Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Dear Oprah,

Do you find yourself at more parties now than any other part of the year? Do you give more gifts now than the holidays? Ok, I know you just started your new season so you might have a lot of new and jazzy tricks up your sleeve, but for me, I feel that....

Apparently our parents were gettin' busy 'round wintertime. What else is there to do when it's snowing in most parts of the country? What else would explain so many September births? Perhaps I'm just noticing it more this year.

There is a birthday everyday this week as I find more Virgos and Libras comin' out of the woodwork in my life.

My neighbor's birthday is today and when I came home after a long day, with bags in my hand, having marked the two month anniversary of my dad's death, heat racing through my veins, even in Santa Monica, it's so freekin' hot. No, I'm not gonna bring it down, but tears were streaming down my face. I was listening to a Snow Patrol album, nothing too intimate there, but alas, I found a song to trigger the emotions I have that are not so deep anymore, not so deep, but deep enough.

I had a long freekin' week with very little sleep. The anniversary just set me over the top.

I saw my neighbor with birthday balloons and gifts lining her door like a dorm room in college. It made me smile on the inside even though I was sweating so much I could smell myself.

She came out of her apartment, full of energy, saw my face and just gave me a hug. No questions asked. She thanked me for the gift and card I left at her door at the butt crack of dawn.

She told me that on this day, her 45th birthday, even though she didn't look a day over 21, that she wanted to send messages and give gifts to all of the people that meant something to her. Her greatest gift on her birthday would be to give to others in order to celebrate her life. She didn't want parties or plans, maybe a little cake and goodies, but what she wanted more than anything was to spend time with the people she loved to make sure that they knew she loved them.

When I had my birthday party a few weeks ago, people showed up and I felt the love. I hope they felt the love back. I know that for me, I might not have needed the extravagance of a party but I definitely needed to know that I was loved and supported during the hardest part of my life. I didn't know how much I needed people to just show up.

Showing up.

To show up, means a lot.

We all need and we all give. We don't need a birthday to remind us that we are loved or to remind us to give. It is an everlasting flow of energy that we give and receive as soon as we are brought into this world and in my experience, even after we have gone.

My dad is gone and I feel his presence more than when he was alive. The gift that keeps on giving.

I'm not sure what that means. All I know is that if we need our birthday to remind us that we exist, so be it. It's what we do with our existence that matters. There are so many ideas, especially in Los Angeles, on what success is. But to me, the successful person is the one that remains present in the lives of others to remind them of the importance of their existence in the world. Simple or complex? I don't know.

All I know is that I gave a gift to my neighbor and after a long day and week of challenges, on her day; she gave me the gift of love. She showed me love and purpose in my existence in life. Her life. All I did was arrive home. In tears, yes, but I arrived. And I was home. Not too difficult. Sobbing and heavy with baggage, ethereal and physical. And we celebrated.

Life is so freekin' hard. And it's so easy, if we just let it be.

I only know hard. What if I just switched my focus to believe things could be easy? Birthday easy. No plans, cake, chucky cheese, skee-ball easy.

One of my dearest friends...his birthday is tomorrow. We talked for a good long time. A time we haven't had in a long time and I felt like I got a greater gift then me calling or sending a card. To talk to him, made my day. He saw my life and within minutes, put it in a perspective that I couldn't see because I was too ‘in my life’ to see it. And I was just calling to wish him a happy birthday. Happy to him. Happy to me. Happy.

Dear Oprah, I notice that there is a birthday everyday (especially with Facebook) with at least someone I know well or not so well. Reaching out is difficult but can be a pleasant gift for the giver and the receiver.

I'm getting old.

So are you, but I don't have nearly as great lighting around me that you do. Or do I?

I don't have a super set. I don't get paid a ton of money, but the people I know are ridiculously valuable. I owe them a debt of gratitude for their existence in my life.

And for that I say, Happy Birthday, to everyone, for being there, being here and being, every day.

Celebrate life…every day.

And let them eat cake!