatment, go on an eating binge, or get blacked-out drunk.

Your birthday is one of the few reasons to get the people you love and care for (who hopefully love and care about you) together in one location. That doesn’t happen often. So it’s not a special day for you. It’s a day for all your loved ones to see that you’re alive and doing okay. It’s not about celebrating that you’re older either, but that you’re privileged to still be alive. Many people aren’t as fortunate.

So there it is.

It’s my birthday and I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful that there are people who care about me even the slightest bit. I’m grateful to have the rest of my life to look forward to and wonderful people to share it with.