This year, I shall be mostly spending my birthday on a train - travelling to a client to support them resolve some partnership issues. I'll get to see my 2 boys for a few minutes in the morning (when they're usually only interested in breakfast and morning TV than anything else).
So maybe I'll be celebrating over the weekend instead? No. I'll be travelling back from working with an emerging co-operative enterprise on friday evening, and then over the rest of the weekend my wife is running market stalls and I'll be pitching in with our adopted town of Todmorden's launch of a new pilgrimage.
Why am I sharing this? Well, it's not to elicity sympathy (as I'm OK with it), but as a moral encouragement to everyone else who finds themselves in a similar time of their lives. The world doesn't owe us anything and we're not automatically entitled to big parties and celebrations (as much as we might wish otherwise...)
So, as the poet Andrew Marvell put it "take your pleasures where you can", 'cos the harsh reality of the world means that you can't always indulge yourself in things you want. And that's a hard truth which many people don't want to accept - but maybe if they did, then we'd all get along a lot easier...