I know it sounds a bit self-centered but I expect birthday presents from my husband and kids on my big day. In the past 14 years the presents I’ve received from my guys have run the gamut of a simple card to jewelry to a rather large and formidable microwave.

What I don’t expect are birthday presents from those people outside my immediate family. For example, I received a birthday card from the director of our children’s services at church. I had no idea she knew the date of my birthday and did not expect anything from her. I also received a beautiful basket of flowers from a co-worker that I have been working with closely these past few months. Again, totally unexpected.

Which leads me to wonder about the impact that I (or we) have on those around us. It isn’t something that I think about a lot since I’m too busy actually doing things to worry about it. But those two gifts, a simple card and lovely flowers, made me stop and think about my actions and the influence that I have on others.

And it scared the you-know-what out of me.

I have, apparently, grown up and become a “positive role-model/influence.” Not that I want to complain about my apparent upgrade in status but how the heck did it happen? I’m not exactly a bubbly personality and I keep quiet until I have something that adds to the conversation.

Despite my hesitance in accepting my new role, I’m glad that others see me in a positive light. However, the role of positive influence is a lofty one and which, I’m sure, I can fall from quite quickly. I’ll have to give it a bit more thought on how my actions affect those around me.

So, did it come as a surprise that you were a positive influence? And kids don’t count. You’re supposed to be a positive role model for them. At least, I hope you are and if you aren’t you need more help than I can give!