The Joy of Birthdays

The joy of birthdays is amazingly beautiful.  The question is, "Are you anticipating or dreading your birthday?"

Well, a lot of people (including me) sometimes end up dreading one's birthday esp. at the thought of growing old year after year. But here's a challenge to all of us. Why don't we take this time to celebrate our birthdays instead. Let us throw worry and fear out of the window.  Discover the joy that it can contain and you'll see how it makes a lot of difference.

May 5, 2008.

I celebrated my birthday with the cast and crew of Siddhartha, the Musical in Taipei, Taiwan. Oh it was a beautiful and memorable one for me as I rediscovered the joy of birthdays!

Director Daisy, Master Yung Guang and Me!
Director Daisy, Master Yung Guang and Me!

Being involved in a Buddhist musical play meant we were visiting temples and meeting Buddhist monks and nuns. Since I couldn't visit a church on my birthday, I decided to ask Venerable Master Yung Guang to bless and pray for me! I happily received her blessing and thanked God for the gift of my life!

1. The Joy of Life

The joy of birthdays is celebrating that you are still alive! Yipee!!! This may be very obvious but all too often it is something we take for granted. And sometimes amidst problems and burdens, it may be something we forget.

I remember a time I was under pressure to settle down. Pretty soon, I was feeling its effects and I was dreading birthdays and marriage party invitations and even new year. Misery won for a time. Until I changed perspective and attitude. After that , I would make it a point to honor life- my life, on my birthday!

Here are great and simple ideas to honor life. I love ceremonies. So using the following, I create a ceremony of sorts to celebrate life. You can create yours too.

  • Going to church to offer a special thanksgiving.
  • Writing a thank you letter and attaching the letter to a balloon and watching the balloon soar up in the sky
  • Finding a quiet spot (like a garden or in a seashore) and spend time being grateful
  • Lighting a candle or candles as you watch the flames dance
  • Writing a journal and remembering all the good things that happened in your life.
  • Buying flowers and putting it in my room to honor the beauty of life
  • Planting a grateful tree

Remember: In the simplest act of buying flowers or spending quiet time in the beach, the more important thing is the gratitude for your life that comes along with it.

Sample Affirmations

  1. I am special.
  2. I am precious.
  3. I am trustworthy.
  4. I am a great son/daughter.
  5. I am a wonderful parent.
  6. I am smart.
  7. I am joy in motion.
  8. I am beautiful/handsome.
  9. I am filled with peace.
  10. I am love.

2. The Joy of Feeling Special

Do you believe that you are special? I believe you are. And a wonderful occasion like birthdays is one of the best times to remember this. I would like to believe that on the day we are born, the angels sang and heavens rejoiced. Every year after that, your birthday reminds you of that joy, reminds you of your uniqueness. There is only one of you.

It feels good to feel special. Allow yourself to feel special. So on your birthday, when you are the center of the attention, enjoy it! Be joyful when people remember you and greet you. Blow those candles with gusto and make a wish, a prayer. Love the gifts they give you. Focus on the thought and the love from the giver.

Here are some great ways to honor yourself:

  • Do positive affirmations.
  • Take time to reflect and be pleased about your growth in the different areas of your life.
  • Pamper yourself. Take time to do something you really want to do. Treat yourself. Go to a beauty salon. Find time to relax in a SPA. Buy yourself a gift. Eat good food. Do something that makes you happy.

If you are able to celebrate YOU, you would have discovered another joy found in birthdays!

3. The Joy of Good Company

This year since I was away from home, I was without my family and friends. But the company of the cast and crew (who in a way have become my "family" after a year of rehearsals and practice and being together) and even newfound friends in Taiwan still made my birthday special.

There is indeed beauty in being surrounded by family, friends and colleagues esp on one's birthday. A friend of mine shared that birthday celebrations have become a reunion time for their family. It is a time for fellowship and updates. In the company of loved ones, a celebration becomes meaningful and the pleasure is doubled. Treasure these moments spent with people you care about.

4. The Joy of Surprise

The element of surprise never fails to bring elation. When the birthday cake is brought out and a chorus of voices begin singing the Happy Birthday song, you just end up smiling.

In our preschool, we have little surprise games for our teachers that we enjoy doing. Here are some of the games we customized for each teacher, depending on their interests and hobbies.

Sample games:

1. The Shopping Game: Players posed as mannequins with a variety of things with them (e.g. underwear, shoes, belt with price tags). The birthday celebrant is led into the room and is asked to go shopping with a time limit. The challenge: the mannequins will not make it easy for the birthday celebrant to get the stuff.

2. The Karaoke Challenge: The birthday celebrant is asked to complete the sentences of the song we have prepared.

3. Hit the Pot: Blindfolded, the birthday celebrant hits the pot (hanging from the ceiling) with a stick.

4. Guess the Ingredients: Each person brought a certain spice or food for the game (e.g. pepper, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, sugar) We combined all of the stuff we brought and mixed them in the bowl. The birthday celebrant was blindfolded and was asked to name all the ingredients found therein.

