A friend of mine came over for dinner and when she walked in the front door she looked up toward the ceiling with a questionable look on her face. I didn’t notice right away until I turned around and saw her standing there looking at the “Happy Birthday” banner hanging on the wall. She cautiously asked, “Isn’t your birthday in July?” With a smile I said, “Yes, it is.” She then asked, “When is Gary’s birthday?” Knowing where this was headed, I started to laugh and replied, “Oh his is in August.” She slowly lowered the bags of food onto the kitchen counter and grabbed a bottle of wine. With a slight WTF look on her face she poured me a glass and asked, “So why are there Happy Birthday banners still hanging all over your house in December!?”
As we started dinner I explained, “Well, my birthday is July 31st and my husband’s is August 11th. So when we decorate for my birthday, we have always left them up for his as well. This year is the first time that we just never got around to taking them down. There is something wonderful about waking up each morning, shuffling into the kitchen half awake and being greeted with a “Happy Birthday” message to start our day. It is a constant reminder that while we are all born on one specific day at a certain time, each day is truly something that should be celebrated.”
We clanked our wine glasses and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Later that night as I was cleaning up the dishes, I couldn’t help but think of the reasons why we should all make each day a birthday.
1. Life is Short – Celebrate Long and Often!
Let’s face it, the older we get the faster life passes us by. Who says you can only celebrate once per year? Give gifts to people for no other reason than to celebrate who they are and what they mean to you. I will frequently send birthday cards at the wrong time of the year with a note that says, “I know that you weren’t born today, but I am grateful for you EVERYDAY.” You would be amazed how that simple message can positively change a person’s day.
2. Enjoy The Best First
Instead of saving the best for last, enjoy the best first! My husband and I will eat out often. It’s our thing. We love going to restaurants and enjoying good food. Often times when we go to a fancy restaurant the waiter will ask for the occasion we are celebrating. The truth is, the occasion is just being alive! Some people may think it’s funny, but for a man who recently recovered from a brain tumor, the truth is, we have so much to celebrate. Let’s face it, we all have struggles that we have overcome. So enjoy your favorite things as often as possible. YOU deserve to be celebrated, not just once a year but every day!
3. Celebrating Little Moments Become Big Memories
When you take a small piece of sand and place it under a microscope, that little spec looks enormous. The same goes with moments in our life. Something simple if looked at differently, can be amazing. Last night while my husband and I were out to dinner, our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive. She looked a lot like Celine Dion, however, it was obvious she had extremely bad acne that she had tried to cover with makeup. When she came to the table with our food, she asked if we needed anything else? I asked her, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Celine Dion?” Her hand went over her mouth and her eyes filled up with tears. She smiled so big and shook her head no. You could see she was afraid to feel beautiful, yet accepted the compliment with a huge smile. When she left the table Gary said, “Did she start to cry because she thinks Celine Dion looks like a horse?” I said, “No, you jackass, she is a very pretty girl and deserves to hear it! Hell, we all deserve to hear more positive things about ourselves.” (Sorry Celine, you don’t look like a horse.)
4. Make Life An Experience Not An Expiration
For many years I would give gifts to people that didn’t require much thought or action on my part. As I have gotten older I have become more aware of the feeling I get when I give a gift that takes some thought and consideration. The smile on someone’s face when their lifetime dream is being fulfilled is something that no gift card could ever provide. Make your life an experience. If you have a dream of driving a Ferrari, or flying in a Stearman Bi-Plane, go for it! There are several companies that provide the opportunity to fulfill your dreams, no matter how big or small. Live big…you deserve it. We all deserve it.