If no one else tells you, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I LOVE my birthday. It’s on February 13th and my 13th birthday was on a Friday. (I subsequently have a love for Friday the 13th, but that’ll be a separate post.) And I really love a HAPPY Birthday.
My 24th birthday was also a Friday and I spent it in LONDON AND PARIS.
I have been fortunate to have some AMAZING birthdays.
As a result, my less-than-successful birthdays have left me crying, mascara-stained and alone in my bathroom. But I was so lucky to realize something that ended all unhappy birthdays and I want to share it with you—
YOU must CHOOSE to ENJOY the day.
Even if you’re alone.
Even if you want others to celebrate you and they won’t.
If it matters to you, YOU must celebrate you.
And you have permission to have a GOOD DAY!
Here’s what I do:
- Plan in advance… but not too much. You know what you like. If no one in your life is going to plan something for you, or you’re traveling solo, or out of town for work, it’s on YOU to celebrate you. That’s okay, because YOU are going to do exactly what you want. I have a list of ideas at the bottom of this post if you find yourself staring blankly.
- I don’t hide that it’s my birthday. It’s dumb, but my worst birthdays were spent this way. I’d play this naive game of “who can see me?” and not tell my friends—the people who would want MOST to celebrate with me—THAT IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. I’m not saying you need to flaunt it or be a brat. But if you want to wear a tiara, a sequins shirt, and a tutu—GO FOR IT. You can also send this post to a friend to let them know some ideas you’re looking at.
- No, really, DO mention it. People generally want to feel empowered to help other people. When the timing is right (positive), mention it to servers, Uber drivers, colleagues, neighbors, anyone you encounter. By telling them it’s your birthday, you give them the option to celebrate you. This isn’t something you lord over others—you don’t DESERVE anything. But if you mention it appropriately, you might find little celebrations throughout your day.
- Smile all day. When you smile, the world smiles with you. And when they don’t, you’re still smiling.
- Accept that it’s not a perfect day. There could be little hiccups through the day, so know and accept that in advance. Perfection is a joy-stealing liar. Focus on being grateful for the delicious salad you had for lunch (sorry about the hair) and the gift from your boss (yay, another pair of comical socks). How you frame the day is 100% going to determine how much you enjoy yourself.
This will also help you practice:
- Caring less what people say.
- Loving yourself more.
- Looking for ways to constantly enjoy life instead of hoping it will just happen.
Ideas for a Happy Birthday
- Eat dessert first
- Invite your friends (with advance notice—don’t self-sabotage) to lunch or dinner, and if not sit at the bar in your favorite restaurant
- Get a massage
- Get your nails done if you don’t normally
- Buy yourself a balloon or flowers to carry all day
- Carry a small bottle of bubbles and randomly blow them in the day, as needed. (When you’re waiting anywhere, at the end of a meeting, after dessert. You know best.)
Is this list missing something?
Let me know in the comments below!
Bonus Happy Birthday Message
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I really really REALLY like the bubbles suggestion. Like a LOT.
Happy birthday ♥️
The question is: Bubble gun or blowing bubbles?