It was my birthday some time ago and I pondered a question I’m typically asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” I’m usually flummoxed when asked, not because I don’t like beautiful things. I do. But because I hate clutter. I don’t like collecting things or having two versions of the same thing. One black bag is quite alright for me and one pair of black shoes will do. When they get old, I’ll replace them.

Another reason I hesitate to answer, is that those who really know me already know what to get me for my birthday.

Looking back on some of the gifts I’ve really appreciated over the years, I see a common theme: functional replacements (like my four-year old smartphone that I received when my BlackBerry died), things I need but don’t yet have (like a watch I got a long time ago) and things that make me happy (words, music, theatre, knowledge, traveling etc.).

This year, some people took the time to write me messages on social media and via email, describing how I have positively impacted them. Those words meant a lot to me. I spend a lot of energy putting out content. Knowing that it matters, and that people appreciate it and me, made my day.

Someone else paid for three nights in a hotel. Because of that, I could explore the beautiful city of San Francisco during my US road trip. Traveling makes me happy, so this was such a perfect gift.

I bought three books that I really wanted and a dear friend bought three more. I also celebrated myself by attending a Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas that I’m yet to recover from. The level of excellence overwhelmed my senses.

One thing this birthday taught me is that despite the stuff going on in my life, I must celebrate myself. I must show myself love and kindness. If anyone else wants to do same, they can join me along the way.

Despite what's going on, celebrate yourself. Show yourself love and kindness. Click To Tweet