You may think I am kidding when I say you should celebrate your birthday as if it were a national holiday, but I am dead serious. No, these aren’t just musings of an only child (though I know I am one and fight the unfair stereotypes and half-truths on the daily.) Honestly, you need to celebrate.
Here are reasons why it’s vital to treat your birthday with the utmost importance.
1. You have successfully completed another year of your life. (High-five, my friend.)
2. Depending on what time of year you celebrate this amazing occurrence, you can consider it a second New Year. A new time for a resolution, a start of something fresh, an opportunity to better yourself in the new birth year. In my case, it will be to ride my bike again (I haven’t in 20 years. Very traumatic, very unthinkable at present.)
3. If you don’t celebrate and you mistreat your birthday, other people will take a clue and do the same. If you skip it, if you ignore it, the joy of celebrating will go away. However, the aspect of growing older doesn’t. (This is where one makes lemonade out of those cliché lemons, the most sour lemons of all.)
4. It the one time a year you could be somewhat selfish and consider yourself to be super important (within reason my friends, you still have family and possibly kids who need you.) But consider yourself the VIP on this day. Most people will allow for such indulgent “self” behavior.
5. Celebrate the age you want not the age you turn. For a few years now I’ve observed the anniversary of my 27th birthday. It was a good year and I still loosely resemble that “me.” I’ve had to up the number this year, because it’s not longer mathematically feasible for me to have come to the states at age seven and still celebrate my 27th. So we are upping the number to 28. I am willing to do this.
6. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the way you want to. Well-intentioned loved ones may make suggestions that you don’t care for. Speak up! If you say nothing you will spend the day feeling resentment and anger. You should be celebrating not seething. If you don’t speak up, this may perpetuate from year to year.
Celebrating the way you see fit will differ from your friend, your neighbor, or your family members.
Here is what I do to make that day(s) feel absolutely magical.
I typically make myself scarce on my birthday. As noted above, I am an only child and I love my alone time. But as a parent, I don’t get “alone” time too regularly. So I promised myself that after college graduation I would find a job where I would not work on my special day. And other than birthday 2010, I have been successful (damn you Steve and your ill-timed client meeting). I spend good portions of my day on my own, doing a bit of this and a bit of that to commemorate another year of this life.
Do I fly by the seat of my pants? Oh sweet Jesus, no.
I plan my day carefully (I am an over planner, no I cannot just start a day with no plans. I’ll end up frustrated and possibly yell at the poor barista making my latte.) The day is carefully filled with things I want to do that are fun. Today is not a day for chores, hard labor, or for digging ditches in the yard. If I want to walk the dog I will, if I wish to grab a fatty breakfast, that’s fine. I want to tuck myself away at Barnes & Noble for a magazine and refreshment, so be it. Don’t question the motives, don’t judge my choices; they were carefully thought out and lovingly arranged.
Sometimes your birthday celebrating can piggyback on something amazing. For example, birthday 2013, our friends were married on June 29th (thanks Art and Kate!) And it was awesome. They chose a great venue, beautiful location, delicious food and even a really tall cake just for me…. err us. Just for us. I even got a party favor with my birthdate on it. I danced, I wined and dined and even had a day trip to Petoskey! I wish this could happen more frequently!
I wholeheartedly look forward to celebrating my birthday and cozying up to some fun plans on my day off.
Please note: Celebration suggestions can certainly be made and considered. Your loved ones could suggest something totally up your alley. But the birthday “celebrator” holds the sole power to “yay” or “nay” an idea. Let this be one day where grumbling is kept to a minimum. Your birthday will come, and you too will be able to revel in it.