Thankfully a recent glance at the calendar reminded me there is a proverbial thaw just around the near corner. Though this one has not been typical with a lot of white stuff blowing and drifting by freewill, my own skeleton would tell the fitting story of an aging guy resisting the cold a bit more with every passing winter. Particularly during this one, my fireplace has taken a beating like never before. Another season is almost behind me.
With spring coming, so too does another birthday in April. Each seems to help to serve the purpose of acting as an annual reminder of sorts, as to how many life markers have been highlighted through the years. Referring to them as milestones, dreams, or events, is irrelevant. Their richness lies within their significance, not in their moniker. Every special memory drips details abundantly, across an individualized mind-canvas comprised solely of its own story-telling colors. Some deserve to be highlighted, others do not. Only the artist is allowed to make that differentiation.
On one single calendar day throughout the entire year, we all perform the same unique activity. We look longingly back, then look again at our sense of presence in this world, before finally attempting to gauge our own future dreams in terms of possibility. Reflection such as this is always a fluid process. Our memories are constantly changing in significance. We choose to view them either with eyes wide open, to welcomingly once again celebrate those familiar images, or by blinking salt through the water as a few of the more difficult and persistent reminders gently creep uninvited into our thought spaces as well.
It is actually sort of curious how we view our own unique places in history. I often wonder had there been an opportunity for any of us to jump back in time and spend the day with our former self, how the conversation might have gone. It would seem, whatever was important to each of us back then, would have also guided our path to achieving those current life goals. Interestingly, none of us have lived the life, celebrated all of our goals, or even come close to surviving the previously mapped-out version we envisioned way back when. As you get older, you also realize none of that matters. Health and happiness now trump all of those other considerations which we once thought were of great importance back then. Success and financial riches hold no meaningful place in terms of a priority anymore.
With every annual passing, we deviate, we crash, we rejoice, and we weep. Only that much is predictable. Everything else – is required experiential learning over the next 365 days. Unfolding to you over time, in as much, or as little detail, as they so choose to expose. Some appear easily, while others may be inherently vague. There is an expectation their design and purpose are solely for each of us to discover and process during our respective travels. A calendar will again be used to mark your timeline, nothing more. It is all about the voyage, every year.
It is my opinion; birthdays actually mark the end of the previous cycle and exist as a reset to commence another one. We shouldn’t view them as anything but the next start of a new opportunity for life to expose its riches to us. Another year, another gift. It is just that simple. Instead of resisting the day as it nears, why not approach it with the mindfulness it deserves? Look at it as the beginning of a new journey. Or perhaps another opportunity to simply pursue those pesky visions from childhood yet again. I have always believed that our dreams are the fuel for our determination. Without them, we stall and become ambiguous about our purpose here. It is possible, this could be the year they become tangible…finally. And if not, who really cares. You still have something grand to look forward to.
Embrace the new chapters as they present themselves to you. For a mere 24 hours, one day, every year, instead of lamenting throw two arms up triumphantly into the air with deliberate purpose. A beating heart is a reason enough to celebrate.
Come April, I know I am ready. My next short story is about to unfold, and I welcome the blessed opportunity to discover it. For your next one, ditch the cake and balloons. Neither comes close to representing what the day is worth. Your true gift… is one of opportunity. Lace it with compassion, humility, honesty, and love. They are all you need to complement the next 12 months of life.
Trust me, blowing out candles is just so passé anyway. It’s still ok to sing a little though.