Beyond having a birthday annoyingly close to Christmas, December has historically been a month of tragedy for me. In my early twenties, it seemed I went to more funerals than parties. Thus, I’ve never really held this time of year with the regard that most do.
This isn’t to say I don’t find comfort in the company of friends and family. I do appreciate that. My birthday, with a few notable exceptions, has typically been a low key affair. This year, the big 40, I am at a loss. Everyone tells me I should make a big deal out and, outwardly, I proclaim to most that it is a momentous milestone. In fact, with so much going on in the world, I feel a pang of guilt for diverting any attention away from those suffering.
Of course, I realize I shouldn’t actively feel this. We all need moments to celebrate. We need joy in a world so filled with dissension and destruction. That being said, whether it be the small tragedies that plague our personal lives or the sweeping tragedies that effect the world, it seems insensitive to raise a glass and cheer.
This year, I’m trying something different. Instead of holding on to the pain of years passed, I want to appreciate how fortunate I am to still be here. This year, I want to hold my loved ones tight and remind them of what they mean to me. If there is a glass to be raised, let us do it as a reminder of what we can all do to bring more joy to the entire world. Let us help each other to be our strongest, smartest and most empathetic selves.
Saying something corny like “let’s make the world a best place” sounds like such cheesy bullshit but this year, I mean it. Let’s do it whatever way we all can and let’s help each other to keep doing it far beyond the holidays.
Let’s make the world a better place.