I’ve been thinking about birthdays this week and how the meaning of a birthday can be so different depending on who you are and where you are in your journey. Example: My four year old daughter talks about her birthday all year long. When we go to other kids’ birthday parties immediately afterwards she’ll be telling me in the car what flavor birthday cake she wants and what color bounce house is the best. Keep in mind she does this with the same vigor regardless of whether her birthday is in two months or ten months.
As a middle aged person (geez that hurts)… What I meant to say is, as a younger than middle aged person, I don’t anticipate my birthday but I don’t dread it either. I just ignore it. It’s another day, another cocktail and a reminder that a whole year has past and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to accomplish. It’s “one more year and a trip around the sun.” (From the always wise, Jimmy Buffett).
When I talk to those people who have made their dreams come true, to people who have realized their potential, I find that they talk about birthdays differently. They experience birthdays with a certain thoughtfulness that I haven’t experienced yet and that my daughter can’t even know exists. They contemplate their contributions and value each moment as part of something special and temporary. It seems to me that the older and wiser you are the more you recognize that birthdays are not a testament to what you still have to accomplish but maybe they are supposed to be a reminder of what you have already done.
Since today is our start-up, MomSource Network’s fourth birthday, I can’t help but feel the anticipation about MomSource Network’s next year that my daughter does for her next chocolate birthday cake (with chocolate frosting) and pink bounce house. In the next 12 months, I want to do more, serve more women and help more companies recognize the value of the flexible workplace. I also recognize that it’s hard to believe that our little baby business is growing up and that while we’ve made our share of mistakes, she’s learning right from wrong and starting to develop into the adolescent business that can make us proud. If we’re lucky, really, really lucky, then maybe she’ll be one of those old folks who can tell the stories of how she eventually got old and realized her full potential.
Happy Birthday MomSource! Let’s go “one more year and a trip around the sun!”
Courtney Jones is the Founder of MomSource Network and a thought leader on work-life blend, flexible employment and gender diversity.