At the end of this week, I’ll be another year older. On St. Patrick’s Day of 2018, I’ll be 27 years old – to be exact.
I’ve scarcely met a person who didn’t care about birthdays (and I would still guess they were slightly fibbing if that was their answer). In my observation, you either love them or loathe them. Depending on where you are on the age spectrum, it’s usually a celebration of maturity or a close reminder of our brief time on Earth.
I met my now mother-in-law almost a decade ago, and since that first meeting I’ve adopted her attitude toward birthdays. She determined since she was 18 years old that as long as she could avoid it, she would never work on her birthday.
Instead, she would try every year to take that day off and spend it celebrating life. I understand this isn’t feasible for everyone, but considering I was 18 as well when she shared this practice, I assumed it would be as good of a time as any to also implement such an anticipated annual day-off.
So far since my adult years began I’ve been able to keep this promise to myself. Matt and I will usually spend the day or weekend creating a memory – going somewhere we haven’t been before or trying out a new activity.
No matter what the plans our though, one conversational topic always comes around either during the drive there or the journey home. We always end up playing this game we like to call “Remember When.”
The origin story of this game didn’t necessarily start on a birthday.
During a 20+ hour drive to Massachusetts in college, we tried to outdo one another in recapping shared memories simply out of sheer boredom.
Today though, it’s bi-annual tradition (on both his birthday and mine) to take a birds-eye view of the last year as a whole, from that day looking back on the past 365.
“Remember when I finished preaching early one Wednesday night, and right after I prayed the electricity went out in the church?”
“Remember when we surprised my mom on her birthday by flying in my grandparents?”
“Remember when we both were ordained at District Council?”
Though all our memories start out light-hearted, they always bring us back to the same conclusions of gratefulness and thankfulness by the time we park the car at home. Here’s how such a simple game became spiritual over time: