Is it a Birthday under Siege, or a Clock Alarm?
I woke up today morning to messages from my service providers across the divide wishing me a happy birthday. It came to my realization that like most men, this birthday thing never becomes lodged in our minds even when we are reminded several times.
To be honest, I had forgotten about the whole thing even though a female friend with whom we share the same birthday date reminded me about it a week ago. I was surprised that it was a year already since I ‘celebrated’ my last birthday.
I put the word celebrated in quotation marks because to say I celebrated would mean an overstatement. So, when I realized it is yet another birthday, I tried remembering anything the past birthdays have meant to me besides that I was born on 20th July; I am yet to find substantive reasons and for that matter, I decided to let it slip by slowly.
But something has been different this year as well. In the years gone by, Safaricom used to be among the first well-wishers with a good reward of 1 GB of internet data. This year, however, nothing much has come my way. To say I didn’t enjoy the internet data back then would be a lie.
I don’t know if others have been getting their internet reward or if it is me alone who is wallowing in a dejected birthday celebration. It doesn’t matter whether one has internet or not, a reward is a whole different story. For that matter, please Safaricom, it is not yet late for a reward. I will appreciate it.
In keenly considering the whole idea of birthdays, it is more about the idea of a ticking clock than it is to celebrate being born. If we were to seriously consider the real celebrant in the case of a birthday, it would be a matter of appreciation to those who gave birth to us more than the fact that we were born.
The second part then would become that we appreciate juggling this hard terrain called life and this far we are today. We would also celebrate that God’s hand has seen us this far and then appreciate the other input we put in to survive the ordeals.
However, the preferences changed somewhere along the way and it has been more about glorifying self which alters the whole idea of a birthday celebration. So a birthday is more about reminding us that we are growing old, that yes we are nearing our death beds or graves, and more about challenging us to do something worthwhile in this life before that clock stops ticking.
I look at this day as a reminder to me to do something for society so that when I die, people can look at me and be glad that I was born. Not merely born, but born at such a time as this, to a people who felt my presence and my impact. That is the beauty of being born, the beauty of having a birthday.
Most epitaphs contain the date of birth and date of death. What you do in between is what matters to what you become after the date of death. Not using the birthday births as a road map to guide you on the journey to making meaning for the period you live will mean disappearing to oblivion once your days on this date are up.
For my birthday today, I am wondering if is a birthday under siege or a ticking clock reminding me that time is moving and that I should not stop moving because that way I am losing the precious resource. Being under siege means being caught in between celebrating that I was born and letting it at that or bracing myself to be more in this life than I have amounted to up to this day.
But this one is more of a clock alarm than anything else since it reminds me that I am already looking at the horizons of life’s most pivotal part. It is a reminder that the darts in my custody are slowly depleting and that if I don’t use them wisely, I will lose focus.
So to all of us celebrating birthdays this year (those who have already celebrated and those yet to celebrate) remember that if anything, it is a reminder that you should remain focused, super focused on why you are here at such a time as this and make the very best of it. We only have one life to live in this world.