Today is my birthday. Yes, that most special day of the year (ok, maybe it’s only special to me!) has rolled around again, and since I’m a whole year older I must be wiser, right? But whether I am wiser or not, I will at least enjoy the day in a way that I see fit. Starting right now I will give myself permission to:
1) Buy myself some toy or bauble that is fun and/or silly, enjoy the heck out of it, laugh about it, and not feel guilty for doing it.
2) Blow off something I really, really do not want to do. I won’t tell you what it is, but I’m not gonna do it! In it’s place I will play guitar, or call a friend I miss, or start a new project just for the fun of it. Because I can.
3) Enjoy remembering some people who are no longer living who mattered to me. My Aunt Reetha, my Grandma Agnes and my Grandmommie (that’s what she wanted to be called), Ricky Cole, C.J. Hall, Brett Rogers and Donnie Price: you and many others are all missed. Good times, wonderful memories. You all left us far too soon.
4) Have dinner with my lovely wife (yeah, I still believe I married up!), eat food that may not be good for me, and have a mildly adult beverage along with it. If you don’t agree: get over it, it’s not your birthday!
5) Shut off the babble and noise of politics and public opinion for the day. I will now begin my rant about some people I regularly see on Facebook: President Obama has been declared a citizen no matter what you think his point of origin is or what you believe the facts are about it. Get over it: it’s done already. George W. Bush may not be the smartest man alive, but he was smart enough to get elected president… twice! And you weren’t. And he has a graduate degree for heaven’s sake: get over it. Laws, regulations and taxes: our world is not going to end today, tomorrow, or next year because of any of this. If you think it will then stop your worthless ranting about it, get off your butt and go DO something about it. And no matter what you say about the far left, the far right, or the dead center most reasonable thinking human beings never changed their opinion because of something some idiot or some genius posted on Facebook. Get over it. And maybe go look at cat pictures instead; they are a heck of lot funnier!
6) Enjoy my age. I have reached the point in life where it’s really just a number. I still have my health, my family, a decent job, and good friends and family who care and love me mostly the way that I am. And if you don’t agree with that statement… get over it! It’s my birthday!
7) Forgive someone I should have forgiven a long time ago. Life is short. When someone does wrong to us and then we choose not to let go the only person we really punish is ourselves. One life secret for you here, free of charge: forgiveness is not only about doing right by the person who wronged us, it’s about doing right for ourselves. Forgiving the person who hurt you allows you to say “Even though you hurt me, I will not hold it against you.” That doesn’t mean we don’t recognize that they hurt us. It means we choose to get past it, to move on. We may choose not to be friends anymore, and that’s ok, but we choose not to let it rule us. Today, forgiveness may not be what someone else wants, but it’s what I want and what I deserve: I choose to forgive, and move on. And shame on me for not doing it sooner.
8) Be joyful, giddy, or at least happy about something that will be done today just for the sheer joy of doing it. Maybe I will watch a stupid movie? (Dumb and Dumber? White Chicks? Spaceballs?) Maybe play that guitar way too loudly with my windows open? Maybe have lunch with friends that I’ve put off for too long? Because I can!
So that’s my plan for the day: to give myself permission to make it a good one. And maybe next time I should not wait for my birthday: maybe I ought to do this because it’s good for me, and because I should anyway. And maybe you should join me?