5. How Well Do You know Your Groom-to-be: We prepared some paraphernalia for the bride (e.g. veil, cord, wedding ring, candles). Prior to the game, we asked the boyfriend several questions and wrote down his answers. During the game itself, the birthday girl was asked the questions like what is your boyfriend's favorite food? If their answers match, we gave the girl one object like the veil to see if she was "ready" for marriage. tee hee

My Taiwan Birthday Surprise

Happy Birthday!!
Happy Birthday!!

5. The Joy of Sharing

During this marvelous day, I discovered that as I was being showered with attention with all the birthday greetings, hugs, cakes and beautiful smiles, I realized that the best part of it all was my answered prayer. Before we left for Taiwan, I prayed that the musical was going to be a success. And that the cast would be financially blessed because of this.

On my birthday (that was the day after the first 5 shows in Taipei), we were all surprised with a red envelope (Ang Pao in chinese) with money inside. And we were blessed twice! One in the morning and another in the evening. I was very, very joyful that day. I realized that the best gift of all was being able to share joy with others. As I was happy, so too were the 60 cast along with the crew. What more could I ask?

The Joy Continues...

  • To celebrate life is a joy!
  • To celebrate YOU is a joy!
  • To celebrate with your loved ones is a joy!
  • To experience surprise is a joy!
  • To give and to share is a joy!

May we always remember the joy our birthday can bring today and every year after that.

By: Michelle Simtoco

More by this Author


Comments 45 comments

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

brought a morning smile, thanks, This is a wise saying. "The joy of birthdays is celebrating that you are still alive."


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks Bob! A morning smile is a wonderful way to start the day! :)


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Haha....finally....the Birthday article sees print...and you'll make people reflect and be grateful once more. That's the magic behind your writing--- you simply find joy in making people uncover the blessings behind ordinary things and events. I can't wait to read the other articles in your draft folder. ...oohh and yes, mam, i will do my part in "activating" my membership in hubpages...soon..hehe


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hahaha this is a wonderful surprise. Thank you Ms. Daisy, (our director of the Siddhartha musical) for being a great friend and making my birthday a memorable one. :)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia

Well Happy belated Birthday-sounds like it was a memorable one and you got some good Presents! :-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks lifebydesign! It was an outpouring of blessings. :)


MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

Nice Hub! Happy Birthday!


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Happy Belated Birthday Michelle....wonderful Hub. Today is my son's birthday also, and he is far from home...I am going to send him the link to this Hub... Wonderful job.


RainbowRecognizer profile image

RainbowRecognizer 8 years ago from Midwest

We are close on the calendar as I also just celebrated my May birthday. :o) You bring to light the joy I chose for myself this year: to appreciate and be happy just being Me. I stayed home, cleaned the house, played with the kids, smelled the fresh air, and enjoyed life in its simplicity. Thank you for this beautiful hub and a very happy birthday to You, Ripplemaker, you are true inspiration for us all!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi MasonsMom, thanks for reading this one. May you have joy on your birthday always.

Diana, please extend my birthday greetings to your son! He's a Taurus like me! And thank you for your continued support and encouragement. It's always nice to read your comments.

Rainbow, happy belated birthday! You inspire me with how you live your life as well. You have indeed found your joy!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Sounds like one BD you shall never forget.  How special and what a wonderful experience you had.  such a cutie you are.  G-Ma :o) hugs


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

No Michelle, I am a Taurus, I believe he is Gemini! We both are born in the year of the rat however! lol


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Ah yes since his birthday is passed May 20. Yup Gemini. You are a Taurus too? HAHAHA Diana, when was your birthday? I missed it :( Belated Happy Birthday to you too.

G-MA, thanks for your endearing comments. Hugs back to you. :)


debby28 profile image

debby28 8 years ago from WASHINGTON

Well Happy B-Day. sounds like you had a great one.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks Debby. May your birthday be a great one too! Cheers!


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

ripplemaker Happy birthday.

We share the month but not the day.

May is a very extravagant month for Val and I. I had a brother on the same day 10 years apart. I have a son f days after me. a new nephew in between born last Friday. then we had two Mother's days some where in between.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hahaha Happy Birthday too MrMarmalade. Then I guess you have all the JOY in May. :) To beautiful and extravagant days :) Cheers!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Such a sweet hub! Your brightness shines so clearly here. :) Happy Belated Birthday!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Happy Belated Birthday! My sister is a Taurus and has your joy of life. I am an Aquarius... so introverted!

Siddhartha the musical???- it's great to hear this is out there! Great combination.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Sweet, brightness, joy of life...these words have profound meaning for me. Thanks amy jane and storytellersrus! :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

This was a very uplifting hub. I love to do things for other people's birthdays such as make them cards or take them to lunch. It is very important for us to be joyful during our birthdays because it is yet another year to live, learn, and be happy. You got to do something really special for your birthday and I am happy you were able to share that with us :). I love the idea of planting a tree on your birthday, what a wonderful way to celebrate life. Thanks for the very insightful hub.


moifah profile image

moifah 8 years ago from United States

Happy belated birthday. I was having one of those very very long days, but this hub has certainly brightened my spirits.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Loved the Hub ripplemaker!! lots of interesting stuff here..You look so Happy on your Birthday!! its really a joy just to see:)

It looks like your Birthday is not going to be forgotton that's for sure and so it should not be;)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Sweetiepie, you are indeed a sweet person :) If you do decide to plant a tree on your birthday, do take a pic and share it with us! Thanks for your comment.

