Of Birthdays and Quarantines

I celebrated my birthday yesterday by not celebrating it – just not in the normal sense of the word.

I have nothing against birthdays, but this year is just different.

How I celebrated in the past

When I was younger, I loved my birthday – maybe everyone loved their birthdays when we’re younger, with foods and gifts that come with it to look forward to.

But as I grew older, my perception of the way I want to celebrate it changed.

After graduating from college and started working, birthdays came to me in a different mood.

Maybe the way we look at our birthdays differs at every stage of our lives. When we were younger, we are excited to celebrate it. Then as we age, our excitement starts to dwindle. And soon it starts to rise again when we are getting much older (based on what I see among the elders).

In the past five years, my birthday routine is quite simple:

  • I run at least 10km;
  • I read a book; and
  • I introspect.

For the last several years, introspection has been a part of this day. I spend a quiet time alone and organize my thoughts (I haven’t realized that other people are afraid to do this.)

I reflect on what I accomplished in the past year and try to answer the following questions:

  1. How did God’s faithfulness sustain me in the past year?
  2. Have I been of service to others?
  3. Have I become a better version of myself?

These three questions guide me as I try to gauge myself. I believe that our only real competitor is our previous selves and no one else.

After looking back, I also look forward… For things to come – hope for tomorrow.

Birthday during the coronavirus pandemic

This year hasn’t been the best for any of us. Tragedy after tragedy has been going on for the last four months and this pandemic may even last for a few more months.

However, based on my birthday routine, I guess the only thing different from my birthday this year is I can’t run outside because of the enhanced community quarantine.

Staying at home may also be our only contribution to our front liners.

I thank everyone who greeted me. My birthday this year is special, but at the same time ordinary.

I don’t know, but I hope next year will be different. Looking forward to 30.

Still, I praise and thank the Lord my God for adding another year to my life. ❤️🎉

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