You Were Born

Yup. It’s my birthday.

I’m 46 today and it’s been a year of dramatic change, to be sure. Birthdays are the greatest. I’ve always loved them, even when they weren’t my own. I would always love a cake with candles on it more than Christmas. My Gramma used to say, “Nobody enjoys a birthday more than Greg”.

It’s true.

Upon reflection, I think I love birthdays because they’re a celebration for one simple reason- you were born. Birthdays simply commemorate your arrival on this planet. They don’t celebrate the things you did, the people you know, the money you make, the influence you have. They just celebrate your being. I think we need that reminder. At least once a year. To celebrate the grace of just existing- and the fact that everyone else here is doing the exact same thing.

So, today, I’ll give in to that grace again. And for all the beauty in my life- family, friends, dogs, doctors, my breath and my heartbeat, I am truly grateful. Thank you.

Here’s a little poem I wrote once:


Today, in a year past,
You were born.
Didn’t do anything to deserve it-
Or did you?
And parents who look upon a newborn
Face etched with the promises and
Dreams of fettered hearts
Sigh, knowing they will let go
Sooner than most of them want to
And later than any child would like.

You were born.
Call your mother-
She did all the hard work.
Then breathe.
Listen to your heart beat.
Eat the cake.
Smile at your life
And go to bed.

The day, much like any other-
except that you noticed it.

~D Gregory Smith

It’s My Party

So I’ll be 45 on Sunday- and I’m kinda freaking out.

Not to worry, it’s the good kind.

Frankly, I never expected to live this long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted to be here. I’ve just done so many things to my life that should have ended in complete and utter disaster that I’m finding the event of my 45th birthday a bit surreal. I’ve survived serious illnesses, drug abuse, major depression, bad relationships, treating friends like shit, treating myself like shit, spiritual desolation and disappointments (to myself and others) too numerous to mention. I’ve poisoned my body, mind and heart. I’ve alienated people, let down colleagues and clients professionally and worked very hard to isolate myself out of embarrassment, shame and fear.

It didn’t work.

Today, I have a loving family who support me, a partner who brings me joy daily, friends who humble me with their love and support, work that’s fulfilling, and kids and dogs who love me without question. Despite everything I did to prevent it, my life is fantastic- and I can’t really explain it all. The only thing I know is that life is unstoppable, especially when it’s appreciated. And I’ve worked hard at that.

So I’ll continue to accept it and to live it. Gratefully. Every day. Maybe even for another 45 years….

And for all of you who’ve enriched my life by allowing me to be part of yours, thank you. I couldn’t have imagined it any better.