“What do you want this year for your birthday?”
Year after year, that question always comes up around the same time (I wonder why).
How do you usually respond? If you’re anything like me, you probably stare at them blankly and shrug. Oftentimes, I don’t know what I want for my birthday! Furthermore, I’ll often just go buy anything I really want myself, so I don’t really need anything either.
That got me thinking…what are the best birthday gifts we can’t pay for?
Here are the 3 best birthday gifts you can’t buy.
1. The Gift of Health
Total disclosure: I’ve had pretty bad habits this year when it comes to eating breakfast.
Because my mornings are packed with 7am meetings, as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, I want to get out of the house as soon as possible. After all, it’s much more efficient to skip traffic! In order to do this, my morning task flow is kept to the bare minimum: clean teeth, style hair, get dressed, smell good, and get out the door – all in 15 minutes tops.
Then, once I got to work, I’d quickly grab a coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Tim Hortons or Starbucks - not the best fuel on a daily basis.
When I woke up on my birthday, I deliberately woke up 30 minutes earlier so that I could sit down and eat a full, healthy breakfast. After all, abs are made in the kitchen. Casually moseying about, I now had the time to throw the kettle on for a cup of tea, boil an egg, peel a banana, slice an avocado and toast my bagel.
In a complete relaxed state, I realized that I hadn’t been treating my body right all year. Despite eating well for my other meals and maintaining an active lifestyle throughout the week, I’ve been taking my health for granted. I realized how blessed I was to have good health and what a gift it was!
The older we get, the more important it is to proactively eat well.
With each birthday, one of the best gifts I’m thankful for is continued health.
2. The Gift of Quality Time
I wrote recently about how disconnected I sometimes feel with life being so busy.
Two weeks before my birthday this year, Arash messaged me to grab lunch. As we sat down for Thai food last Sunday afternoon, I was so humbled that he would make time to see me, especially knowing how busy he is with work, school and moving! As we caught up on each other’s lives, I truly felt how important the gift of quality time is.
There is truly nothing more valuable than someone sharing their moments in life with you.
Whether I'm with friends or family, it doesn't get much better than that.
I'm so thankful for those who still make time for me, and hope that I'm doing just as much of the same for you. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last year with you!
3. The Gift of Life
In Canada, the average life expectancy is 81.24 years (World Bank, 2012).
At 27 years old, assuming we make it to the average, I’m only 33% of my way through life!
Of course, I may die sooner (a car could hit me, heart attack, natural disaster) and I think it goes without saying that you can’t really celebrate your birthday if you’re dead. On the flip side of that though, how cool is it that on each birthday, we made it another year! With our God-given time, life is such an amazing gift that we take for granted.
I was recently listening to Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, where they recounted war stories from their time in Ramadi, Iraq, along with the painful leadership lessons that they learnt through experience. As they spoke about comrades and teammates that became casualties during the war, they impressed upon me how fortunate we are to be able to live in peace here in Canada, where I (relatively) don’t have to worry about being blown up by a frag grenade.
The Simplicity of it all
As the years pass, these 3 simple gifts truly signify how the things we already have are sometimes the best gifts we can continue to receive.
On our birthday, or any other day for that matter.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.