Let’s make that dreaded birthday count…
If you are a person who dreads the unavoidable yearly event of yet another birthday, you are not alone. There are ample narratives of the “fundatory” celebrations at offices. Another one often mentioned is the “Secret Valentine”, a tradition which makes some of us profoundly uncomfortable. To add one more, the potlucks/fundraising events forcing employees to publicly donate to the cause, and how would you dare not to? One must be brave to dare skipping these “opportunities to team building”, and demonstrations of generosity.
Some told me that they avoid the expressions of many levels of ageism (on both sides) and the publicly handed birthday card, often a cliché in poor taste, by taking the day off.
Inspired by those, mainly in the US, who express their gratefulness at Thanksgiving Day…that day off might be spend on something that provides you with hope and events to look forward to on your birthday. Here is mine:
Brave: A thank you to all the courageous people who stuck out their necks and spoke up about injustices. Those who inspire, educate and advocate. A thank you to colleagues and friends who support and take risks when providing constructive feedback.
Informed consent: A thank you to those doctors who do take the time to listen. Thank you to those primary care physicians who discuss options, adverse side effects of Rx and the benefits of alternative options and who are up-to-date with findings on preventative health.
Reading Research: Thank you to Medscape. I appreciate the new research, the debunking of myths and the movement of “medicine” toward the inclusion of mental health in our overall well-being. Due to the Internet, we have access to internationally published information including great research.
Training: Thank you to the professors who hammered on critical thinking. Education is key…but not just any…we need quality and you provided this! Please continue. In times when many seem to rely on social media to stay up-to-date, it is even more crucial to distinguish between essays, ads, and Blogs and peer reviewed journal articles (don’t skip methods and limitations).
Hope: Looking for positive change. In my lifetime there has been progress, but unfortunately, also a deep dip. The election of DDT has affected many deeply. I am one of them. A huge thank you to political writers and political comedians to make us laugh and at the same time educate and inspire. There is hope.
Determination: Oh, this is a tough one. Determined to not give up saying “hi” as an acknowledgement that “I see you”. When going for a walk or run in our neighbourhood. It might be cultural or something else. No, I am not invisible! I am telling myself to not give up and do the “looking away thing” as I know how it feels.
Ambiguity: The one professor who really got under my skin (there were a few and I cherish them all), told me to learn to accept ambiguity. Dr. S., I am still learning…. But will not just accept but aim to understand.
[If] Yesterday was not your best day…tell yourself that today and tomorrow can be better. We can’t do it alone. Look around and see who your friends are, those who support, validate and understand and those who provide feedback and take a little risk….Thank you 😊