This year, I must say, I had the best birthday I’d ever had.

My husband and I ended our vacation to Atlanta with an amazing dinner and gathering of friends at a coffee shop where I was surprised with an impromptu serenade of the “Birthday Song” and a slice of the best cheesecake ever. From there, we made our way to North Carolina where I was able to see my family for the first time in about a year, and do a little shopping with my parents.

Then after using my actual birthday to relax, my husband’s family planned a gathering for me at their home.

You know, I never thought of myself as deserving to be celebrated on my birthday no matter how much I wanted it.

And boy did I want it as a child.

In elementary school, my dream was to have one of those classroom parties where “mama” would bring homemade cupcakes for the class to eat. I ate my share of everyone else’s cupcakes, but unfortunately, I was born on the first day of summer when school was out, and my mama didn’t make cupcakes.

Actually, my family didn’t really celebrate birthdays when I was growing up.

In our house, a birthday was like any other day.

Most times there were no presents, no cakes and balloons, no gathering of friends, and I had to accept that. The most I did get at those times was a call, and maybe a card.

Even though I didn’t need any of that, the lack of celebration still made me feel unworthy of that type of attention. But now, I see there’s really nothing wrong with
a celebration.

As an adult, I find myself married into a family and surrounded by friends who have an entirely different birthday philosophy.

To them, birthdays are important.

And not just birthdays. All accomplishments and milestones. Each day’s blessings.

To them, they are causes for celebration.

To them, they are opportunities to reflect on the past, give thanks for the present, and move forward with wisdom and a heightened sense of hope for the future.

And I love that…because I feel the same way.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
– Oprah Winfrey

While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.
– Mattie Stepanek

Do you celebrate your life? Do you celebrate others?

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