I recently celebrated my 40th birthday... A number I thought was so very old, not that many years ago. Then as it got closer, for various reasons, I became to appreciate the privilege it was to reach such a milestone. And it was one I wanted to celebrate, not let pass quietly by, like we too often do.
My little nephew Will answered the phone on his 7th birthday: 'Hello, it's the birthday boy'. This didn’t just make my day, it also highlighted the stark contrast of the attitude most of us had at a similar age, to the one we develop over the years, preferring our birth'day' to go unnoticed, and unacknowledged.
I must admit I'm not usually one to want a fuss on my birthday, but the milestones I've always celebrated, and this recent one actually meant more to me than all the previous ones put together.
I see a celebration as an opportunity to get all the important people in your life, in the one room. And that’s exactly what I did. Of course not everyone could be there, so many people have touched my life in various ways over the years, but I was lucky enough to get many of these people in the one room.
Words will fail me to express how much this celebration meant to me, the lengths so many people had gone to, to be there, and how much contentment I felt in the days that followed. So I thought I'd write a little blog - to encourage anyone reading this to think about 'celebrating life - and everyone in it' the next milestone opportunity you get.
A few words from my speech:
“People come and go, they wander into and out of your life, all for one reason or another. But the good ones leave a place in your heart, they inspire you, they challenge you and they encourage you. They believe in you, perhaps more than you do in yourself.
We’ve all got those people in our lives,
We’ve all had those people in our lives,
And we can all be those people in others lives.”
It's not often we stop and reflect on how important the people in our lives are, it feels more productive to keep charging ahead, jumping from one thing to the next… But if there were ever an opportune time to do this, it would be around a milestone. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, length of tenure in a career or business venture. It can be anything! And... you would not be there without the people around you.
If you make time to reflect on how important those people are, who have contributed to you achieving this milestone - I guarantee your life will be all the richer for it. And if you thank these people, tell them what they mean to you, so will theirs.
Truth is - life is short, life is precious. We don't always get the chance to tell people how we feel, how much we appreciate them, and the impact they’ve had on us. There will be a day when tomorrow doesn’t arrive. And I don’t mean that in a somber way, its just life how life is.
So knowing this… why would we hold back on celebrating any chance we get? Doesn’t have to be all the bells and whistles – there are a zillion ways to acknowledge milestones and those that have played a part in them.
No matter where you're at in life, it is a good, it is precious, it does happen for a reason, and it is worth celebrating!
More than worth it...
So I say - BRING IT ON!!
(so much so in fact - I've decided a 50th is far too long to wait... a 45th seems like a much better idea!)
(Originally published - 28th March, 2016)