There are a lot of things about Facebook that I don't like. One thing that I do like, though, is that it reminds me every day of who has a birthday. I spend about one minute every morning posting happy birthday messages. It takes just a minute to send well wishes to people I may not have seen or spoken to in a long time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about birthdays lately. Partly because many of the jobs I do are part of a birthday celebration – cookies, cupcakes, smash cakes, cookie trays … but mostly because I believe that birthdays shouldn’t be taken for granted. Life is fragile. If you’re celebrating a birthday, and especially if you’re celebrating one in good health, you’ve got so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to.
One of my oldest and closest friends doesn't live nearby. We don't get see each other a whole lot, but it doesn't really matter. We often launch right back into a conversation that we didn't get to finish a few days earlier. But for years, we simply could not remember each other's birthdays. We always got a good laugh out of it.
Recently that's changed. We've both gone through a lot over the years and it just seems so simple to remember a birthday. I am so grateful to have a friend who has known me since I was 13, and that I know I can count on no matter what. Last year we celebrated our 40th birthdays together in Colorado, coming full circle from forgetting to acknowledge them at all.
I'm trying harder these days to make that simple gesture of wishing people a happy birthday. I'm far from perfect at it, and I'm certainly guilty of occasionally forgetting the birthday of someone I care about - even when Facebook reminds me!
I’m not trying to sell you cookies or a cake with this post. But I do want you to know that I love being a peripheral part of so many birthday celebrations. I think it’s worth taking the time to acknowledge others’ birthdays in big ways and small. Maybe that means throwing a party or maybe it just means making a call, sending a text, or writing a Facebook post.
I know our days are busy, but it won’t take more than a minute.