Getting older often means that birthdays become just another day. School, work, family responsibilities - those things don't usually pause just because it's your birthday. More than once I have heard friends, often mothers, mention how they feel forgotten on their birthdays. They spend the day wondering if anyone will think of them, wishing that things were different, and often becoming angry with those that they love. We all want to feel remembered and special, but there's no need to rely on others to make that happen. This is the day that you entered the world. Let's celebrate! Here are a few ideas.
Keep a journal
If keeping a regular journal is one of those things that you wish you were doing but just can't seem to make a habit, try taking some time to sit down with your favorite beverage and write on your birthday. Reflect over the past year of your life. What have you done? Where are you? What are your kids, spouse or friends doing in their lives? What goals are you working on? What things would you like to do in the next year? Even if it's only an annual entry, writing down some details will help put things into perspective now. It may even be fun to look back on as the years go by.
Have you noticed that doing things for others makes you happy? It works on your birthday, too. Ideas from The Birthday Project found their way to my mom. Inspired by another mother's blog at What a Ride, she decided to spend the day doing random acts of kindness. This blogger spent her 35th birthday going around town with her kids serving others - a gift left in the mailbox for the mailman, quarters left at a vending machine, an extra tip to the waitress, a visit with homemade cards at a senior citizen center, and a few bouquets of flowers taken to the hospital, just to name a few of the 35 ideas. My mom did similar things with my younger siblings who still live at home and challenged her adult kids to look for things to do, too. I hear it was her best birthday yet! Sometime ago, my aunt challenged all her Facebook friends to post an update about the random acts of kindness they did during the day, in lieu of gifts. It may take some time, creativity and planning, but even spontaneous serving will bring joy to your day.
Challenge yourself to do something new. Some even start weeks before so that they can do something new each day counting down to the magic number of that year's birthday. Cook a new food, try a new restaurant, pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, watch a new movie. Make the extra effort to get out of your comfort zone, or to take the time for yourself and make it a month to remember.
The main idea is to simply decide that it is going to be a great day, then do whatever it is you can do to make it special for you and those you love. You certainly don't have to wait until your birthday to do any of these things. Every day is another day of your life. That's plenty of reason to celebrate.