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How to Reclaim Life's Magic Today

Just One Sunset Away

I’m just one sunset away from my birthday, which always makes me a bit nostalgic. I grew up in a household where birthdays were special. There were trips to favorite restaurants so the waiters could serenade you, birthday cake and ice cream, and a strong presence of friends and family ready to celebrate the anniversary of the day you arrived on this planet. No matter whose it was, birthdays in our family were filled to the brim with reminders of this magnificent and miraculous existence that we call life.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake (circa 1983)

Birthdays had this way of feeling magical, as if anything were possible. Between the bubbling anticipation as each preceding day grew longer (seemingly by hours), imagining what

painstakingly remarkable cake creation my mom would prepare, and just generally enjoying the elation that filled the day, birthdays were an awesome reminder of how beautiful life could be. Yet somehow, they seemed an anomaly - delightfully different than every other day on earth.

The older I got, the more those feelings slipped from my grasp and the less special my birthday seemed for me. Why? There was still plenty of work to be done, family and friends were more scattered - as were our growing responsibilities, and each birthday began to feel like just another day instead of a celebration of another trip around the sun. The magic was fading - and at my own doing.


Capturing the Magic

So how do we capture the indelible joy and excitement of birthdays past to bottle it on reserve for later? There are two things I used to do for birthdays and other momentous occasions that have the potential to store what we need and change the way we view our everyday lives.

  • Create the Exception to Build Something Exceptional

Birthday celebrations (mine or anyone else’s) weren’t inherently magical. It was our own thoughts that stirred up these emotions. Mom baked cakes for other occasions too, but because it was “birthday” cake, it felt different. You can eat tacos any day of the week, but tacos on “Taco Tuesday” feels different. Creating moments of exception turn the ordinary into something exceptional. We hold the power to create those small moments that build anticipation and excitement.

  • Find the Breathtaking in More Breaths

The forecast for our late-August wedding called for chillier than normal weather. We’ll always remember needing jackets to take evening photos or that the high temperature only reached 68 degrees. Why? Because it was associated with a special day. Today it snowed. It’s still winter so it’s no big deal, but in watching it snow I had a choice. I could watch it snow or I could watch the wind toss groups of snowflakes into a whirling dance. It seemed more momentous observing the latter. Were they dancing in pairs or did their dancing paths just happen to cross? We can choose to rush through life to get to the next milestone, but imagine how much we miss along the way.


Now What?

So this year, as my birthday approaches and the sun begins to hang out in the sky for a few minutes more each evening, I’m making a commitment to myself to create more magic. I can feel the anticipation beginning to bubble. Where's the cake?

C. L. Fails with Birthday Cake


In case you hadn't guessed it, our #Go52 theme of the week is Magical...don't forget to share your posts with us...

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