Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thanks for the Birthday Greetings

   It is my birthday. As the day draws to a close, I am doing my daily writing and reflecting on the day that was not as I had planned it a few days ago. 
      I was going to attend a farewell party for a valued colleague who was moving on to a new position. I was even invited to say a few words which I was delighted to do for my friend. Then, I was going to have lunch with some old friends. We have been trying to get together for several weeks and finally settled on my birthday which made me feel good. Lastly, we had dinner planned with the family. In between, I was going to do some writing, exercise a bit, and prepare for a course that starts in a week.
     Plans changed as plans often change. My wife often says we should probably just start with Plan B and avoid all the fuss.
     We took water in the basement on Friday and today was spent coordinating workers, prioritizing what we were going to keep and what we were going to throw out, taking phone calls from the insurance company, adjustors, and contractors.  Throughout the day I was getting birthday greetings and well wishes by phone, text, and Facebook posts and Messenger.
     When folks found out what I was dealing with, they felt bad that I had to do such on my birthday.
     Yeah, it wasn’t what I planned to do. But truly, at my age, which is either This Side of Fifty, This Side of Sixty, or This Side of Medicare, the actual day is really not that important to me. A late card or gift doesn’t bother me. I am honored to get a greeting and even more so a gift. If and when a friend or family member apologizes about missing the day, I simply tell them, “I am not a kid where the actual day means that much.” A week late? No problem. Just as happy to hear from you.
     The only way in which I was ever really into the day, June 25, was to know which famous people shared my birthday or what notable might have happened on this day. I think I was looking for some link that would inspire me to be something more, something better. I even wrote a bit about it in my June 2010 Letter. While it is kind of fun and interesting to know these things, I truly believe there is no relationship, no correlation.
      A few years ago, I was at a conference on my birthday. As is the norm at conferences, there is a Pareto Principle, an 80/20 rule, in play. 20% of the speakers deliver 80% of the interesting content, while the remaining 80% of the speakers only provide 20% of interesting content. So, at this conference, when the lesser 80% of the speakers had the stage, I read my birthday wishes and thanked each and every person for their greeting. I liked that I had done that and decided to do it again the following year. Well, a year later, I had a much busier day, and failed miserably at thanking everyone separately. I did what most people do and wrote an appropriate post thanking everyone.
     This year I thought I would change it up a bit and write a bloggy bit to thank everyone for their thoughtful greetings and well wishes. They really kept my spirits up today. I greatly appreciate it!

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