Happy Birthdays

I never really cared about birthday presents in my adult life. Material things don’t move me in any way. And for that reason, the pressure to open gifts in front of someone who spent time picking them out for me is tough. I don’t fake well.

I’d rather people I like and love just spend time with me. That’s a good day.

And I always thought it was a little much when people make such a huge deal over their birthdays. At its core, a birthday celebration is really just a celebration of yourself. Do you need that kind of ego boost? And if you do, ask yourself why.

It’s OK. It doesn’t make you a bad person or egotistical. Probably just the opposite. But maybe there is something in your life that’s missing. And maybe it’s time you find it. Maybe it’s that you don’t get enough attention or recognition on a regular basis. Maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. But it’s worth it to ask yourself the questions. Maybe you can find those things in a new job or new hobby or new friends.

Look, maybe you just like to have a good time, and your birthday is a good excuse to have a party. To be taken out to dinner or for drinks by friends or family is nice. To get 30 messages on Facebook from people you haven’t heard from in a while, that feels good. To get a birthday card from your kids. To get a break that day from the boss. To have that extra little spark…it makes for a nice day oftentimes.

But what is it about the day of our birth that we actually celebrate? The escape from the womb? As far as moments in my life, I guess that kicked everything off, but is it worth a celebration years later? 

Now, it’s not the time to get depressed either. Even if you are in a bad place. Or you hit a milestone age birthday like 30 or 40 or 50. Who really cares, as long as you are happy? Who really cares, even if you are just in pursuit of happiness? This is just a day…that happens to be on your birth certificate.  

When my kids were born. My wedding day. When I started Urban Samurai. Real change. On these days, I was born into a new life. These are birth-days. Days when entirely new aspects of a significant portion of your life are introduced. These are days to be remembered. And celebrated.

If you’re living a full life, you don’t just have one birthday. You have many. Think about your real birth-days in your life. The good and the bad. Be thankful for the change.

All that said, any day that you can take time out to reflect on yourself is good. To think about where you are in life. How far you’ve come. How far you still have to go. To use that day on your birth certificate as a measuring stick against yourself and your goals. To be reminded of things you wanted to accomplish in your life. That is all productive. And that’s an exercise that most people don’t do regularly. So do it. Take an hour by yourself and really think about you on your birth certificate day. 

Better yet, use this day, your day, as a springboard to make a change. Make wholesale changes. Make it a real birthday. Go after something you want. Give birth to a new direction, a new idea, a new life for yourself.