There were important birthdays like the ages of 18, 25 and 30 but with children, the special days soon became an afterthought due to the end of school activities, and the busyness of life. One year, I decided to change that by announcing months in advance, how many shopping days were left until my birthday. The ongoing reminder became my calling card at home, work, and even in church. Yep even church! At the time, we were attending a very small country church and when the pastor finished the regular Sunday announcements, he would ask if anyone had anything to add. This was the opening I was looking for and so I raised my hand and announced the number of shopping days left until my birthday. This comment drew a surprised chuckle from the members and a smart remark from the pastor but the best response came from one of the young women, “I didn’t know we could do that.” As the years went by the pastor would automatically ask, “How many shopping days until your birthday Denise?” The church family looked forward to this exchange every year.
I believe birthdays should be celebrated because it is another year we have been granted life and given an opportunity to make a difference in the world around us. Instead of facing the future with anxiety and regret, my focus is now on how I will make a difference in the lives of others through the coming year? Often I wonder about how my life will be changed in a year? My future is filled with new possibilities and each day provides me with a fresh start. Of course, I know I am another year older and like many women, I don’t look forward to the increased number of years or gray hair that come with each passing birthday. I will fight gray hair for the rest of my life but as my life unfolds, I will celebrate that I live in this beautifully created world with many great friends and family. I want to celebrate and not take the years for granted. Many years ago, a wise gentleman asked me, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” Without even thinking, I replied 38 years old. I agree with the people who tell me that age is just a number, but seriously what happens when there are more candles than cake? Well, I have 360 shopping days left before my next birthday to figure it out.