My mom celebrated her 62nd birthday this week, complete with pizza, cupcakes and three loony-but-lovable grandsons. We sang and she blew out a candle. We toasted to her and gave thanks for our family and a vast array of blessings. It was a great day.
This month we will celebrate ten birthdays in our family as well as the birthdays of several close friends. Included in that lot is an extra special 40th birthday that may or may not involve exactly 23 hours in Vegas.
There is something undeniably magical about birthdays. Beyond the hoopla and fanfare, birthdays provide a unique opportunity to pause, connect and grow in the ways that really and truly matter.
Birthdays are fence posts in our own personal histories. Each is a marker, a way to hold onto and remember our pasts, our very own time stamps. We can all remember those special days..where and when and how we celebrated. These posts brace together all of those long and short days in between. And if we’re lucky, our fences run alongside our road for miles and miles and miles.
Not only do birthdays connect us to ourselves and our stories, but they also link us to our loved ones, to those who showed up or shared in our celebrations. Birthdays remind us of the most important people in our lives, the people who recognize and love us because of, and in spite of us.
But, most importantly, each and every birthday is an incredible gift. A whole new year full of news…new experiences, new people, new joys from the highs, new life lessons from the lows, new adventures, new books, new movies, new photographs, new firsts and new lasts.
With every birthday we gain more understanding. We become more dynamic. We become wiser. With every birthday our circle of loved ones becomes larger. We have more reasons to give thanks. We have more chances to contribute. With every birthday we gain courage and we take a few more steps toward our potential.
Birthdays give us these gifts. Birthdays link up our histories and connect us to the ones who share in those histories.
So really, how can birthdays ever be anything but happy?
Don’t miss the magic.
And definitely don’t miss the cake.