For so many years, I have ignored my birthday. I’d like to think of it as an ordinary day, or on some years, inconsequential. Even on some of the best times of my life when there were people who wanted to celebrate, it meant nothing to me.
As a child, this special day meant gifts, and I was not any different. I did look forward to my birthday and expected surprises. But life was much tougher when I was a kid. So, the little surprises here and there meant the world in the eyes and mind of a little boy.
Somehow, as the years passed by, I lost the significance of my birthday. Sure, I celebrated my special day with family, friends, or a romantic lover in the past. Even so, it was as if I was going through the motion.
I ask myself sometimes, “What’s the big deal with birthdays or even the holidays?”
Later, I would concede that most people think birthdays are important. In fact, there are people who make a big fuss out of their birthdays.
It’s one thing to go through all the trouble to celebrate a birthday. But on the other hand, some people get pretty upset if they were not greeted.
So, imagine how I feel about that knowing I do not think birthdays are important at all.
But things change, and so does perception, which in turn leads to a change in attitude. Today, on the occasion of my 48th birthday, I finally found a reason to celebrate.
Finding Reasons Not to Celebrate Birthdays
Birthdays, I think, are the same as the Christmas season. It is one more reason to spend money to celebrate.
In my mind for the longest time, we should celebrate birthdays every single day.
Is that not what we like to say about living each day with the spirit of Christmas in our hearts?
For the past couple of decades, I viewed the act of celebrating birthdays with disdain. I do not mind celebrating birthdays of friends, for instance. In fact, I should and do feel happy for them. But celebrating my date of birth is not in my DNA, or so I thought.
Furthermore, celebrating birthdays and doing the expected things is pitiful. I thought that was hypocritical and absurd.
So, after a day of acting nice and carrying a smile all day, it’s back to reality the next day?
Is it not better to have a smile and be nice as a matter of habit each day, rather than forcing it for one day?
Do I make sense even as I was trying to find all reasons I could on why celebrating a birthday is nonsense to me?
Finding One Reason to Celebrate Birthday
So, what do you celebrate about on your special day, the day of your birth?
Looking back, it is not knowing the significance of that day that made me think of birthdays as nothing.
How could a person celebrate a birthday without knowing why?
Today, I found a reason that warms my heart.
It has been two years since my wife and I parted ways.
After going through the worst times of our lives, all is well in that it could not get any worse.
We talk and the animosity of the past, I hope, is finally gone forever.
But the thing that makes me appreciate this day how ordinary it is.
Ordinary Is Special
Let me describe what it is like right now as I write this article.
I am here in the house where my ex-wife and kids live. There are two large tables for the two boys. Both of them are busy playing their computer games.
Seated on the edge of one table beside my eldest son, I decided to write this article.
It’s not the place that pleased me, nor the expensive food in a restaurant that delighted me. But to be fair, my ex-wife is an excellent cook and the ‘bihon’ (rice vermicelli) dish she served was to die for.
Back when I was in my teenage years, my dad stopped me from going out of the house. I was going to play basketball with my neighbors when my dad asked me to stay home.
I did and for the next hour or so, he did not say anything.
“What’s the point of staying home when we were not even doing anything?” I thought to myself.
Today, as I finish up this article, I realized it is the company that matters.
It is the company of people I care for that makes any day special.
Today is my birthday.
I am not celebrating how I came to exist on earth, but rather, I am celebrating this moment to see my kids.
Folks, that’s it for now.
The little one is waiting for me to play a game with him.