The Real Importance of Birthdays

Today is my 38th birthday.  Most of you who will be reading this already know that because Facebook told you so.  And you have responded in overwhelming numbers.  My phone literally crashed because of the number of notifications I received from Facebook this afternoon.  The last time I checked 98 people have taken the time to send me birthday wishes on Facebook and several others choose to send me a text or give me a good ol’ fashioned phone call.  It is really humbling to experience that kind of outpouring of well-wishes.  It makes you realize how lucky you are to have so many that will take the time to let you know that they are thinking of you, at least in some small part.  Everyone of those posts mean something to me.

"She cannot take much more of this, Captain!"

“She cannot take much more of this, Captain!”

Every birthday I’ve been on Facebook, I take the time to respond to each individual post with a thank you of my own.  I have never been a fan of the “One Post to Thank Them All.”  I think if you take the time to send me a post, I owe you a personalized response.  However, I am going to do it a little different this year.  I am going to take all the time I owe you each individually and combine it into the time I’m going to spend on this post.  So know, if you sent me a greeting today, this post is dedicated to you.

So, this is what 38 looks like? Well, at least I still have my hair.

So, this is what 38 looks like? Well, at least I still have my hair.

If there was one thing that I learned today from all the messages I received, it’s that this is the stuff I enjoy most about my birthdays at this age.  At eight, of course, it was the presents.  At eighteen, it was about the party itself.  It had to be cool!  At 28, it was about slowing these damn birthdays down because 30 was getting way too close.  Now at 38, I finally understand that birthdays are all about celebrating the connections you have made in your life.

I loved hearing from friends and family that I normally don’t get to talk to that often.  We all are busy people, so it makes it all the more special when someone takes the time to reach out to you.  I had the chance to catch up with a couple of friends that I haven’t had the pleasure of talking to since probably their birthdays.  That was some of the best presents I received this year.  Well, that and ZZ Top tickets!  But, it makes me realize that the best gift you can give someone is time.  At my age, if I want something, I’ll just go buy it myself.  If my wife says I can, I mean.  But, if you are willing to spend your time catching up with me, that’s something I can never purchase.

Thank you all for taking the time to make this one of the best birthdays ever.  You’ll never know what it means to me.

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About Richard Howk

Fiction author with my first novel, Pariah, available December 2nd.
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