Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Spend Your Birthday, and How Not To

by Claudia Schwarz

So it happened to be my birthday this week while we were in Cleveland. And what I would like to share with everyone is what I learned from this birthday in the form of a "what to do" and "what not to do" list:

What not to do on your birthday:

  • be upset about things you can’t change
  • follow the lead of someone who has a bad sense of direction
  • attend a tour of a facility that feels like you’ve had it before
  • wait around for people, vans, better times, or whatever it was we were waiting for

And here is the much better list:

What to do on your birthday:

  • have waffles and fresh fruit for breakfast
  • have 20 people from 17 different countries congratulate you
  • get a card signed by everyone with good wishes in languages you can’t even read
  • get a bar of your very favorite chocolate as a present (how on earth did you know that??)
  • have Gambo sing happy birthday to you
  • receive messages from friends and family back home
  • have someone with a 6th sense tell you that your life will make a wonderful turn – and believe it
  • sit on the newsdesk of a top-rated TV station
  • sit on the table in front of the big screen next to the director during a live news TV broadcast
  • tell a stranger that it is your birthday
  • buy something because it’s beautiful and you like it (and you can afford it)
  • get a 20% discount just because it is your birthday
  • walk over a bridge during sunset in a light summer rain
  • have a wonderful 3-course dinner (in a Palestine restaurant) and share meals with new friends from all over the world, have a nice glass of cabernet (and pay less than $25 for everything)
  • trust other people in making your birthday special
  • share your birthday with someone else and celebrate from one birthday into the next one
  • get a big birthday cake together with Mohammed and have everyone sing happy birthday once more
  • blow out candles
  • make a really good wish
  • do something you have never done before (within reason)
  • dance
  • be happy, humble, and grateful and enjoy all the small things in life

The bottom line is, I had a special birthday and most certainly one to remember. Thank you, everyone!

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