Glad to have uplifted you in some way to celebrate YOU not just on your birthdays but on other days as well. Thanks for dropping by Moifah. Smile :)

Compu-smart! The last pic captured a lot of joy huh? not just me but also the others. That's the best part of all :) Thanks for reading this hub.


MoonLetters profile image

MoonLetters 8 years ago

Ripplemaker, I'm just seeing this hub a month after the day and clicked on it because my birthday was this week. You gave a refreshing message about being joyful. I loved the ideas for celebrating. I'll try to do some. Thanks.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Happy birthday Moonletters :) Continue to celebrate life with heaps of joy! Take care.


Antoinette 8 years ago

i love you miss............ my prayers are with you everyday gyud...........


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks Tonette for reading this and dropping a lovely message. I enjoyed my birthday with all of you guys around. :) You take care always. That will be my joy.


Antoinette 8 years ago

Thanks pud sa greeting Ms (that's in the other hub, heheh)..... you are truly an inspiration to us...... hahai, mingau naman au ko ms oie...... amping jod mo pirmi! im praying for good health and love for all of you everyday! : )


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

You made all the joys of life and birthdays very beautiful here. Just thinking of you and wanted to pay a visit. Have a joyful day every day sis Michelle.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

You are a delight sis Dottie! Thank you for thinking of me. That is sweet of you. :) Keep sharing your joy!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Hi again. I just love your new blog. And you are just sooo sweet. Every now and then I need my ripplemaker fill! Bye.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

BTW if you read on the forum about me having a different birthday it's not the truth.  I will always be your Taurean sis. 

PS, just curious, what time is it in the Phillipeans right now, maybe even what day is it?


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Dottie, I was really laughing at your note. Thanks for that :) What a joy to connect with people. Yes you are my Taurean Sis-May 20! I will not forget. Time and date in the Philippines now: August 24, sunday 8:10 in the morning. :) We are now preparing to go to church..and Aldrich my nephew wants me to hurry up. LOL Thanks sis Dottie. Take care...


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Thanks Ripplemaker.  It is Saturday evening here and my daughter is hurrying me right now to take her to a friends sleepover. It is 8:15 p.m. The pressure, the pressure, the pressure.  Bye and have a lovely Sunday. Twelve hour difference and your a day ahead. Gotta run! Wait a minute, no I don't I'll show her who's the mother. She's laughing as I type this. Ok well I won't torture her too much. Bye again.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Dottie, dayzeebee and I were sharing this morning and I told her how endearing and funny it was that we were doing similar things. Your daughter was hurrying you to take her out while my nephew was also doing the exact same thing-hurrying me to go to church. LOL thank you for sharing that event. It does feel good to know we could connect with people all across the miles... take care...:)


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Hi Ripplemaker, no prob. I find it very empowering too to connect with people all across the world. It's about 4:40 a.m. your time, and you most likely are sleeping right now so I'll be quiet! Don't You Love The Peace? Sweet Dreams! shhhhhhhh!!!


Crystal Lei 8 years ago

hi miss.. hi how are you?? i miss you soooo much miss...

i love you miss michelle.. your in my prayers.. take care always..


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi crystal!!! It's nice that you could drop by here! I miss you too. :)


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

I came across this hub because I saw your comment. Lovely hub. wonderful uplifting, enlightening thoughts. Happy belated birthday!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi sixtyorso, what a delight to read your words today. :) Thanks for the bday greetings.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I have mixed feelings about birthdays. I dread it because all of a sudden people who never have a kind word for you the rest of the year make a big deal out of it. Actually, to the point of embarrasment. That turns me off. I would prefer to have a quiet dinner with my closest of friends who are with me all year long and celebrate. That is the best way to celebrate getting older (which by the way does not phase me in the least. I'm proud of being 29, 28, 27???? LOL)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hahaha :-) Yes, quiet dinner with closest friends is one way to celebrate your birthday! May you have many more of that my friend. :-) You can invite me too someday. I promise not to embarrass you. LOL


Miss-Taken profile image

Miss-Taken 7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

I have a birthday coming up very soon and in a small way I think I was regretting it. After reading your amazing hub I've changed my tune. I AM glad to be alive and I DO have many things to celebrate. Another wonderful year has passed by and I'm going to celebrate all the things I learned and all the wonderful people who journeyed through it with me.

Thank you for helping me see that!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Miss-Taken, that's the spirit! Let's be joyful on our birthdays and every day of our lives. I'm turning 38 this year, gosh, time flies so fast. :-) May you have a beautiful year ahead of you.

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