Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Very Good Birthday, Indeed

Not to get all girly or anything, but ... not being married and not having kids, I've always put a bit of a special significance on my birthday. My thinking goes that my birthday is the one day when it's all about me for a change, so people should show me a little attention. I mean, is that really asking so much? And truth be told, I've kind of kept a tally over the years; each year, I remember who didn't call or email or somehow get in touch. I joke, and I know it's petty, but I do.

So believe me when I tell you that there's no such tally this year. That's because, to put it simply, there were many, many people who did acknowledge the day. I had more than 175 posts and comments on my Facebook wall. Nearly 20 tweets. Lots of emails (personal ones, not just the many "special offers" from businesses whose mailing lists I'm on). Some phone calls. Text messages. I had birthday cake. Cupcakes — lots of cupcakes. Lunch. Dinner. And much more. Honestly, I was overwhelmed by all the love and attention. There were times during the day when I was struggling to keep up with the email notifications and messages.

The in-person drive-bys, the personal emails, and phone calls were great, don't get me wrong, but it was the Facebook and Twitter posts that left an impact. I know some people don't put a whole lot of weight on social media relationships, but let me tell you, when you're getting told every couple of minutes that someone else has said "Happy birthday," it's pretty cool. After all, it's not just Facebook that notifies you these days, Twitter does it now too. When people you don't even know — people who live halfway around the world — feel a connection and want to wish you happy birthday, that's really neat. (And it just goes to further prove the point that Twitter can be worth it if you put in the time and use it correctly.)

Let this blog post serve as my thank you to all who acknowledged my special day, the so-called Day of All Days, in all the different ways that you did. I really appreciate it because, well, maybe you read my post yesterday about how I wasn't exactly in a celebratory mood. And you probably didn't know this, but I had woken up prematurely, so I was tired and cranky, and I really wasn't feeling social (in the conventional sense) when I got to work in the morning. But somewhere between 6 a.m. when I woke up, and the arrival of 150 cupcakes from Baked by Melissa at 11:00 a.m., my mood changed and I began to feel good about the day. What a difference a few hours and a ton of emails made.

Someone once said to me that a good birthday is defined as "having people that care about you take the time out to recognize that." So by that measurement, my 37th birthday was a very good birthday, indeed. (That's one item done off my summertime to-do list.) Thank you for making it such a great day.

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