My mom looked at me and with a chuckle and slight irritation, nodded and said, “put them in the cart.” And so the red cowboy boots are how I closed out my 56th birthday. It was early October. My birthday is August 24th. I used to sulk and avoid my birthday. I’m not sure why, but at age 49 that attitude changed with the tidal wave of news from doctors that kept battering me over the past 7 years. Now I celebrate my birthday with new vigor. My mom and sister would say I celebrate it like an obnoxious freight train for 5 months. The three of us always gather for an annual shopping trip in May that is supposed to commemorate the date of my sister’s birth. Somehow over the years that day also has become known as “The opening ceremonies” of my birthday. Let the celebration begin! Yes, just as the Olympics, now my birthday has become a sport worthy of its own opening and closing ceremonies. Its’s not that I eat cake and ice cream every day for 5 months, it’s more like if I have to make a decision like should I buy these shoes on clearance or not? I just think to myself, “well, it is my birthday!” And there you go, decision made. Now some of you may think this is terribly self-centered, but I say there is only one Me. There is only one you. And in a world where so many people live without knowing that they are worthy and ok just for who they are, I say let’s turn that around With the attitude that people are worth celebrating for more than a day. Some of you may see this as a flaw in my character. I see it as positive and joyful. Some of you may see this as terribly immature. I see it as fun and oh so much better than sulking and pouting. I bought my friend some earrings in September cause, cause you know, “it was her birthday,” not really, but why wait. Life is short, so treat yourself well. Treat others well. Spread the joy. Have some fun. And pass the cake. Let’s celebrate!