It’s my birthday, and I’m taking the day off, but I needed to say this to you, so here goes:

Remember the nursery rhyme? “Of sugar and spice, and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.” Little boys seemed to get the shaft on that one (I mean, who wants to be made of snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails?).

That popped into my head this morning as I was looking at the incredible kindness and warmth flowing towards me today, my 40th birthday. Actually, the flow started a few days ago, when people started donating to my birthday fundraiser for Kids with Cameras via Facebook’s Causes application.

I’m thrilled to report that thanks to your generosity my goal of raising $800 was long surpassed and, as of this writing, we’re up to $966 that will go a long way in changing the lives of marginalized kids around the world. If you’d like to keep donating, though, don’t stop! Or do consider helping by “joining” the cause, spreading the word, etc. – you know the deal.

I may be beginning my own new decade today, but I’d like to think I’ve still got some sugar and spice left in me. And a large part of that is because of the people around me and I get to know each day. Social media, in particular, has opened up my world in a way I could have never conceived. So has IABC and the wonderful people I keep meeting through professional events.

And when those professional connections grow into relationships, boy, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. At last night’s IABC/Washington chapter meeting, for example, as I got up to make the announcements (because I’m chapter president and all), the entire room sang happy birthday to me.


(By the way, my friend Shashi Bellamkonda took the photograph of me with Jakub Konysz, our chapter’s co-VP, Professional Development, who told me, quite sincerely, that I “look great for 40.” How cute was that?)

I am very lucky to have all of you as my sugar and spice. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I hope, in some small way, I am – or can be – that for you too.

And now – here’s to the Fab Forties. Bring ’em on, I’m ready to rumble!

Photo: courtesy (cc) Shashi Bellamkonda Social Media Swami Network Solutions

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke