“What can we say with certainty?” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Jennifer Johnston by © Lori Maloney

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Jennifer

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. It’s a tossup between my 20th birthday and my 35th birthday. When I turned 20, myself and a few friends took a road trip after work to central Alberta. While driving later that evening, the northern lights filled the sky. All you could see from horizon to horizon were northern lights. It was a stunning sight to see and gave me a euphoric feeling about being alive. I haven’t seen northern lights like that since. On my 35th birthday my husband planned a dinner with my immediate family and close friends. Having my family and friends there was the surprise and a rare occurrence due to schedules. This truly made it one of my favourite birthdays.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Many years ago there were a couple birthdays when no one really noticed it WAS my birthday. I may have received a phone call wishing me a happy birthday, if I was lucky. No invites, no card, no gift, not that a gift is necessary, but nothing to show that anyone was thinking of me. It was disheartening considering the amount of family and friends I had that no one made that small effort.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. A couple years ago my husband gave me a cutting printer. I think he knew I wanted one but due to the cost, I never thought anyone would purchase one for me as a gift. I still love it to this day.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. It’s usually Little Caesars’ bacon wrapped (if they have it) pizza (YUM!) and black forest cake. It’s not that I insist, but when asked what I want for dinner, that’s what I pick.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Being with those who mean the most to me. I don’t need gifts or candles. I’m happy celebrating over dinner with as many family and friends as possible.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. No ‘traditions’ but at minimum celebrating with my husband and kids; and if there’s more family and friends celebrating with us, the better!