Happy Birthday to Me! (encore)

Because today is my birthday and I’m too lazy to write anything else, here’s an encore presentation —originally written four years ago. Still a little giddy after all these years.

As I write this, [today] is my (garbled number)th birthday!

I’m always excited to celebrate another birthday. I don’t think I’m obnoxious about it and I don’t think when I clap and say “It’s almost my birthday!” that it translates to “give me lots of expensive presents!” I’m just genuinely happy to mark another year.

When I worked in an office, the president of the company commented on how he had never met anyone who seemed as happy as I was to have a birthday. “Well, sir,” I responded, “It’s always good to make it another year.” Since I had kidney transplant #2 the year before, he smiled with understanding and said, “We’re glad you’re here too.”

Now that I’m in my 40s, I find it funny that I still get a little giddy at the thought of having another birthday. I’m not sure why I feel so happy when others seem to dread their birthday and want to ignore it as much as possible. I guess when, at the tender age of 16, a doctor says that death is a possibility, it makes an impact. Thank God for modern medicine — each year still seems like a bonus.

Maybe my birthday is a reminder that I still have time to make a difference somehow in this world. It’s a chance to look forward with hope to another year, to ponder life’s mysteries, to meet new people, to hang with friends, to continue to push through my timidity, to struggle, to try again where there has been failure, to conquer, to give and receive forgiveness, to relax, to plant flowers, to play in ocean waves, to sit poolside, to have loud out-of-tune singing contests, to dance, to laugh, to dream, to watch my girls grow and love them even more than the day before.

What will the upcoming additional year of life bring? Who knows? All I know is that at this moment, my heart still beats and there are family and friends to love. Despite many frustrations, life has also brought some beautiful things my way and it is a gift still worth the effort of living.

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24