“Mummy, when will it be my birthday?”
This is a popular question my four-year-old daughter keeps asking almost every time she hears the word ‘birthday’ and I believe it comes with being born in November and seeing almost everyone celebrate theirs before yours.
When I was much younger, I anticipated my birthdays too and that got me giddy whenever it was approaching. Birthdays then, were more of a time to eat special meals and get extra money from my guardians. Years later, birthdays meant receiving and responding to wishes over the phone and on social media. Some of the messages on social media did make me feel exceptionally special and I never wanted the day to end.
About seven years ago, I deleted my birth date from Facebook, LinkedIn and all other social media platforms and I was stunned at how quiet my birthday was. I received birthday messages from two very close friends and my family. The two friends wrote messages on the Whatsapp group pages that we belonged to and that generated more wishes and that was it. I enjoyed the peace that came with that birthday and I left the settings on the social media pages as such. That gave birth to my new way of celebrating my birthdays.
My preference for quiet birthdays has even heightened the more as I grow and a cousin who also celebrates his birthday in June (a few days before mine) always comments,
“Birthdays are indications that you are drawing closer to the grave.” This sounds funny by when you think about it, it is true. My preference for quiet birthdays in recent times do not imply I sit the whole days and reflect on my death. Mostly on my birthdays, I eat cake, go to dinner or make dinner myself and eat with the family and the newest activity is to generally spend time reflecting and praying.
In these quiet moments, I begin to appreciate what God has done for me in the past year and I start to look forward to the new year (age). One of the areas that I cannot thank God enough is how much I have grown – not in physical terms – but in maturity and within my spirit. I have learned to be appreciative of who I am as an individual, what I stand for and where God wants me to be. I have learned to be comfortable in my skin and to enjoy my own company. I am more forgiving. I can withstand very challenging situations without giving up on my faith (which wasn’t so in the past) and I love myself more.
On this day as I celebrate a little over three decades of life on earth, it is my prayer that God continues to preserve my life as He takes me through another 365 days of getting to know Him some more.
How do you normally celebrate your birthdays? Has it changed over time? Do share.