Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed by a triad of holidays — Christmas, then New Years, then my birthday, which falls on this day, January 4th.

For years I didn’t think of it as a blessing, of course: I got Christmas/Birthday presents, my birthday was always within a day of going back to school after the holiday break, and by January 4 the “other” holidays have taken their toll of treasure, accumulation, and energy.

Now, however, I think of my birthday as a great day for taking stock. What has changed since the last time I marked this milestone? What if this is the last year of my life — what can I do to make each day count?

We live our lives in the present, with prospects for the future, and necessary interpretations from the past. But as I’ve written elsewhere, it is extremely valuable to mindfully consider where we are, what we’ve learned, what we care about, and where we intend to go. Conscious living promotes both satisfaction and self-esteem.

I wonder, though. What do you do on your birthday? Do you have any special rituals? Please let me know in the comments.