In one's youth, your birthday is such an important event. Unfortunately though, the celebration factor often obscures the true value of the day, namely that you are a year older and hopefully wiser.
This year I had all kinds of plans for how I was going to spend the day. Last year my birthday wound up being basically a washout, so I wanted to ensure that this year I marked the day in a more positive, productive fashion. The phone rang early (7:45 AM, to be exact), and it was my mother calling to send me her wishes. Given how difficult it is for my mother to use the phone these days, I was so touched by how important calling me on my birthday was to her. Not only did she call first thing in the morning, but she had tried me the night before, and when neither attempt proved fruitful, she had someone help her construct a Birthday Wishes email. On my end, the most important thing for me was to speak to her on the day, so I made sure to catch her.
Her example though got me thinking about what the proper priorities should be for the day this year. And I decided that really, at this point in my life, the day is about being in touch with all the people I love and care about. Since most of my friends are scattered across North America, I wound up spending a nice part of the day on the phone and emailing. I turned out to be a wonderful day as a result. Of course, I was so grateful to my DH, who bought me a present I really needed (a camera, hopefully one that will enable me to take multiple pictures before expiring, unlike my last model) and took me to dinner at a relaxing restaurant just up the street. We had a light but delicious meal, the staff was very cordial, and my husband managed, yet again, to arrange for a cake for me...every year I fall for that one. What a sucker I am! In a good way, of course.
So, B'H', the day did indeed prove productive and meaningful. And in the end, that's what milestones are all about. To 120, bli ayin hara!