I will be celebrating my thirty-ninth birthday next Monday. We use the word “celebrating” in conjunction with birthdays but do we really mean it? Most often, I find my family and friends do not “celebrate” their birthdays but rather mark them off as notches in the side of a casket or rings on a tree stump.
Too much emphasis I fear is placed on the marking of time of that last year and not enough on what was accomplished over those last 365 days. Birthdays can serve as a wonderful opportunity to set goals or measure progress. Lots of people set goals on New Year’s Eve, why not your birthday? I decided just the other day that I would like to complete an Olympic Triathlon by my fortieth birthday. It has been five years since I last did a triathlon, but I know I have a year to train. I am smiling now, knowing that I will be in better shape this time next year.
Don’t get hung up on numbers and aging. Live your life. We honestly don’t know if we have one more day, one more year, or one hundred. I believe we should take care of ourselves and really try to live a long life, but don’t build up anxiety and regret. I believe the best way to live a long life and a memorable one is to be active. Set goals and go after them. The completion of a goal is a wonderful feeling, but the journey getting there is what really enriches our lives. Savor the journey.
One more activity I like to do on my birthday is to take time to appreciate those who have helped me along the way. Birthdays are an excellent opportunity to reflect and give thanks to our blessings. We didn’t get this far on our own. Continue that attitude of gratitude and remember your friends and family.
Don’t wait until your birthday, start now. Compete this sentence: By my next birthday I would like to__________________________________________________. Now go after it.
(Kelly Croy is an inspirational speaker, author, and performing artist. Visit our website to invite Kelly to perform at your next event.)