Oh, hey! It’s been quite some time, hasn’t it?
I can’t think of a better reason for getting back to my writing than a celebration!
When you’re young, there is one day of the year that you typically look forward to the most, excluding Halloween. Your birthday! It’s everyone’s one day of the year that you feel the most special, maybe the most popular in the playground, and everyone wants to be nice to you. The best part about birthdays is that everyone gets to celebrate one when it’s his/her turn.
As you get older, birthday celebrations don’t feel as thrilling. I don’t know at what age it starts to happen, I’d imagine it’s different for everyone, but getting another year older starts to feel daunting, you’re no longer wishing the year would go by quickly so you can celebrate again because you know that the year will inevitably go by quicker than you can imagine, and now instead of bringing cupcakes to share with friends, you’re going to work on your birthday and unsure if anyone even knows that it is your birthday. I have just made birthdays sound super negative, when in fact they are not at all, even as the years go by.
Today is a really special day–it’s Eamonn’s 30th birthday! I have to admit that though I have only known Eamonn for 1/5 of his life, it seems very strange that he could already be 30. It is so true that the years really do fly by.
I met Eamonn just after his 24th birthday. Which means that his first birthday I celebrated with him was the big 2-5. I was so excited to plan a big bash for him—I invited all of his friends over for a party, I ordered his favorite dessert, key lime pie from Florida, and I bought him a pair of sneakers that I knew he was waiting to order for himself. It was a great way to kick off his 25th year. Now when I think back to that birthday, I would have absolutely celebrated in the same way, but I realized that I didn’t really appreciate and consider what it was that we were actually celebrating.
Birthdays should be a celebration of life. Since knowing Eamonn I have really taken to respect that more and more. Over the past six years, I have watched Eamonn survive his hardest days, taking each day in stride, and as much as he can, maintaining a positive attitude. Yes, the past couple of years have been nothing short of fantastic, with his health stabilizing and him generally feeling like himself, but that doesn’t change the fact that every day Eamonn has to work for his life. But every day he does it, without complaints. In actuality, Eamonn celebrates life every day—by living his life, not necessarily one that he would have wished for, but the one that he has been given.
Friends, as you start to celebrate your milestone birthday (I know you’re all thinking that I have no right to talk because I’m not even 29) perhaps take time to reflect on how you want to celebrate life. You may not have everything you wanted by the time you turn 30, maybe not everything is as you imagined or expected, but I can guarantee that everyone who is reading this has at least one, and I would guess more, things to proud of, happy with, and that call for a celebration. As we all start to enter a new decade, don’t think as much about “Oh my goodness, how did I get here?” Think more about “Oh my goodness, I made it! I’m 30, and it’s going to be awesome!” Every day is precious, and birthdays can remind us of that. So, celebrate however you like, throw a huge party, travel somewhere new or somewhere old—but whatever you do, be excited you’re getting older. Celebrate what you do have and what you have achieved. And whatever it is that hasn’t met your expectations—go after it. And don’t forget to bring cupcakes to work—a year older doesn’t mean that nobody should know it’s your birthday!