It’s my birthday tomorrow, something I used to let slide each year as it’s no big deal. Now, I make more of a fuss. Why?
The birthday itself really doesn’t matter to me. But I’d noticed in the last few years that I didn’t see enough of my family and friends, the people that matter to me. I’d also noticed that I didn’t do enough of the things I like doing (going to theatre, watching live comedy and sport).
I guess, like many of us, I’d fallen into the trap of working and bringing up a family. My wife has done the same, but she’s always been better at seeing her friends more often and doing the things she enjoys doing (music and, recently, gardening).
How is this connected to my birthday? I now use my birthday as a trigger for doing things I want to do. So, this evening, I’m going to see To Kill a Mockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre with my wife (splashed out on nice seats too – if you’re going to do it, do it properly!).
Tomorrow evening, we’re hosting 20 friends for drinks in our garden, hopefully in the London sunshine.
All rather self-indulgent so far, I guess: what, if anything, is my message? To make changes to our lives, to our behaviour, we often need a trigger. Triggers come in all shapes and sizes, and I’ve made birthdays one of mine (I’ve extended it now to my wife’s and my kids’ birthdays).
If you’re not doing the things you want to do as often as you want to do them, maybe you could use a birthday, an anniversary or even a Bank Holiday weekend as the trigger to take action.