Birthdays Rock! Cakes, Snakes and More

Yesterday was my birthday and I’m happy to report it was a great day! I always make a list of what I appreciated about my birthday as a way to remind myself of the many things to be grateful for.   Here are this year’s reasons why I think birthdays ROCK:


1.  I woke up excited for my birthday.   It was that same anticipation I remember from childhood when I couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought me. Nice to know the feeling is alive and well.


2. I encountered a snake and lived to tell about it.

(Full disclosure: I am not an outdoorsy girl and I don’t do well with critters, creatures and crevices that you can’t clearly see through.)

I was walking in my backyard and there he was: a King Cobra with outstretched fangs.

(Technically, he might have been a garden snake, but he didn’t introduce himself so how am I supposed to know???)

I screamed so loudly that my daughter heard me from inside the house and came running to see what the problem was.  The snake slithered away into a bush, causing a small lizard to dart out.  (What goes on in my backyard???)

Anyway, I survived and eventually my scrunched up shoulders did come down from somewhere around my eyebrows.

3.  I learned that seeing a snake on your birthday is huge, big-time, wowie, wow, wow good luck.  Shortly after the snake crossed my path, we headed out for a birthday dinner at a local Thai restaurant. I was still out of sorts, so when the owner said, “How are you this evening?” I shared my story, mentioning that the snake sighting happened on my birthday. He clasped his hands and with twinkling eyes told me that in Thailand people believe that seeing a snake on your birthday is the equivalent of hitting the spiritual jackpot. I’ll take it!


4.  The kindness of being remembered by family and friends.  Given how busy everyone is these days, it’s a true delight when people you love take time out to wish you well. One of my favorites was from my friend Casey who showed off her moves in this fun birthday video.

casey birthday lisa jibjab


5. People stepping outside of their comfort zones because they want to make you happy.  A friend who rarely bakes was kind enough to make me this beautiful cake and my 14-year old son even decided to make coconut macaroons for me—a first!

lisa birthday oksana cake


6.  Thoughtful people who remember your most favorite things. I always think it’s a very thoughtful gesture when someone remembers your particular preferences. Kudos to my daughter who added a new mug to my Starbucks collection and to her dad who made sure the festivities with friends included Twizzlers licorice.  A huge shout out to my friend Val for surprising me with little bites of heaven in the shape of French macarons from Ginger Elizabeth. (My most favorite flavor? Salty Caramel!)

7.  The warmth of birthday traditions. When I woke up, our family birthday banner was hung in its official spot. This birthday banner is in its 11th year of wishing various family members and friends a very happy birthday. I also got to “hunt” for my presents and only required a little help from my kids in finding them.

8.  Stunning birthday cards!  I continue to be amazed at the beautiful greeting cards that are available. This gorgeous card from Papyrus was my absolute favorite because clearly these shoes are ready to party!


9.  I exercised on my birthday. Many years ago, I decided that I would make a point to do some sort of fitness-related activity as a way to give thanks that my body still works. Apologies to my body for attempting to do a split in a yoga class and falling very unceremoniously on my butt. Though I was safely in the back row, we just so happened to be turned to the side wall during this series of stretches so my graceless move was visible to the entire class.


10.  A brand new year has begun. While everyone gets to celebrate a new calendar year on New Year’s Eve, a birthday means you get to start a new year all your own. It’s only been 24 hours, but so far, I haven’t broken any of my resolutions.


Whether your birthday is today or many months from now, consider making a list of things that you are grateful for.  Over the years I’ve found it’s a fun way to brighten up those days that are in need of a little light.  Now go forth and celebrate!