Thursday, September 17, 2009



Oh yes, I have what to say about birthdays.

Birthdays are those days when you wake up and you feel like the sun should be shining especially for you (and wearing sunglasses and a sunny grin, just like in the pictures) and perhaps a rainbow or two should shoot across the sky, so you can walk over them and have adventures.

You feel like there should be a fireworks show, or at least some recognition from the very earth itself that today is a special day. And perhaps there is, for no matter what the weather, you appreciate it all the more because of how important you feel.

For some people (like me), feeling important is not a usual occurrence, so you look forward to it greatly; you look forward to that one day a year when you can unguiltily feel great about yourself. You smile and say, boy, I'm really glad I was born.

When you look on your phone and see the date, those numbers have a very familiar, friendly sort of look to them - they're the numbers that have gotten your heart trembling with excitement your whole life; they're your numbers, and now they're here! They're really here!

But, of course, as a very wise friend reminded me last night, birthdays are really just like any other day of the year - which is true. There is nothing inherently special about September 17th. It is the day I, along with many others, was born, but really, it is the anniversary of my mother giving birth to me. So perhaps it's my mother who should be getting all the happy birthdays!

In any case, today is Thursday, September 17th, and the only way this day will really be special is if I make it so by doing things I feel would make today a great day. Just like any day of the year.

So this post is not to celebrate my birthday, but it is to celebrate days in general - starting with today. On your birthday, you might walk around with this feeling like it ought to be written all over your face that it's your birthday - and you wonder why every passerby in the street doesn't notice. Right? Except they do notice: when you walk around with a huge grin for no apparent reason and shine it on everyone around you. They notice, even if they don't know why on earth you seem so chipper, and it makes them feel happier, too. And why can't that be every day?

Let's use the energy of birthdays to carry over to the rest of the year and make every day we can into a great one.

Have a great day everyone. :)

P.S. There is something especially apropos about my birthday (Hebrew birthday, too) always being right around Rosh Hashana. It inherently becomes a day of self-reflection, a day of hoping that I am headed towards furthering my potential (as opposed to off in a wrong direction somewhere), a day of wondering if I have been living the past year (and years) properly, and a day of making sure that I am a good person.

In addition, re: the fireworks video - I do not believe that wishes come true if you believe in them hard enough. However, I do think that true ambition begins with a wish. Wishes are what get people going (hopefully). Ultimately, if you let your wishes drive you forward, they will hopefully come true. And they'll have come true not because some genie granted them to you - those kind of wishes are somewhat unearned. They'll have come true because you granted them yourself. Because you made them come true by acting on them.

The other kinds of wishes are the ones you pray for, and they come in all various forms. I hope that we all have a meaningful Rosh Hashana where our prayers are heard and answered favorably, and that you all have a k'siva v'chasima tova.


fudge said...

I really like this post. It's so true about the numbers, about them being yours. Happy birthday, Shira. You are already a wonderfully reflective and inspired person, and I know that you will only grow from here. Kol hakavod.

harry-er than them all said...

happy birthday.
To counter those that say a birthday is like any otheri saw this post recently