It took me 33 years to get back to celebrating my Birthday.
As I post this today, on my 33rd Birthday I am genuinely excited that today is my day.
Prior to this, the last birthday I looked forward to in pure celebration was probably around my late teens or early twenties. I can barely remember, probably as I was already down playing it.
I really lost my birthday mojo over the years of my twenties. What really kicked this into gear was being surrounded by countless friends falling pregnant around me as my then partner and I failed to conceive. Year after year, well really, month after heartbreaking month, I faced a constant stop sign towards a path my heart and every fibre of being at the time pulled me on.
As the last birthday of my twenties approached my heart sank deep to a new low as the marriage also began to fall apart. They were the saddest years of my life, as the life I dreamt of began to crumble beneath me. My self-esteem took a huge blow as these changes took away dreams, friends and left me cleaning up what was left of this broken life before I could break free.
As I mopped up the mess I also broke down every night when solace finally arrived at the end of each day of upholding a facade of keeping it together.
During this time I made a new friend. She showed me the black and white of life. It was exactly what I needed when all I was seeing was a ruined grey mess.
Towards the end of my 29th year my new friend’s birthday approached. She decided she wanted to go and stay on one of the nearby islands for the weekend in celebration. We took cake, wine and all the fun a birthday should bring.
My friend told me as we were driving, the island getaway approaching, how something should be done to celebrate every birthday. We all have things we want to do and birthdays are the perfect reason to do them.
I mulled over these wise words as I did with many life lessons she taught me and when my birthday came that following January I didn’t need much of a nudge to book us in at a Rainforest Retreat.
It took me a couple more birthdays to get me out of the old rut and on board with celebrating my day. I had a whole new life that was in the opposite direction to my former. I added a 3,000 km move to the changes in my life and allowed the fresh start to really wipe the slate clean. Physically this involved only taking five boxes with me in the move, mentally, I took on board all the lessons, closed a lot of chapters, and began practicing opening my heart to new opportunities.
I think I am here now as in the lead up to this day I was getting excited. I was thinking about how much of a good number 33 feels. I was thinking of the celebration of me and soaking that up.
I am today relishing the loving notes from my family and friends, really cherishing all those that reach out to me.
I have no expectations of anything so everything is a bonus. It could just be me in the park with an ice cream and I would still celebrate my day.
I reflect on my journey, from hiding from life, I now surrender to it and share the reasons I have been able to move into this stance of completely owning the moment and being in love with my path on this very amazing, unique-to-me, majestic journey I have been handed to learn and grow from, and share these reasons with you as why you should too.
One – You have survived so much – celebrate your strength.
You need to take a moment, every so often to just sit up and pat yourself on the back. You are amazing. You know what you have been through, the heartache, the struggles and you deserve to spend a moment in recognition of that.
Two – Being happy makes others happy.
We all love a little get-together and it is so infectious when someone else is having fun – we want in. Even when kids give you that look like your being silly, like adults cannot do that, but then they crack a smile as they secretly love it – we all secretly love to to be silly with others sometimes. Be happy, a little silly and make someone else’s day too.
Three – You can do that thing you have always wanted to do.
I use my birthday now to go somewhere or do something I have had in mind I wanted to but haven’t made the time for. This is the perfect reason. Book it in and go enjoy!
Four – You deserve to be treated.
Often we give to others but forget ourselves. Taking a day to do what you want, even do nothing and relax, is just as perfect as going off to do something. I even buy myself a little gift. I am worth it and with living a simple life I don’t often buy too much anymore so this is a real treat for me.
Five – It brings us together.
A birthday dinner prompts you and your family and friends, you might not often see, to actually get together. It is a special day for connection that shouldn’t be left for Christmas and Easter. Have a BBQ and get a few people round to catch-up, you could ask everyone that all you want is for each person to bring a plate of food. This makes it easy and cheap for everyone and no work for you but to just sit back and enjoy time with loved ones.
Six – With age comes grace and wisdom.
Every year I find myself more comfortable and in love with what I have added to my life in terms of growth and wisdom. I am coming into a beautiful state of grace and peace. I enjoy what each year brings, I enjoy what it uncovers and I enjoy what life surrounds me with.
Seven – It Inspires you.
If you let it, it can inspire you to get even more intentional in your life. I have let it motivate me to learn more about me, what I want, what I don’t want, how I can best nourish my body and how I can best manage my mind. As I am reminded of my time passing I am inspired to focus in on what really matters to me and how to bring more of that into my life.
Eight – It inspires others.
Seeing someone standing tall and proud in their own skin, standing up and saying proudly it is my birthday, (I am worth a little celebration), helps others to do the same. In a world where our self-love is hidden behind stress, and the pressures we put on ourselves, I like the idea of a duty-of-care to help others take a break. Additionally, if they don’t celebrate themselves it helps pave the way for you to bring in a cake and help celebrate their day. When I managed a team I would make sure everyone had a cake for their birthday, and as embarrassed as I was to stand up there and be sung to I did it, I did it for my team because I wanted, more than for me, for everyone one of them to have their day (because no matter how embarrassed we are, we secretly feel a little special in that moment).
My birthday wish today is that you too, celebrate your day for all these reasons and so may more.