It’s my birthday week and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Yes–another birthday means that I’m getting older, but another birthday ALSO means cake, presents, kind messages from friends and cake (wait–did I already mention that?)
I love birthdays because they give us the perfect excuse to celebrate ourselves–and let’s face it, that is something that we don’t do nearly enough of.
If you’re like most women, you probably spend 364 days a year paying attention to everyone and every thing else on the planet more than you pay attention to yourself. On your birthday however; it is only natural and in fact, encouraged to take a little time to celebrate YOU.
My birthday is this week, but no matter when your birthday rolls around, make sure that you don’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate who you are and where you’re going in life. If you’re not exactly sure where to start on this annual celebration of your FabYOUlousness, let the following tips serve as inspiration…
Seven Fab-YOU-lous Ways to Make the Most of Your Birthday
1.) Party on!! Who says that big celebrations can only take place on milestone birthdays? I’m turning 46 this week (not a particularly stand-out age) but I want a party so that’s what I’m going to have. We’ve reserved a party room at a local Hibachi restaurant (because cooking and cleaning are two things that I DO NOT want to do on my birthday) and we’ve invited a bunch of my closest friends. In the past, there have been years when I’ve preferred to have a nice, quiet celebration with just my hubby or immediate family, but this year, I feel like partying with a bigger group. The important thing is to make sure that your birthday celebration (big or small) reflects what YOU want. It’s your day and you can party if you want to!
2.) Check out your roots. No, not the grey ones growing out of the top of your head–check out your genealogical roots. Where did your ancestors hail from? How did they celebrate birthdays? Check out the fun website www.birthdaycelebrations.net for information on how birthday traditions differ around the world. When I checked out this site, I discovered that German children (I have German blood on my mom’s side of the family) don’t have to do any homework or chores on their birthday. I know that I’m not a child anymore but I’m thinking that I may need to tweak this tradition a bit to make it work for my birthday this year.
3.) Make a wish–and turn it into a goal. What is one wish that you hope to see fulfilled in the upcoming year? If you’re not sure, take some time to get quiet and figure it out. Grab a notebook, head to your favorite coffee shop and start brainstorming about the things that you’d like to accomplish in the next 365 days. Once you have some ideas, pick one to focus on and jot down a few simple action steps that you can take to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be better prepared when the time comes for you to blow out your candles and make a wish.
4.) Pay tribute to your parents. My parents are awesome and I am so blessed that they are healthy and that I am able to spend time with them on a fairly regular basis. They live in another state, but we still see each other three or four times a year and stay connected through almost-daily phone calls and social media. Birthdays are a wonderful time to recognize and honor the love and sacrifices that your parents made as they raised you. Even if your parents are no longer living, you can still take a little time to remember them and give thanks for their influence in your life. Regardless of the state of your relationship with your parents, the fact remains that without them, you wouldn’t be here. That fact is, in itself, reason enough to be grateful for them.
5.) Give. Yes–it’s your birthday and that means that you are supposed to get presents. Birthdays are also, however; a great time to celebrate generosity and do a little giving too. This year on your birthday, think of a few ways that you can give back. Maybe you can swing by your favorite bakery and buy a dozen cupcakes to take to the nearest fire station to share with the firemen or maybe you can drop off a bag of dog food at your local animal shelter. When we sow seeds of generosity out into the world, we can’t help but feel good on the inside and in time, these seeds will come back to us and we’ll reap a harvest of abundance and blessing.
6.) Indulge a little. What better day than your birthday to sleep in, get a pedicure and relax at your favorite coffee shop? Or…eat a hot dog at the ballpark while cheering on your home team? Or buy the new handbag that you’ve had your eye on for the last month? Whatever indulgence appeals to you the most–your birthday is the perfect day to do a little splurging. I’m not suggesting that you go out and do something that is going to break the bank or leave you feeling rotten the next day–I’m just suggesting that your birthday is a great day to do something to spoil yourself a little. Give yourself permission to indulge a bit and then make sure that you take the time to truly savor the indulgence.
7.) Give thanks. Sometimes birthdays can be a little rough–especially if we’ve had a hard year (trust me–I went through quite a few of those hard years before I finally turned my life around) but the mere fact that we are alive to celebrate one more year is reason enough to be thankful. This truth was driven home to me last year when I was working as the Executive Director of a nonprofit breast cancer support center. A client of ours had become a good friend of mine because she and I were the same age and had kids the same age. The difference between us was the fact that I was healthy while she was battling Stage IV breast cancer and was told that she had less than a year to live (you can read about our friendship and the lessons that I learned from her here). When my dear friend passed away, I became all too aware of just how precious and fragile life can be and that every single day that we get to spend with our loved ones is a gift to be treasured.
We should be thankful for our blessings every day, but our birthday can provide us with an especially meaningful opportunity to show gratitude for those blessings. Click here for a wonderful list of suggestions on how to put the power of gratitude to work in your own life.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your birthday, be sure to take some time to celebrate your own FabYOUlousness. There is no one else on the planet who has the same mix of talents, passions and abilities that you have. There is no one else on the planet more worthy of celebration than you. Make a wish, blow out your candles, open your presents and know that your birthday is a wonderful, amazing and FabYOUlous day.