For my birthday…it is all about the presence

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For my birthday, I want tons of presence…yes presence and NOT presents. I have all that I need materially but what I love most is mine and your presence. I have most everything I materially need in life. I get most enjoyment out of you. Through conversation, laughs and some tears, I appreciate you. I do feel like I am very wealthy. Not as materially wealthy as a billionaire; however, there is something to be said about waking up and feeling like a billionaire.

51 years ago today, I made an entrance into this world and could not conceive or understand the depth of what my mission was going to be. Today, I look back and feel that I have been able to do a considerable amount of things. Part of that is because I have embraced reflection and writing. It is amazing what you can see when your eyes are open to the smallest of details. I take time to consider and understand people, situations and things. Joe Segal said it best last year to say that when you turn 50, people congratulate you and that you are at half life. Reality is, if you live to 80 you have done well. You have spent 5/8’s of you life…what are doing with the remaining 3/8’s? I will tell you that I have cherished and not wasted my 5/8’s and for sure, the 3/8’s will be looked after.

I take this day to say thank you. Thank you to my wife and children, my parents, brother and his family. Thank you to my wife’s family and all my relatives from near and far. I am blessed with so many friends, students and alumni. The line blurs with so many because you are friends and more importantly, family to me. I get thanked a lot for what I do but there are so many of you who I share and enjoy the company of. I don’t want presents, I want presence. I want you to be the best you can be and I know you can. I want you to go out there and make a difference and be the person who drives change. Never let anyone or thing stop you. A problem or limitation is just an opportunity in disguise. Whether I know you or not, I believe in you. How is that possible you might ask? Well, if you believe in you, I can do nothing but believe in you. There are enough people out there who are not caring or causing harm…I need you to step up and be different. I have found that being average with extraordinary experiences( what I am) will be enlightening. You dictate how the day goes and decide what you want it to be…it is yours!

So what do I want for my birthday? I want to be selfish and ask for more presence. You give me your presence and I will continue to be present for you…well, I will always be present where ever you are and who ever you are. Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to you at the same time. It is a great day and I am beaming with a smile!

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