A few years ago I wrote a post – Oh, Grow Up! – in which I wrote about the childish things that we need to leave behind.
Don’t get me wrong. I think we should act like children a lot more often than we do – especially because we mostly still feel like children inside. And so we should let our little angels and monsters out to play a lot more often.
As a matter of fact, a friend of mine posted recently on Facebook that she was feeling uninspired. She has recently moved out of state, and she has been very busy. She has been devoting a lot of time to volunteer work – at a hospice, at the local library, as a literacy tutor. But she writes: “Why does it not feel like it’s enough? What am I missing?”
Many of her friends told her she was wonderful, terrific, selfless. “Hang in there,” they said.
But I wrote and said, “FUN. You are missing FUN. Have some.”
And she said. “You are right! Everything feels like work.”
So I believe in Fun. I believe in experiencing childlike joy. And I even wrote a blog a while back – “In Praise of Childish Things” – extolling the virtues of returning to those simple pleasures.
But I also wrote about the annoying immature stuff that adults should leave behind.
And one thing I wrote, in particular, haunts me.
No one cares that it’s your birthday. Everyone has one. You aren’t special. Don’t expect your co-workers to remember. Consider yourself ahead of the game if your spouse remembers.
Well, I’ve changed my mind.
I was wrong.
Your birthday is important.
You should celebrate the day you were born. Everyone you know should celebrate the day you became our companion in this world.
Your presence should be celebrated every day. But if we have to pick just one day, let it be your birthday.
Years ago, my brother-in-law called me on my birthday to say “Happy Birthday.” He asked what I had done that day.
I said, “I went to work.”
He said, “Why didn’t take the day off?”
“Because I’m not seven,” I answered.
Once again let me say this:
I was wrong.
Not because I didn’t take the day. off.
Because I didn’t think it was big deal.
It’s a big deal.
I have a sweet friend that NEVER forgets a birthday. She keeps a special list and every single one of her friends gets a birthday card. She must buy cards by the hundreds.
And I have another, newer, friend, who has some inside information on people’s birthdays and brings cards to Zumba class for everyone to sign.
And another friend who is the best cake maker in the world. And if you work in her office, there is birthday cake in the conference room almost every week.
Today is my husband’s birthday. He joined the human race today.
And we’ll celebrate his existence.
And share the cake and ice cream, please.