If this past weekend taught me anything, it is that you don’t have to see people everyday to be reassured that they will still spend a moment to think about you. It was my birthday on Saturday and I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received from people who I am unable to see on a regular basis or have never even met face to face. There are still a few people in this world who may look down on social media and digital communication but the numerous birthday wishes I received through those forums meant just as much as the messages I received in person.
I took the time to read each birthday greeting and every word that each person sent meant so much to me. It is almost effortless to ignore the constant reminders in our hand-held, digitized lives but I have realized during the many years that I, too, have been a slave to the cyber-enhanced face of reality that it takes an infinitesimal amount of time to reach out. It is the same small fragment of time that it takes to ignore that electronic reminder and, if the recipient is anything like me, a simple string of words can have a profound effect.
At one point during the afternoon, I was overcome by gratitude. I, admittedly, had been feeling the effects of the long winter and the very distant signs of Spring and was a bit down about the snowy, barren landscape that greeted me on the morning of my birthday. But each notification, each acoustic announcement of an incoming message, turned that desolate panorama of my morning into a garden painted by Monet.
Because of the wonderful blend of the real world and the cyber world, I got to celebrate my birthday with everyone. I had a glass of wine with the family I work with who has become like my own family. I was able to hear from friends near and far and I was able to have a great night with good food and lots of laughs with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews. What started as a day to celebrate the day I was born turned into a day of celebrating everyone who has joined me along the way.