I admit this readily — I unabashedly love my birthday. So, every December 6, I celebrate ME! I have always loved my birthday and once my daughters were born, I passed this legacy on to the next generation of mini-MEs. Why so brazen a birthday attitude, you ask? Here’s the thing. 364 days each year you are no one special. You may think you are hot stuff, but let’s face it, however great you are, there are dozens more a whole lot like you in a whole lot of ways. But, you get one day each year when you are special and you get to celebrate. You could choose any day to whoop it up but why not use the one that was chosen for you? Your birthday should be all about you. Hell, I even endorse a birthday month if you are so inclined.
I have birthday traditions that I’ve developed with ME in mind. Just before my big day I usually get my hair cut so that I’m sure to look my best on MY day. On my actual day, I run five miles just to make sure I still can. (Then I really have reason to celebrate. This year I’m 59 and you better believe that running five miles is something worth celebrating.) Once I have that out of the way, I spend the day doing lovely things for me, or lovely things I’m going to like doing. This year started off great because my sweet husband and daughters launched my celebration two days early, giving me a head start on being fabulously special. The presents were cool (a journal and jewelry made from recycled things) and the cupcakes made by Shira were adorable. (See photo) They have titles of Joni Mitchell songs on them which made them entertaining and meaningful as well as delicious. And, on my big day, I plan to walk on the beach in my favorite place on Earth, the Outer Banks of NC. What could be better than that?
Why am I telling you all of this? The point here is simple. Take your day and do the same. Treat your birthday as the first day of the next year of your life (because it is actually) and then begin anew to celebrate you and your life and make it into what you most want it to be. Encourage your kids to do the same. Make a big deal about who they are on their birthdays. Let them know that a birthday is a great time to take stock of yourself, enhance the things you like, and change what needs tweaking.
Some people eschew their birthday. They don’t want to get older or they’re not comfortable with people making a big fuss about them. I say Bah Humbug to birthday naysayers. First, getting older surely beats the alternative, and secondly, to paraphrase my mother, if you don’t make a big fuss over yourself on your birthday who will? Full disclosure — what she used to say was about elementary school class elections for president — “If you don’t vote for yourself (because one year I told her I didn’t, even though I wanted to win) who would?” The idea is the same, think highly enough of yourself to give yourself one great day dedicated to the wonderfulness of you. If you don’t why would anyone else?
And, also, eat some cake.
Happy Birthday to Me!