Yesterday I celebrated another notch on the tree. A year older. Most people of a certain age greet their birth date in a somewhat bemused mindset. You made it through another year. A brief reflection of the kind of year it has been is O.K., but the demands of this day tend to loom with more importance. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t take a few moments along the way to take stock and consider the year ahead. Now there’s the real challenge on your birthday – considering the unknowns in the year ahead. Excuse me, I shuddered.
I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about birthdays. I let Hallmark do that for me. It occurs to me that birthdays have one very important function. They let the celebrant know that they are thought of.
Yesterday I was treated with a basket full of non-tangibles. It was perhaps the most bountiful birthday I’ve had in a few years. Social media sites like WordPress and of course the giant Facebook have made it possible for us to follow people with greater ease than ever before experienced. But what made my day so good was the fact that people stopped and took time to share the greeting. How swell is that. My family, friends, former workmates, acquaintances and even my dear cousin Lin in England were able to take a moment to say “have a great day”. There were some particularly kind greetings and they profoundly softened my heart, which for a guy who’s grandkids call him “Grumpa” (an endearing shortform for grumpy grandpa) that’s something.
Is there a lesson in all this? I know there is. Take any and all kind words, whether it’s your birthday or not, and tuck them away for those days when your head and your heart need an infusion of purpose and a bolster to the confidence you have in yourself.
Non-tangibles don’t spoil. They are fresh whenever they are picked from the basket.