So, you may be asking, how did my birthday go yesterday? Well, rather modestly. As you probably gleamed from my post yesterday, my birthday isn’t the big deal it felt like when I was a kid. I should have noted in that post, but I’ll expand on it here, that I’ve tended to not make a big deal out of my birthday while at work. Just like someone who hesitates or clams shut when asked about their age, I’ve told few of my professional colleagues that August 3 is my birthday.
Lest you think it’s all due to not wanting to admit I’m 46 years old, think again. My tendency to not trumpet my birthday to the working world dates back to my first paying job in the summer of 1990. I worked part-time manning the computer system at a small financial institution. Let’s just say I was under-qualified and a bit over my head in the job, and I was shown the door after two months. When my 21st birthday came around, I was only 3 weeks into the job and felt so uncomfortable and unsure about my skills and my status there… so much so that I never told anyone there about my birthday.
I have earned better jobs and worked in more friendly environments since then. But the urge for me to tell everyone at work, “Hey, it’s my birthday!” has never really surfaced. That’s not to say I’ve told no one about my birthday falling on August 3. There has been the occasional card and small cake from the team when I have let my birthday slip. Though there was no small cake or card from work yesterday, my current supervisor did make a passing mention that my birthday was this week… which led to me replying, “well, it’s actually today, but I don’t like to make a big deal out of it.” Yesterday, too, there were a couple of instant messages sent to me by folks in other teams or departments wishing me happy birthday; they did already know I was turning another year older (and one of them has their birthday the day before mine *LOL*).
All in all, while it may at times feel weird for me to say it’s my birthday to everyone at work, when they do send me birthday wishes, I never fail to appreciatively reciprocate. The reminder that I’m another year alive actually feels good.
There’s something else about my birthday, and yesterday in particular, that I want to highlight. Here in the United States, there are no real major holidays during the month of August. Yep, not a single one. That fact reminds me of a kids’ wall calendar I once had when I was a youngster. The calendar had all sorts of fun facts, illustrations, and games for all 12 months. The highlight I can still remember was the spread for August, when the highlight that there no real holidays in August was noted. The publishers, however, made up a few. So, August 1980 included “National Eat a Galosh Day,” “National ‘Wear One Shoe All Day’ Day,” and even “International Make Something Up Day.” Which the publishers did, obviously.
My birthday this year, however, coincided with an actual holiday — in most of Canada, anyway: Civic Holiday aka the first Monday in August. How did I know this? Well, besides the wall calendars and what else, a design program I have on my computer prompted me yesterday. This is basically what it told me:
Of course, that got me to wondering, how do Canadians wish each other a happy Civic Holiday? I mean, it sounds like just a way for local governments to allow workers a paid day off in a month when there are no holidays. At least it sure sounded that way when I read about it online. So, I made up a few things, including something for the all-encompassing Civic Holiday:
“Happy Civic Holiday to you! Let’s celebrate by buying a brand new Honda!”
Oh, it doesn’t have anything to do with automobile sales? Well, let’s try New Brunswick Day, as the day is know in the province of New Brunswick:
“Happy New Brunswick Day! Here’s my New Brunswick Day gift to you: A brand new brunswick!”
Okay, that didn’t make sense at all. Well, let’s go to the city of Hamilton, Ontario, where yesterday was George Hamilton Day:
“This year for George Hamilton Day, I’ve bought you a brand new bottle of suntan lotion!”
Oh, it’s to honor some other George Hamilton? Well, let’s just finish this off by giving a truly generic Civic Holiday wish to everyone in Canada, even though this is one day late:
“Hope you had a truly wonderful Civic Holiday… and if you had the day off, here’s hoping you enjoyed the respite from the drudgery of work.”