“Silence can be more powerful than speech, not as a weapon, but as a means of quieting the mind and reaching the Self” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers
“A small world…a friend tagged Christi on FB to say her birthday was open & I thought, ‘man, she looks familiar’. Sure enough, Christi & I used to work together at a golf club many moons ago. In fact we may have participated in a few shenanigans together too! When we chatted about her portrait she told me that she ends her notes with “As our journey continues…”, we hoped to capture that sentiment in her portrait. While scouting I discovered a train bridge & thought of the many metaphors – choosing to get on the train, stay on the train, when and where to get off the train, the people we meet on the train – it seemed perfect! I sent a quick shot only to find out that this very place has significance for her! Serendipity! Christi, you brighten up the world with your effervescent nature and kind smile…I’m so happy that I got to be the photographer for your portrait! Life is beautiful!” – Lori M
Image © Lori Maloney
An Interview with Christi
Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?
A. My strongest memory of a birthday was when I was pregnant with my daughter and her due date was October 2nd. I walked and walked all over the neighbourhood hoping that she and I would share the same birthday… then I had a moment while I was walking where I stopped and with great clarity I thought… No, I don’t want her to share her day with me, everyone deserves to be celebrated in their own spotlight. So I went home and laid down to try to keep her from coming out on October 2nd.
Q. How about the worst? And why?
A. My parents have always made sure that we felt special on our birthdays regardless of where we were (we moved around a lot when I was young) so even now as a mother and wife myself I can always count on my parents for coming through even when everyone else is a bit pre-occupied and may not remember what the day means to me. Last year was a harder birthday for me as I had just completed a week long conference which I had been planning and managing for over 2 years. I was reminded by my empty bedroom, when I returned home, that my husband was in Regina for work and wouldn’t be there to celebrate with me as he had been gone for months due to the economic downturn. So just when I really wanted to have a “pity party” my 3 beautiful children came into my room with such touching cards and gifts and reminded me of how incredibly lucky I am to have my family regardless if we have to be apart at times.
Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?
A. Just last year my husband surprised me with a trip to London, ON to see my favorite singer Kip Moore live in concert with special back stage access and private concert. It wasn’t so much the gift itself but that he really “got me” and created an experience and memories forever for me. Another experience he did for me was on my 40th birthday and took me to the King Fisher Spa but he signed up for all of the same treatments and activities I would want to do … it was all for me but I loved that he shared in what made me happy. It made it so much better to experience it with someone I love!
Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?
A. My mom always made me her homemade chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling… it makes me feel little again.
Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?
A. When I was younger I just wanted to feel special by others, now I take the time for myself to honor my life and I know that I am special. I use the day to reflect and appreciate all that is good in my life. Relax, Reflect and Rejoice. I believe everyone deserves a moment to remind themselves of how important they are, birthdays are a great day to give yourself this gift.
Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?
A. My dad introduced us to Japanese Village when we were visiting Calgary during my 5th birthday when he had to be here for a conference. He wanted to make sure that I had fun. The whole experience was so different for me but when the staff came out laughing, dancing and singing I jumped up on my chair to see better. I was so excited for whoever they were doing this for that I didn’t realize that it was for me. We went back every year after that and my son Samuel (who is 14 years old now) loves it so much that we have now passed down the tradition for his birthday. I also wake up my children on their birthdays with crazy loud music and a whole lot of hugs to let them know that today is their day!!