Celebrate Your Birthday...Celebrate YOU!
What is it about birthdays that gets people all riled up? Celebrating what should be a special day in each person's life should be something to look forward to, not try to run away from. In American society, the emphasis on birthdays seems to be that birthdays are about aging. It seems for the most part Americans look at aging with a negative view. But in reality, birthdays are actually a very special day for each person to celebrate their entrance into this world, their accomplishments and their unique individuality. If we looked at birthdays like that, age would have nothing to do with it!
My Special Birthdays
I have always felt that my birthday was a special day. I don't really think of myself as conceited but just worthy of celebrating. When I was a teenager and had to work to save money for college, I ended up working on my birthday most years. Because my birthday is in July, it's usually a beautiful, sunny day here in Connecticut. Having to serve burgers and fries at my McDonald's job, or help teenagers do investigative reporting in the city of New Haven were not exactly ways I had wanted to spend my birthday in my teen and young adult years. But at those times, I was not in a position to ask for or take my birthday off from work. Way back then, I promised myself that when I got a professional job that allowed me to take real days off, I would always take my birthday off. And I have been able to do that. In my young adult years, I spent my birthday at a Six Flags amusement park with friends each year. After I got married, I took special day trips off by myself to hike, or explore a new town, often stopping in small, quaint stores along the way. Once I spent my day in Newport, R.I. and brought along my journal to write my hopes and dreams for the future. That worked out so well that each year after that I always brought my journal along to share my thoughts about the past year and my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. If there was someone special I wanted to have dinner with on my birthday, I always made sure those plans were for the evening so I could still have a day to myself on my special day.
How Do You View Your Birthday?
New Ways to Look at Your Birthday
What do you do special for your birthday? Do you treat yourself like a king or queen for the day? Or is it something you would just like to forget about? If you don't actually like your birthday because it reminds you that another year of your life has passed, why not change the focus? Forget about how old you are, but just celebrate something else...
* You have had the privilege of being on this Earth with your loved ones for another year
* You are a unique individual
* Use it to celebrate your friends
* Use it to show gratitude for another year on Earth and help others
* Plan a special day for your friends and family as a thank you for their love and support
New Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday
There are many ways one can celebrate their birthday if they don't like birthday celebrations of the past. You can...
Throw Your Own Birthday Party
Why not give your friends and family a special treat and throw a party that is worthy of their time? You can make reservations at a popular restaurant and take everyone out to eat as a special treat. Make sure they know it's your treat so all they have to do is show up and you will pay. You can even send out invitations and write that gifts will not be accepted and that the dinner is your gift to them for their love and support.
Invite Someone For a Special Outing
Do you have a friend who is going through a rough time? Maybe a divorce or a loved one they are close to recently died? Make your day special for them and share your time and attention with them. Invite them to a movie. Take a day trip somewhere interesting that you both have wanted to see. Giving of yourself to someone in need on your birthday will make the day special for both of you. They don't even need to know it's your birthday...unless you choose to tell them.
There are many non-profit organizations that need help every day of the year. The chances are that on your birthday, you will be able to find one that can use the help. Check your local paper phone book for social service agencies and start calling around to see if any need help. Ask your friends to come with you, and if they know it's your birthday, tell them you want to share the day with them volunteering, and their gift of service will be their gift to you.
Make Your Own Birthday Meal
If you enjoy cooking but don't have anyone to cook for, invite a friend to come to your house for dinner, and spend the day cooking all of your favorite foods. Share it with them that night. If you don't want to do a lot of work, make a picnic lunch or dinner and ask a friend to come along to a scenic place to share it. Could be the beach, a beautiful park, somewhere with a mountain view...anywhere that makes you happy.
Make Your Own Birthday Meal
Do You Have the "Nobody Loves Me" Attitude?
Make sure you don't get caught up in the "nobody loves me" attitude. If you are one of those people that never say anything about their birthday to family members or friends in advance, and then gets disappointed that no one remembered, you have no one to blame but yourself! Sorry, that may seem a bit harsh, but in today's world, everyone is so busy that details like birthdays and anniversaries sometimes get lost in the shuffle of everyday life and family activities. A simple red circle around a date, with the birthday person's name written in it on the calendar for all family member's birthdays, is a good idea. And it won't call attention to one specific person. Or if you have a certain someone that you would like to spend your birthday with, such as a significant other, friend or a child, asking in advance if they could free that day up to spend with you on your birthday will most likely seem like a privilege rather than a chore.
An Extremely Inspirational Birthday Celebration Video
While I was looking around on Youtube to find a birthday video to help get across the point of this article, I found a most amazing woman's video of how she spent the week of her 50th birthday. I was quite inspired, and I hope you will be too!
This article has given you plenty of food for thought on how you can celebrate your next birthday in a way that is meaningful to you and has nothing to do with age. I hope you find some beautiful ways to celebrate your future birthdays. My suggestion to you is to make the most of each one. From year to year, we never know how many birthdays we have left. Here's to us all making each one count...go on, celebrate YOU with the rest of the world!
My Birthday, July 27th, 2014
Today is my birthday: July 27th, 2014. My husband and I are in Massachusetts because we came to Tanglewood to go to 2 concerts the past two nights and I asked if we could stay one more night to celebrate my birthday. So far, it's 10 a.m. and my day did not start out well. My daughter called me at 7:15 a.m. from Connecticut because she was having an anxiety attack and needed me to talk her through it. I had wanted to sleep in till 8:30 but that went out the window. My husband gave me a new tablet for my birthday while we were eating breakfast. Unfortunately, it is dead, and we can't even get it to turn on. AND it is raining and thundering and lightning. I am talking about pouring buckets out.
But no matter what the weather, today is my birthday and I am glad to be alive and to have made it one more year. I hope the day gets better, but even if it doesn't, I will celebrate being alive and being fortunate enough to have found the love of my life and being able to marry him. Happy birthday to me, and anyone else out there who is celebrating their birthday today (that includes fellow Hubpages member HawaiianOdysseus because we share the same birthday!)
My New Birthday Tradition
In July of 2017, I started a new birthday tradition. I had recently started a blog about saving money (link in my profile) and I had heard about restaurants that will give you free food for your birthday. You have to sign up for their birthday clubs online in advance though. So please don't show up at one of these restaurants on your birthday expecting free food unless you are part of their club and have gotten either an email or something in the mail from them.
I wrote an article about it so I won't go into detail but I did eat for free all day on my birthday and had a fantastic day. I got a free coffee at Dunkin Donuts, free pancakes at IHOP, a free sandwich for lunch at Schlotzsky's Deli, a free salad bar for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, and a free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.
I had so much fun I am going to eat for free on my birthday in July of 2018 also! Free food is always a good birthday gift.
© 2013 Karen Hellier