We all know that birthdays come around once a year. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who lets everyone in your path know its your special day, or if you pretend the next one doesn’t exist in an attempt to skip the aging process. Even if you have ever felt like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles when everyone forgets.
Now my inspiration for this may be a little biased seeing as I just had mine yesterday, but there was a brief moment that was urging me to capture the thought into writing. I was finishing up my traditional birthday dinner when the very busy but effortlessly pleasant waiter, plopped down crème brulee in front of me. As I stared down at the treat, I jokingly looked up at the people around me and said, “Hmm guys, what should I wish for?” The second the words crossed my lips I realized how silly it was because I already had everything I needed right there in that moment. Although I was born with approximately 32 sweet teeth, I’m not referring to the crisply tart dessert sitting there with a burning candle on it. It was my mom, my niece, my sister and brother in law, and my boyfriend. Alongside those amazing humans in my life were the less physical joys that I remembered needed to be cherished as well. I had my health, supportive figures, a bit of money in my bank account, a car that runs, the ability to think and move freely without any restrictions. The list could run on like a rhino on rollerblades.
It’s in the moments of greed (c’mon, we all have them) and endless amounts of material products shoved down our gullets on an hourly basis that we forget to appreciate the fact we even get to have another birthday-- another day to cherish the fact that we are lucky enough to be on this earth. I read a quote yesterday that was something along the lines of, “Even when you have a bad day, you get to try again tomorrow.” Now I didn’t read this in a book somewhere, I read it on a framed picture on the wall of a family friend. It was one of the many insightful and inspiring quotes from a man who passed away from cancer way too soon in life. He was a brother, a son, an uncle and a partner—who was thrown SO many hardships in his time here but was consistently able to be positive for others with his encouraging words and his genuinely lovely spirit. As I sat there in their house on my day of birth, I couldn’t help but think how many times I hear people complain about turning forty or fifty, and how badly this man would have wanted to experience just one more with his family and friends.
Although this was an emotional way to come to the realization I had last night, I felt that it would be an important one to share. So the next time a grey hair pops up or the calendar inches closer to another year of age, appreciate the fact you are here and well and celebrate those laugh lines.
Written By: Hayley Sutherland