This week is my birthday. Sometimes I struggle with it. I’m a guy that likes to celebrate. But sometimes I think the expectation/preparation is too much and ruins what could have been a good time. I have scheduled a gig at a bar on my birthday and invited everyone, I’ve given surprise parties for my wife (now ex and she did not like it), orchestrated big parties for my kid’s birthdays, etc.
Many years ago I was on a trip with my daughter, a friend of hers, and a friend of mine. We were at a national park visiting another friend’s archeological dig. There were a bunch of college kids working the site. We spent one of the days walking and digging and swimming in the river.
At about 10pm one of the college kids whom I’d just met asked me, “Todd, did you have a good day.”
I said, “Yes, and it is my birthday.”
They said, “Happy birthday.”
I said, “Thanks.”
I realized that, because noone knew it was my birthday (my daughter remembered a couple days later). That I really enjoyed not celebrating it. There was no pressure. Expectation and celebration don’t always go together. I can’t count the times I’ve played for a wedding of non-smiling brides and grooms.