Mirrors – Justin Timberlake

I used to work with a colleague who joked I never liked music until it hit platinum. Not deliberately – it’s just how it worked out.

So when my kids were singing loud in the car the other day to Justin Timberlake’s song “Mirrors”, I was amazed at how much I liked it. What is this song? I asked them. They thought I was old and square for not obviously knowing it was JT.

Today, I went to iTunes to finally buy music that I’d added to a list in my phone and of course this song was among the options. Turns out, if you can believe it, I already had it in my songs.

Um, really?

I’m so cool I don’t even know it!

Tomorrow, I turn 43. Not a really special or significant birthday, to be sure, but a birthday nonetheless.

Birthdays are our own personal holidays when we get to celebrate ourselves. When others remember us and reach out, sending cards and Facebook messages, emails and phone calls. They sound happy in their voices, and you feel happy for being remembered.

I’m taking the day off and spending it mostly alone, pampering myself, doing some of my favorite things. My husband is joining me for a luxurious breakfast at my favorite place. He’s making me a dinner with all the kids around us. I get the late afternoon just to be with my kiddos. At some point, I hope to get in a hike.

All in all, a great birthday plan.

I try to make every day a day to show gratitude for the gifts of this life. I try to wake up thankful and bright, reverent for all the wonders around me. I try to be thankful when I walk into my office, when I meet a client, when I make dinner for my family, when we make s’mores around the fire pit in our backyard.

Back when my eldest turned 3, I felt odd that he was showered with so many presents just for turning another year older. It was such abundance! Surely, we didn’t need everything that poured in.

So I started a tradition that we mostly keep, where at each birthday, the honored person chooses a charity to benefit as a way to show gratitude for another wonderful year. We buy items needed or donate money or as they get older, I imagine we could volunteer, too.

That way, the birthday is a cause to look outward and see how we might make the world a better place and not just focus on me-me-me.

This morning, after my meditation and before I swam laps (Day #2 – I did it!), I picked angel cards. One of them spoke about how important it is to focus outward, on making the world a better place. I was so glad to receive confirmation that what I’m already teaching my family, the way we are living, is the path of right.

In a minute, I’ll head into the morass of work and meetings and driving to and fro, of managing and receiving and initiating and brainstorming. Of sweating through another hot day and emerging victorious, heart pumping, a smile on my face, grateful for the gifts before me.

Taking the blog full circle, I have to say that I love the message in this song. Looking at another person as a reflection of yourSelf – that’s the whole point. That’s how we make the world better. That’s how we realize our unique path in this life. Thanks, JT, for a birthday message I didn’t even know I was looking for.

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