10:00 PM. Today has been a full day of writing code, having meetings, and thanking the well-wishers who stopped by to say hello. This is what my mom would call a “grown-up” birthday, and it made me wonder where celebration and comfort fit in a culturally-acceptable view of everyday life.
I imagine that most people go through a phase where they don’t understand – or even appreciate – any kind of celebration on their behalf. For the last many years, I have viewed birthdays as a sort of social paradox, rather than an occasion to celebrate with much pomp and circumstance.
The way I see it, I didn’t have a whole lot to do with coming into this world, so I should probably be celebrating my parents today, not the other way around. I enjoy a little attention just like most people, but I am okay with getting a few text messages in lieu of a big birthday bonanza.
My older sister asked if my Facebook was locked down because she couldn’t automatically post something to my wall. I told her that I keep close tabs on what shows up there, but that it probably did make it a little bit tough for people to say hello. I really appreciate the ones who sent me a message in private; it was funny to see the difference from past years, when I had dozens of posts throughout the day from people who saw the little notification on their homepage.
Some good friends just launched their pilot episode of a new TLC show. One of my coworkers asked how late I was going to stay in the office on “my special day,” but it didn’t seem fitting to leave before the curtain was raised. I would later tell my parents that I spent part of my birthday refreshing analytics and enjoying the laughs/adventures of watching my good friends travel the country.
I know this may seem melancholy to some of you, but I don’t look at this day is anything less than what it should be; my job today was to write code, help people, and enjoy some really delicious gluten-free brownies someone made for me. That counts as a solid win for a birthday.
After getting to talk to my parents on the phone tonight, I feel like the day is complete. If you get to do good work, speak with the people you love, and enjoy some food and fruits of your labor, then that sounds like a day worth celebrating. See you next year.