I’m coming to the end of August, my birth month. I’ve been celebrating since the 1st and the actual day was the 24th. Three days left.
I celebrate for a whole month. It may be unseemly, but I love having the excuse to be extra happy and outgoing. I’m not asking for daily presents or anything. It’s just a way to encourage a little bit of interaction with the folks around me and online.
And besides, once you reach the half century mark, what life can be adequately honored and celebrated in a mere 24 hours? 31 days gives you a real chance to appreciate having lived yet another year, one more trip around the sun.
Of course, this year, the universe itself gave me that wonderful present of the eclipse of the sun.
And as for those who remember you just after your birthday, you can assure them that they are not “belated” because the month-long celebration continues. More chances for more people to remind you that you matter, to interact and renew friendships.
They say that interacting with people helps you live longer. It’s much better in person, of course, especially if you hug, since real oxytocin is released. But just being in contact, knowing that there are people who know you and love you, or at least would notice if you’re not around, also has life-sustaining elements. Having people to depend on when you need help, relaxes the anxiety and loneliness of more solitary lives. Whether it’s to help you move, or loan you money, or pray for you, or just hold your hand in a crisis, you increase your odds of living a long life by having these people in your life.
I believe that keeping contact through social media helps encourage real life contact and interaction. It prevents people from just drifting away. It provides a simple path to making plans. It reunites people with lost friends. So I don’t sell social media short. It’s not as powerful as in person, but it counts.
Now go forth, my invisible friends, and comment on people’s blogs and Facebook posts. Just let people know you are there. It will come back to you threefold.