Happy Birthday!

Hey, maybe it’s not your birthday. But if you read this blog every day, you can always bookmark this one and come back to it when it is your birthday and read it then. Or you could send this to someone whose birthday is today!

But since I don’t know if it’s any particular person’s birthday today, why mention it? Because personal holidays are awesome, and your birthday is usually the first one you get. A personal holiday is any meaningful anniversary that matters to you, but not to the larger society in which you live. The more personal and the more deliberate, the more meaningful.

Your birthday is mostly random and you certainly didn’t choose it, but I still think it’s more meaningful than, say, New Year’s Day. Because it’s yours, and you get to define more of what it means. You pick the rituals and ceremonies used to celebrate it. You can choose to ignore it without societal repercussions. How much it bends someone else’s life will be correlated with how much they know and care about you, specifically. These are all good things.

You can go even further – and you should! Mark days that are important to you, and celebrate them. Put big milestones and accomplishments on your calendar, and turn them into holidays that you celebrate every year. Wish yourself a happy birthday, a happy first-time-living-on-your-own day, a Doctorate-Day, the Annual Feast of the Longest Hike I Ever Took. Whatever they are, your life is a celebration, and you deserve to celebrate it however you wish.

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