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Random Musings – The Birthday Project

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How many times has your birthday rolled around and you didn’t know exactly what you wanted to do for it?  Maybe you aren’t a big birthday person, it’s just another day or not a big deal.  Maybe you are like my mom, who would start celebrating the month before and not stop until well after the actual date. I am good with just a week long “It’s almost my birthday so I can do whatever I want” kind of thing.  *Note: SuperHubs does not buy that act for more than a day.* Or maybe you are just glad to have another birthday to celebrate at all.


I have been so inspired by the approach my friend Nicole is taking to her upcoming birthday.  She is participating in The Birthday Project (, where you complete one Random Act of Kindness for each year of your life.  The mission of this organization is to “create a shift in the way people from all walks of life think about and celebrate their birthday.”  What a grand idea!


Nicole is doing everything from paying for coffee for the person behind her in line to leaving a bag of quarters at the Laundromat to providing a free night of babysitting for an exhausted family.  I am so proud of her and her giving spirit.  It makes me feel lucky to have such a special person as a friend.  It also makes me think in a different way about birthdays.


Nicole and her husband Nick (©2013 N. Yanotti)

Nicole and her husband Nick


I have already shifted my attitude towards it, since every birthday I have now is one I may not have had if I didn’t find out that I had cancer early enough to take action.  I also often think about how my late mother wanted nothing more than to live to her next birthday, but sadly passed a month before it.  Instead of parties or presents, I am more interested now in experiences that I can treasure.  This year, my sweet husband took me away on a little trip.  It wasn’t extravagant, but it was time I got to spend with him where we weren’t distracted by technology or the trials and travails of everyday life.  It was the perfect way to celebrate my special day, spending uninterrupted time with the one I love the most.


Because I am grateful to still be here to do it, I try to do things for others  – be it a random kindness, a caring word or a gesture of appreciation.  I am going to help my friend Nicole with some of her items on her list, because that is how I can celebrate her, and maybe next year I might try the same thing.  Although I have twice as many birthdays as she does, so it might take longer!  But I love the idea.  Something to consider, friends.



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