I’ve never cared about “doing something” when celebrating a birthday. Even birthdays that marked a decade 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 started a shift in me.
I noticed when her birthday came around she celebrated for a whole week, the whole month if she could. Hey when the Queen of England has a birthday she celebrates for weeks. Why not the peasants? She treats herself to a weekend away, sometimes arranges a dinner party at a restaurant with friends-because she loves her friends- mini spa treatments, anything that gives her pleasure and joy. She is honoring her life.
I may be a slow pitch but, this is kind of a revelation. Honoring ones life. When I put it in this context it changes what it means to celebrate. I can honor my existence. Why would I think this pretentious? It’s my life and I’m very happy to be here!
I will celebrate the fact that I have lived yet again through another year and got to do stuff I liked to do with people I liked for that whole year, and make a wish in the hope that the next year will pan out and I’ll be alive to celebrate another one with those I love. I can be kinder to myself, be receptive and ready to embrace the positive and joyful encounters when presented, make some allowances, leave the dishes, have cake for breakfast for crying out loud.
Even the tough year(s) I’ve come through – still here! I may have made a difference in someones life, or impacted an event or decision, and I know I borne witness to amazing stuff in a year.
So 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?