Birthdays are the annual milestones we use to mark time spent living between birth and death. For some, birthdays are a source of joy and celebration. Conversely, others view birthdays as a trigger for anxiety and/or depression. Yet others let birthdays pass as just as another day on the calendar. The intensely personal reaction to the annual event reminds me of the question about perspective: Is the cup half-full or half-empty? I opt for being thankful there is a cup to fill.
Naturally all this talk about cups and fullness lead to thoughts of tea. Speaking of tea, forget about halves and pour as full a cup as possible. Like tea, life is meant to be savored sip by sip without a drop to waste. This year the beautifully clear Purple Afya Tea by Royal Tea of Kenya provided a regal companion for the introspection that accompanied my annual 30-day birthday celebration.
If we each drank a cup of tea for every difficult situation we’d ever face over our lifetimes, then we’d all roll into the nearest body of water and float. (Depending on the river, brook, or ocean, we may even glow.) Practical by nature, I believe that no experience — good or bad — is wasted. As a result, birthdays are equivalent to preparing a corporate Annual Report and/or Board of Directors Meeting. For example, my birthdays provide space to review:
- Past highlights – Celebrate previous year goals achieved and/or progress made
- Future plans – Write down new goals to direct focus
- Current challenges – Inventory resources now available
- Toolbox – Identify secret weapons yet untapped
Often we fail to appreciate events because we are so close to them that they appear only as knots awaiting our attention. It seems that these knots appear in multiples without any evident pattern. However, what appears like a big tangle of knots becomes more attractive once we take a step back to get a larger view.
Thankfully, there are no prizes attached to how many birthdays we celebrate nor are there demerits assessed for the birthdays we failed to notice. The approach we each take to living is as intimate as how we each prefer our tea to taste. Whatever the personal decision, please be encouraged both to keep living and to keep drinking tea. Both are pursuits worth doing well. Cups up!