Monday, April 21, 2008

What Makes for a Happy Birthday?

This post is a day late because of my birthday. We were out of town for several days and being road-weary, I opted to wait until today to write. Unlike many women of a certain age, I really love my birthday. Perhaps if I were much more concerned about being thought of as “older” or worried about looking like a senior citizen I’d be less likely to enjoy it. But more important to me than those issues, is the outpouring of love that always comes my way on this yearly occasion.

Birthdays involve celebrating…a free dessert is typically proffered at restaurants, so I’m not shy about letting the server know of the big event. On our trip home, the flight attendant even handed me a full bag of peanut packages. I’ll be set for a long time.

Gifts are another big plus. As much as we insist on not being given gifts, we know it is unlikely that our loved ones will take this directive seriously. I hate that my kids spend so much time and energy on my present, but I love that my kids want to spend time and thought on getting me something I’ll love. And I always do! Unique items like the travel purse my inlaws gave me, the lovely ring from my good pal across the street, or the lavender lotion from my travel buddy are all things I’ll use and truly enjoy, but would have never bought myself. It is indulgent and wonderful to be lavished this way.

The more weighty aspect of marking another year is the introspection and assessment that naturally takes place. What have I done of value since my last birthday? Have I accomplished my goals? Have I missed many opportunities?

And what about this year? Can I be excited to establish new objectives, face different challenges and set a course which I can realistically follow?

The answers for me are all positive. I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made this year and I’m excited about the prospect of what lies ahead. Have you done your inventory this year? Do you have the courage to challenge yourself and set a path that will stretch you personally, professionally, spiritually and relationally? These are the things that make for a truly HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Diane Markins

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