I’ve never cared about “doing something” when celebrating a birthday. Even birthdays that marked a decade transition were low key, lightly acknowledged affairs usually spent enjoying the evening with my family or having a lunch with my mom and sister. Anything more seemed fussy, pretentious and contrived. In fact it’s how I was raised, birthdays weren’t a big deal. I was fine with this. It was a day like any other.
Until a friend and former colleague showed me how birthdays should be done.
I noticed when her birthday came around she celebrated the whole month. Hey when the Queen of England has a birthday she celebrates for weeks. Why not the peasants? My friend treats herself to a weekend away, sometimes arranges a dinner party at a restaurant with friends-because she loves her friends- she gifts herself mini spa treatments, anything that gives her pleasure and joy.
She is honouring her life.
I may be a slow pitch but this is kind of a revelation. Honouring my life. And what better time to make that appointment with myself than on the day I popped into the world? When I put it in this context it changes what it means to celebrate. I am allowed to honour my existence. Why would I think this pretentious? It’s my life and I’m very happy to be here!
I can celebrate the fact that I have lived yet again through another year and got to do stuff I liked to do with people I like for that whole year. I can make a wish in the hope that the next year will pan out, and that I’ll be alive to celebrate another one with those I love. At least for My Day I can be kinder to myself, be receptive and ready to embrace the positive and joyful encounters when presented, leave the dishes, and have cake for breakfast, for crying out loud.
The tough year(s) I’ve come through – still here!
So Happy Birthday to me! I’ll run with the ball for the day -(or a week or two or three) smile, be deeply grateful, and let myself maybe luxuriate if not with a spa treatment (may happen) at least in the fact that this is the youngest I will ever be.
How do you acknowledge and celebrate your life’s milestones and high points, how do you honor your life? Have you always done it BIG or quietly when no one is looking?