Happy Birthday!  Time for introspection and cake.

Happy Birthday! Time for introspection and cake.

Every day progresses one day at a time, the minute hand of life making an inexorable progression always forward. Once a year, however, the big hand moves forward marking a whole year that has gone by, metaphorically at least. The event is momentous enough that it provides a chance to step back, reappraise the past year and lay plans for the future. Introspection is the act of calmly reviewing one’s thoughts, sorting through the clutter. Events provide a trigger and cut through the noise of day-of-day life.

Most introspection tends to be triggered by events. Abrupt, explosive events like the death of someone close or a major change in life like an involuntary job change can trigger deeper and sometimes darker introspection. Equally, introspection can be triggered by less abrupt events like New Year’s and birthdays. The later set of events facilitate a more reflective form of introspection. The event acting as a catalyst.

Even with an event that shock us into looking at our accomplishments and plans, the noise of day-to-day life normally overwhelms quiet reflective thought. Which is why major events are easier triggers. Occasionally it is appropriate to sit on the patio with a glass of wine or a cup of steaming coffee with your phone and MP3 player off – listening to the wind, watching the sunset and thinking about what has been and what can be.

Twice a year I like to look back on the successes and failures I have been part of and on my plans for future. We live in exciting, thrilling times with all sorts of possibilities. I am another year older and wiser and ready to tackle the world! But first I will listen to my favorite song, eat a slice of cake with ice cream and dream of tomorrow!