As far as I can remember in my 22 years of existence, birthdays are ought to be special for the celebrant. This year, by some twist of my mood swings, I challenged the idea.
I suddenly had the inkling to go through some kind of a “soul-searching.” For some reason, I just felt like retreating from the usual celebratory protocols and deviate from the tradition of making myself feel extra-special on my day. So I did myself a favor – I made it feel extra less special for me and a bit extra more special for others.
Here’s what I did plus my reflections as I went through them:
I turned off the FB notification for my birthday.
Why? Because I’m in that mood of testing which of my friends remembered my birthday. HAHA But seriously, I really didn’t want to find myself so caught up in looking after my timeline the whole day and getting pressured to reply to every single post that pops us.
I still allowed posts on my timeline though so as to accommodate sincere souls who really remembered to wish me well on this particular day. Less than 30 availed the chance. And of course, I thanked them all with a matching smiley.
I did my usual chores at home.
Nothing makes me feel more altruistic than knowing that I did my share of the household chores before carrying on with the rest of the day. It makes me guilt-free to tackle the rest of my agenda for the day knowing that I’ve been responsible first thing in the morning.
I visited a sick friend in the hospital.
I came to visit a sick church mate who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I was blessed and inspired by her fighting spirit and her kind generous heart. She looks so precious and beautiful even in spite of her disease. I do pray that the Lord will give her more strength as she continues to battle with it.
I watched a movie at home with a handful of friends.
Movies are a great de-stressor for a lot of people including me. Most of the time, I prefer to watch alone. This day, I decided to invite two good friends with me. It’s always nice to spend time with people who value you, care for you, and genuinely accept you like family.
I dined at home with family.
Of course, at the end of the day, it’s always my family who will welcome me with open arms no matter where and how far I’ve been. Nothing beats capping off my day with a simple dinner with them.
There’s no concrete origin of birthday celebrations (at least from as far as my clicks in Google has reached).
As I already mentioned, I decided to challenge the notion that birthdays should make an individual feel special and to own this particular day. Just like how Christmas has been so commercialized, I think it has also been the same way with birthdays. Our consumerist society has molded the idea of gift-giving and too much spending on such occasions.
I tried to re-think on the essence of my birthday in particular. I just realized that behind all the well-wishes, nothing truly special exists on this day. My usual yearning to feel elated on my day is in fact, without basis. The truth is, for some people who don’t have money to spare for the occasion, it just goes by as another day in their life.
Perhaps, I just decided to question how much I really deserve to be pampered when in fact, the ultimate purpose why I exist is not for myself – but for God and others.
So I concluded that to celebrate my existence is to channel it towards others and make them feel the impact of my presence further than what I am willing to extend on an ordinary day.
I am of course, still so thankful to God on how He has blessed my 22 years of life so far and I’m looking forward to years up ahead.
How about you? How do you prefer to spend your birthday?