03 January 2009

I Love Birthdays. You Should Too.

Brian Allen asked me to be a guest writer on his blog. Brian is now an anchor, but we worked together when he was a reporter in Las Vegas. When I think "Brian Allen," I think "G-Sting." Now he's a main anchor with his own blog, and (as of January 1st) I am officially among the contributors. It was exciting to be asked. And since it's timely, I'm sharing with you what Brian has already shared with his readers.

I Love Birthdays. You Should Too.


Hi. My name is Danie and I'll be piloting this plane for the next few minutes. Please take a moment to locate your nearest exit, keeping it mind it may be behind you.

When Brian first asked me to contribute to his blog, I think my reaction was opposite from that of most other guest bloggers. I have a lot to say, and I think it's all interesting. Instead of asking 'what should I write,' I had an almost instant list of things not to write. I didn't want to write about the economy, or the election (or the inauguration), or the weather. I don't want to be introduced to strangers while ranting about rude people, dumb people, or parents who let their daughters dress seven years older than they are. Don't get me wrong, I have strong opinions about all of the above. But we've just met. And those seem like "second date" topics.

I did want to be timely though, and I told myself I'd write about New Year's Resolutions, and why none of us should have them. I thought about it, formed my argument, and never typed a word. I took the idea to my closest advisor (Kathryn), who agreed it was a good idea, then gave me one better. Ladies and gentlemen: I love birthdays. You should too.

There are 365 days in a typical year. There is only one day dedicated to you. On your birthday you are another year older and you should appreciate that. I see no reason to bemoan making it another year. When I hear people complaining about age, I want to ask them if they'd rather be dead. That's really the only alternative.

A birthday is your own personal marker. Wherever you are is the result of the journey that started when you were born. It's a day for one and all to appreciate you, and whatever it is you've contributed to the world. Birthdays are a big deal. So what if you didn't cure cancer in the 364 days prior.

I get my love of birthdays from my parents. Both have tendencies to enjoy extra attention. I learned early on that birthdays are special. My brother and I went to private school, and wore uniforms. But we could wear whatever we wanted on our birthdays - as long as it was over the top and fancy.

Not all birthdays were great. One year my mother was rude to my father and said she didn't want to spend his birthday with him. We were already dressed up and on our way to dinner at the time. I'll never forget it. My father was sad on his birthday and I thought it was the most terrible thing ever.

Then there was the year I went to work on my birthday (there was only one) and was suspended. There were lies involved, as well as manipulation and eavesdropping. Still, it resulted in my being suspended on my birthday. I was angry that birthday and almost forgot to celebrate myself. Almost.

I'm not afraid of living, of learning something everyday that brings me closer to the person I want to be. Every January 3rd, you'll find me smiling. I'll eat the foods I shouldn't and drink the beverages I normally wouldn't. I'll listen to my parents sing to me over the phone and I'll believe that everything that happens that day is happening just as it should. On that day, I'll believe the world is celebrating me. And I'll be right, because you're always right on your birthday.