Monday, November 19, 2012

The power of a "happy birthday"

It was my birthday last week.  I have always secretly (or, maybe not-so-secretly) wished that someday, someone would make a big deal out of my birthday.  Like throw me a surprise party or something.  Since I can remember, anytime I've had school or work on my birthday I've gone around announcing to everyone that it was my birthday, which maybe is obnoxious but I just think it's funny.

It may sound weird for a shy, sensitive introvert like me to want anyone to even know it is my birthday, but that's how it is.  And this year, 28 years into my life, it finally happened.

I was at work.  In the days leading up to my birthday, I was telling my co-workers at breakfast that my birthday was coming up.  As I got into work on my actual birthday, a co-worker from another office on site (who I had not had breakfast with) sent me an instant message wishing me a happy birthday.  I asked her how she had known and she cryptically replied "I know everything."  A couple birthday emails arrived in my inbox.  A minute later, a co-worker from down the hall walked into my office to say happy birthday and I got him to spill the beans on how everyone seemed to know.

Long story short, after I'd left breakfast that morning someone had jokingly suggested that someone should send an email to the entire site announcing that it was my birthday.  And someone did.

I think people thought that they were embarrassing me all day by emailing and stopping by, because like I said I am a shy, sensitive introvert who shouldn't like that stuff.  But I loved it.  It was honestly the best birthday I could have had at work.

Because a birthday at work, away from your loved ones, isn't going to be a great birthday.  No one is going to make you a special dinner or give you flowers or something.  And I KNOW hipsters, birthdays are technically dumb because unless you're like 100, why are you celebrating still being alive?  But I am still of the opinion that we all deserve one day a year to be celebrated, to be made to feel a little bit special, to remember that we have people in our lives who are happy that we're still alive.  Right?  We all need that.  And it's hard to get when you're at work, away from those people.

All day long, people stopped into my office and sent me emails.  Some more awesome than others, like the gruff old mechanic who said "The email said to come say happy birthday, so happy birthday."  The fact that all of these people took a few minutes out of their day to pop by or send an email, when they absolutely didn't have to do anything of the sort because they're just my co-workers, totally made my day.

So never underestimate the power of a "happy birthday" - more often than not, the fact that you thought of someone will make their birthday so much better.

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