As we grow and advance in life, birthdays gradually shift from the groovy euphoria to a serious moment of retrospect.
A realization suddenly hits you in the head, Gbagan! 'I am XX years today, what have I done with my life'? And suddenly we begin to wonder how time went by so quickly.
Questions like ‘do I even know what I am doing on this earth? Have I found out my purpose? Am I merely balancing ecosystem?
Am I optimizing my potential? Am I just growing my career or business? How meaningful is my life to God and humanity?...’
The tendency to begin to compare ourselves with our ‘age-mates’ sets in at this point. When all of a sudden, you try to apply for something and get a shocking realization that you have exceeded the maximum age limit.
When younger people suddenly begin to refer to you as ‘ma’ and you are like ‘is this just out of courtesy or…?’
In my opinion, I think this is the reason for the blue feelings associated with birthdays most of the time. When you feel you are not measuring up to your set dreams and aspirations and your achievements do commensurate with your age.
When the thoughts of not measuring up and the feeling of inadequacy creep in just before or on my birthday, I have learnt not to feel blue again. I profoundly thank God for His faithfulness and the gift of another year. Also, one of the statements by my destiny father, Reverend Olusola Areogun rings in my head.
He taught me to; ‘Get it right early, and get better at it’.
In recent years, this statement has formed the fulcrum of my retrospect on my birthdays or other important events. When I review various aspects of my life; relationship with God, purpose and destiny, family, relationships, career etc.
I have learnt to get better at the things I am sure I have gotten right.
I have learnt to give more time to developing my personal relationship with God and working out the details of my destiny since that is one eternal thing I have got.
I have also learnt to invest time building a more intimate relationship with family knowing I am not going to have another.
I am learning to invest in my career path since that is the platform I have got to express my skills and talents and build financial strength and currently learning to seek ways to mentor and pay-it-forward.
As I mark another birthday today, I ask myself again, ‘Am I getting better at the things I have gotten right?’
Where the answer is not in the affirmative, I make plans and seek God’s wisdom for direction and where I think I am taking baby steps in the right direction, I stretch on my bed, toss and turn, sleep some more and make plans to simply lazy about and indulge myself knowing that June 12th is not just my birthday but a national holiday!