Sometime this past week, I turned one year older. And just like most years, my birthday was pretty low key…just how I like it. As we get older, birthdays tend to become less and less important. Whether it’s because we don’t want to celebrate getting another year older, we have too much going on, or maybe you just aren’t a birthday person…birthdays tend to be for the young and for the old, but not for the middle (except for your 50th). However, I completely disagree. Birthdays should be celebrated!
When it comes to celebrating birthdays, it seems that there are 2 camps: people who love birthdays and people who hate birthdays. But I think there are really 3 camps and the 3rd one is people who don’t know how to properly enjoy their birthday. When we were little, our parents might have made a big fuss and now, that’s how we think birthdays should be celebrated. Not true! There are also people who don’t see any point in celebrating breathing. I completely disagree. The older I get, the more impressive it seems that I’ve made it to the next birthday and I haven’t even face any life threatening issues (no car wrecks, no illnesses, nothing like that…well, unless you count being suicidal a couple of times…). Really, it seems like an achievement to make it through some days, and definitely through some years. So, my philosophy is that birthdays should be celebrated.
It’s My Party So I’ll…
Your birthday is your special day. It’s the anniversary of the day you were brought into this world and each new revolution around the sun deserves recognition. Even if you don’t do something particularly big, you at least deserve to go through the day with a smile on your face. Think about it…you made it through one more year! My husband doesn’t think he should be celebrated for putting one foot in front of the other, but I think I’ve been slowly converting him over the years and he now at least appreciates my love for birthdays (instead of finding them annoying). And in all the years I can remember, I’ve only had 1 not-good birthday. Out of 30+ birthdays, I’d say that’s pretty good.
It’s All In Your Head
If you have the mindset that you’re getting older and it sucks, then yes, your birthday will probably suck. If you have the mindset that it’s amazing you made it through another year, then your birthday could be fun. I agree, it’s pretty weird to get older and realize that I’m not the spring chicken I used to be and that my skin is suddenly not as springy as it used to be and there are more aches and pains and that it takes me longer to recover after anything than it used to. On the flip side, I have experience! I actually know how to do things! I have a bank account! With money in it!! I have a pretty good idea of what clothes look good on me (most days) and how to do my hair so that it doesn’t look terrible (half the time). I didn’t have all these things when I was younger and, while it would be nice to keep my supple skin and youthful appearance the rest of my life (and I will spend more energy than I care to admit trying to do so), I’m not heartbroken over getting one year older each year. Instead, I’m happy to have another chance to enjoy life. My birthday is my day. Nobody else’s and I fully appreciate that.
Go Big or Go Home
Literally. It’s your birthday so you can decide how you want to celebrate it. If you want to go big, go big! If you want to go home, then go home! The options are endless, but there is one main requirement: you have to do something for yourself. In my case, this has looked many different ways and many times, it’s the little ways that have been the best celebrations. To give you some examples, here’s a list of various ways that I have celebrated my birthday:
- Had a cookie cake (as an adult)
- Invited my parents and in-laws over and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers
- Had a big party for my 30th
- Spent a couple of hours in the afternoon on the grass reading (in college)
- Took Way Pup to give free hugs
- Went out to lunch with a friend I rarely see
- Ignored phone calls from people
- Had an extra long workout
- Sat on my front porch doing a crossword puzzle and eating a cupcake while the sun set
- Asked my husband to bring home Thai food (we have a strict no-takeout rule for everyday life)
- Ate cake for breakfast
- Used my fancy soap to smell nice
- Served breakfast at a homeless shelter
If you notice, none of those are particularly major (except the 30th birthday party) or required much planning. Some of them didn’t even take much time. Most of the time, I am pretty lowkey and introverted, so I don’t like a big fuss. But I do love to celebrate and, because I know it’s important to me, I prioritize finding some way to celebrate. If I need something from someone else, I try to tell them ahead of time so they know.
Other ways you could celebrate:
- Invites friends out for lunch or coffee in a one-on-one setting so you can spend quality time with them
- Give other people gifts instead of receiving gifts
- Go to DisneyWorld for a week
- Treat yourself to a gel manicure
- Pretend to be a tourist in your own town
- Stay up a little bit late or go to bed a little early
- Don’t do your chores for a day (on purpose)
- Get your house/apartment cleaned for you
- Anything that is special to you
Celebrate however you want. Just celebrate somehow…big or small. It’s your choice!
It’s Only Your Birthday
When I say that it’s only your birthday, I mean that it isn’t anyone else’s birthday…which means that most people probably don’t care as much as you do (or maybe not even at all). Not trying to pop your birthday balloon here, just trying to help you have reasonable expectations. It’s entirely possible that other people will forget that it’s your birthday. And that’s okay! You probably forget other people’s birthdays all the time. I know I certainly do. So, if someone forgets your birthday, either let it go or tell them. And no matter what, don’t pout. This is your day and you deserve to be happy.
We’re Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday
For your next birthday, I challenge you celebrate. It can be anything! You can celebrate big or you can celebrate small. You just have to do something you want to do on your birthday. Please share your favorite birthday celebration below!