I’ve never been the biggest advocate of birthdays and holidays. I’ve always thought the celebrations were too commercialised; there was too much pressure to buy the right gift, ridiculous amounts of money were spent, and there was not enough focus on loving people all year around. But three days ago, I celebrated my birthday and my opinion softened a little bit.
My day was not spent being showered with gifts; it was spent being appreciated and loved by my family and friends. Even though finances have been an issue, my husband bought me a bracelet and he said to me: “The fact that you’re happy makes me so happy”. It wasn’t about the bracelet itself that made me feel loved, it was because my happiness meant the world to him. I felt really lucky to be married to someone who loved me that much.
Over the course of the day, friends I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years were wishing me happy birthday; and their words were so kind and beautiful. My friend even baked me a cake and invited us over for dinner. Knowing that my life had made such a difference to all these people, made me feel really good about who I was as a person.
The only physical present I received on Tuesday was from my husband, but that doesn’t bother me at all. My 24th birthday was actually my happiest one, because I felt really happy to be alive.
Birthdays, Anniversaries and holidays like Christmas; should not be about gifts. They should be about making your loved ones feel loved and appreciated. Life is too short not to say “I love you”; it’s too short not to tell people that you appreciate them for who they are and what they do for you.
Life can get busy at times, but try to love and appreciate the people in your life ALL year around. Don’t let it be confined to just one day. Tell them all the time, through your words and actions. Let them know how much they mean to you.
Family and friends are always there to help celebrate our achievements with us, and most importantly, to pick us up when we are down. By loving and appreciating them the way they deserve, we are reciprocating the love and appreciation they already give to us.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.