Our mothers and fathers probably made a big fuss over our first birthday. They would have made a cake, invited all the family down, bought lots of presents, decorated the house with colour-coded balloons and streamers. And when we become old enough to have our own ideas, we’d ask our parents for a themed party based on our favourite character from a book or film- maybe ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Peppa Pig,’ ‘Mickey Mouse...’
And, as we become older, our parties become more sophisticated: possibly bowling, swimming, go-carting or laser-quest, until we get to the age where it’s just a night out with friends or even a cup of tea in the afternoon with family. We get to the stage where birthday parties are just too repetitive, too monotonous and even disappointing. As the years move on, the excitement fades away, the day becomes more indistinctive, the pile of presents diminishes... Where did all the excitement go? Our earlier anniversaries we can’t even remember!
But what I have started to believe is that they can be too full of high expectations. We are expected to have a nice day, be happy for the ongoing 24 hours, excited for the few presents we receive (sometimes even fewer we actually like!) Yet none of this should matter. The date of your birth is something to celebrate but not just on that day but every day. In order to have a true ‘Happy Birth-Day’ we need to celebrate our life every day in finding joy in the other 364 days in the year.