My birthday is coming up and I will be fifty four years old. It’s what I call the annual moment of reflection. Birthday time is a special time for all to be had. The song writer years ago said, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!!” Out of all the things you can do, crying concerns me, but I understand. Birthdays have been made to be the day that we do and can have whatever we desire, because it’s our day of celebration. If you ask any of us, we will tell you that we believe our day should be recognized as a National Holiday. Everyone should be off with pay. There is Christmas and then there is our birthday. It’s not that we are so generous, but we want the world to be free to focus on celebrating us.
It’s our BIG DAY for twenty four hours and we wring out every freaking minute, right up until the clock strikes twelve and not a minute before. If we quit sooner, it’s only because we have gotten older and need our rest. I can see you now, hat, horn and cake on your face, but you are fast asleep on the couch of your own party. You didn’t have too much to drink, your body just shuts down at a certain hour. Cinderella’s party was over at twelve but you know your bed time is about two hours prior. Stop playing.
Birthdays are serious out here. I take a day to celebrate the day I was born, while other claim birthday weekends and months. I’ve witnessed someone turning forty, take the same amount of days leading up to their day to celebrate. I haven’t seen it yet but I assume someone will be taking an entire year to celebrate turning fifty. Travel, party, food, dancing, a birthday cake and the birthday song, are all a part of my big day. Nothing more nothing less. No killjoys allowed at all on this day. The number one cardinal rule is, you don’t mess up people’s birthday. If I am fired, don’t fire me on my birthday. Just wait until the morning. Bad news, trouble, issues, heartaches and heartbreaks are all denied entrance into the birthday festivities for the next twenty four hours.
Along with all of the festivities we are bound to enjoy, we all take a moment to reflect. As we get older, we accumulate a plethora of souvenirs called, “Years lived.”
They just seem to quickly add up year after year. Before we can pull down the decorations for birthday number fifty, fifty one has rolled around. As a kid, we waited for what seemed like forever to be a teenager. At forty, we are asking God to slow the frequency down a bit. At fifty four and beyond, we are grateful to have another day of health and strength, let alone another birthday. We don’t require as much and no one truly needs to be off on that day but me. I only want to do me and that could simply be a cup of coffee by myself. Who knew? I have went from a wild, week long birthday party, hanging out the sunroof of the limo, singing with hot celebrities in Vegas, to a quiet breakfast alone with a good cup of coffee. My joy meter is blasting off the charts right now.
As well, as we age, we have this “Moment of Reflection.” It’s time taken to sit and look back over the years in which you have lived and try to make some sense of it. The question that came to my mind at 2:30am was, “What are you going to do with what you have left?” Right off the bat, I was forced to give my mind rules of engagement. If I didn’t, I would take my thoughts in a million different directions and I could possibly end up on the floor in the fetal position crying. This is not the look we are going for on the BIG DAY.
My first rule was, you cannot rehash what years you squandered, how, with who, on who, and doing what. What’s done is done and you can’t get it back or change it, so don’t revisit it. You can only recite your present birthday age, and answer the question, “What are you going to do with what you have left?” Assuming that my remaining years are limited, I thought it be good to land on what I would do with what I had left. Since they won’t be as fast, wild and reckless as my last fifty four, I needed to ponder the question.
Here is what I came up with:
With what ever I have left, I have no desire to walk in fear, be safe, rational or realistic. I have no desire to repeat dumb decisions. I refuse to waste any of what I have left on people who have no desires, ambitions, hope or goals. I have decided the areas of my life in which I desire to make real contributions. Every ounce of what I have left will fall into at least four categories, Family, Ministry, Music, Literature.
I wonder what you will do with what you have left? Any idea?
I am going to spend this weekend periodically thinking about this question, “What are you going to do with what you have left?” If I come up with any new discoveries, I will be sure to contact you. I do know that I love you and appreciate you.
Be Good to Yourself,
(These words excited me)