Birthday Celebrations

How many of you cringe at the thought that your birthday is encroaching? Do you try to change your age when people ask? Are you one of the ones that say you’re forever 16?

I really don’t like big parties. I panic at them. My husband, Michael planned a party for my 29th birthday. To this day, no one knows why he picked that age over 30, but we had it nonetheless! He asked me for a list of names that I would like to have there, and managed to invite everyone. I was so nervous that day. I was panicking about who I would talk to and if I would be able to connect with everyone and make them feel welcome. Would the different friend groups click or would everyone stand around awkwardly making small talk and wondering when they could bolt for the door? I was having flash backs of my surprise 16th birthday party, playing games of ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ and ‘Guess the Utensil’! Although it was a good time, I couldn’t get over the shock of everyone being there.

Needless to say, I am not a birthday party person. I love to organize and plan events. I like coming up with random themes. But, I do not like doing it for my party! I even planned a secret birthday party for myself last year. I had a few girls come over to watch an Audrey Hepburn movie, eat some delicious Thai food, and hang out. However, I didn’t tell any of them that it was for my birthday. It was such a delightful time!

At my last job, they loved to ‘randomly’ call you into the staff room where they would ‘surprise’ you with a treat and a card on your birthday. Though I truly cherished the sentiment and kindness of everyone, I would wince at the thought of having to walk into the room, have everyone stare at me, and sing ‘Happy Birthday’! I would turn beet red in embarrassment every time and want to slink away. I guess what it comes down to is that I don’t really like having all of the attention on me. I feel nervous and awkward. I don’t know what to do or what to say.

However, all parties aside, I love my birthday! I will shamelessly declare that Tuesday was my birthday (notice I told you after the fact)! I enjoy the excuse to go out for a date or weekend away with Michael. I thoroughly enjoy delicious food that accompanies the special day. I like getting together with a few close friends for some games or something fun!

Most of all, I am grateful that I have lived another year. Life is fleeting. It is precious.  I think it’s important to reflect on great memories, enjoy the present moment, and dream about the future. I like to think about the person I want to be this year and the difference I want to make. I only have one life, so I want to make the most of it. This is what I treasure most about my birthday.

Now, I challenge you! Yes, you’re getting older! That is reality for everyone. Your body might be aging and doing weird things you didn’t expect. You may not be able to do some of the things you used to. But, you’re still alive! There are still people that love you and appreciate the time that they have with you. There are adventures and memories to be made. There are people to help and lives to impact. ‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’.

So, live it up on your birthday. Whether you like big parties or special moments with close friends, make the most of it. Write down the ten best things you want to do this year to celebrate life! Embrace celebrating the age you are, laugh about the things you can’t or shouldn’t do anymore, and look forward to the things you can!

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