I celebrated my birthday recently and I realized that when you have a birthday, you are being congratulated for something you had no control over.
You really didn't do anything to be born. You came into this world through no effort on your part. Your mom did all the hard work (the really hard work), all you had to do was show up kicking and screaming - which is how I plan on going out of this world as well by the way.
So you are really taking credit and being congratulated for the hard work of someone else. Sounds a lot like upper management, but that is an entirely different, and much more dangerous topic to write on, so I won't.
But, of course, a birthday is a good day. It means you are not dead yet, and that is always a good thing.
I know when my children were born I was thrilled beyond measure and it was a very good day all three times.
And I would imagine the day I was born there was great rejoicing throughout the land. Well, at least throughout my parent's homestead anyway.
Tradition dictates you congratulate that person year after year for surviving another 365 days.
My birthday was greeted by the customary flood of congratulatory comments, the most common of which was the directive to have a good day.
“Have a great day.”
“Have an awesome day.”
“Have a wonderful day.”
Technically, shouldn't we wish that on our friends and relatives every day? Or do we hope they only have one good day a year?
“Have a great birthday, but the rest of the year I hope you have a case of burning haemorrhoids.”
Christmas is another day we wish people happiness, but that is kind of like a group email where everyone is told to have a merry time.
Birthdays are directed at a specific person, rather than a general announcement to several billion people.
On your birthday, you are singled out as being the one worthy of having a good time.
But what if you are not having a good day? Then what?
What if you go to work and the place is a mad house with far too much to do and not enough time to do it? What if your computer works less efficiently than a member of the Senate, making your day even longer and more frustrating?
What if a variety of circumstances band together to ruin your one special day of the year?
Just because your friends all want you to have a good day doesn't mean it will be a good day. The universe does not care it is your one special day and whether it is a good day or not.
But it is your birthday, so for some reason everyone feels that entitles you have a good day – no matter what.
For that one day every 52 weeks, you are the centre of attention without even trying to be. People give you presents, candy, cards and kudos for not dying in the last 12 months.
The other 364 days you are just some schmuck trudging through the daily routine of life trying to get by as best you can.
So that is it, that is the one day of the year that can be declared Darren Day, or whatever your name happens to be. (But you can call it Darren Day if you want.)
Be it good, bad or anywhere in between, it is still your day so you might as well do your best to enjoy it. And even if the universe conspires against you to make it a less-than-great day, it is still your day and the more of them you get to celebrate, the better.
So happy birthday everyone, hope it is a good one.