Celebrate Yourself

What type of person are you? Do you celebrate yourself or wait for others to notice? Are you the kind of person who goes to great lengths to acknowledge birthdays and achievements of others only to be let down when it’s your turn and nothing happens? I have seen this happen a time or two and thought this would be a great time to chat about it!

Celebrate Yourself

Years ago I worked with someone who hosted her own birthday party every year. She was about 15 years older than me and single with no children. I loved listening to how she planned and executed her celebration! At the time – I only had one child and could barely imagine doing anything for myself – it made sense to me since she was single with no children. This friend was strong and independent and filled her free time with things she loved doing. What an inspiration to me!

When I was growing up we certainly celebrated my birthdays like most other children. Then, when I became a parent my sons’ special days were equally special for me and we celebrated. I can fondly recall the birthday parties, the planning, the fun and of course the excitement. The photo albums I created are full of these kinds of celebrations but what’s notably missing: birthday celebrations for me!

Now, I know. I’m not 8 anymore. I’m an adult and who cares, right? It wasn’t as if my birthday wasn’t acknowledged at all, because it was! With a June birthday that often fell at the busiest time of year – just as school was getting out – I was often too tired and spent to plan anything. Then months later I’d hear about what someone else did for their birthday and I’d think, “Oh, that sounds good. I need to remember that for next year.” Next year would come and I’d forget. The cycle continued. Was I unhappy? Oh, heck no! But the older I get the more I realize that it IS important to acknowledge special days and to celebrate myself.

Treat Yourself Well

It’s true that how you treat yourself will dictate how others treat you. It’s also true that no one is in charge of your happiness more than you are. Let’s not confuse treating ourselves well with being too prideful or boastful. let’s make it normal to celebrate ourselves whether it’s an achievement or another trip around the sun.

We can wait for others to take hints from us and plan a surprise celebration that is social media worthy or we can take charge and let those closest to us know how we want to mark the occasion. Because whether you want to believe it or not we are worth celebrating! Special days should be spent how we’d like because life is short – we are not guaranteed tomorrow or the next birthday. Make today count. Make this year count. No matter what.

It May Not Always Turn Out

Gosh, this year my birthday was not going to turn out how I’d thought it would. With my husband scheduled for surgery the next day there would be no dinner out, no fancy cake, no celebration on the actual day. Womp, womp, womp.

The weeks leading up were so busy with other celebrations and trying to plan something afterwards was near impossible. Our number one priority was my husband’s health. The weekend leading up to the surgery should belong to him since he would be the one suffering soon. At least that’s what I initially thought. You know what, I was wrong. I was thinking he’d have a list of things he wanted to do before his surgery. But my husband wanted to celebrate me, he wanted to spend the weekend doing what I wanted because he loves me and knew we’d be pretty busy with all of his needs soon enough.

I realized something. I was going about this all wrong. I mattered too. If it had been one of my children in my place, I’d be telling them to do something for themselves. I’d never say sit this one out and focus on someone else. So I let my husband know how I wanted to spend the weekend before his surgery. When my mother asked how we’d celebrate, I let her know that we could meet for dinner and anyone from the family who wanted to come could. There have been times we try to get everyone together and the celebration ends up happening weeks later – it seems to mean less then. Or we’d combine multiple birthdays into one – again, not so special.

How I Celebrated Myself

My birthday is June 3, which was a Monday and my husband’s surgery was scheduled for June 4. The Saturday before we went to a high school graduation party and then shopping at the mall I like (my husband doesn’t like shopping at any mall btw). We went to the stores I wanted to go to and I directed him to places he could sit and scroll on his phone rather than be at my heels. I swear it’s like hunting with the gam warden sometimes shopping with him. Usually, since I know he doesn’t enjoy it, I’d go by myself but not this year. This year I took my time and didn’t think for a second about him being bored. I let myself matter. The day ended with a great dinner at Cheesecake Factory!

On Sunday night we had dinner with my mom and my sister’s family. They were all happy to celebrate and even brought balloons! I felt so very special! I realized that it was okay to enjoy the attention and I wasn’t putting anyone out. They were there because they wanted to be and that made all the difference.

I took my birthday off from work, even though I had no special plans for the day. I got up early and met my friend to walk and then went to my boot camp class. Came home and got ready for the day. Since my husband had to do a surgery prep (just like a colonoscopy prep) he was staying home but I had plans to run errands. The day was delightful and relaxing. It may not have been the way I thought I’d mark the occasion but it was good anyway! It sure beat the heck out of my birthday two years ago when I had food poisoning!

Birthday Treats

Whether you want to celebrate or not, there are retailers who are only too happy to acknowledge your special day! I enjoy taking advantage of these. Someone asked me to create a list of birthday deals so here are a few to take advantage of, keep in mind you have to be a rewards member for almost all of these:

  • Starbucks Free Drink (you have to have their app and you can only use it on your birthday)
  • Loft ($15 off)
  • WHBM ($15 off)
  • Kendra Scott 50% off – just show your ID (25% off their fine jewelry)
  • Kohls ($10 Kohls Cash)
  • Buff City Soap (I cannot remember what I got for free but it was something!)
  • Allie + Bess (30% off during your birthday month)
  • DSW ($5 off)
  • Express ($5 Birthday Cash)
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes (free Bundlet)
  • Lilly Pulitzer (20% off)

I did not take advantage of all of these but these mind you but they are worth sharing.

Regardless of what your circumstance is find a way to make special days special for you. No one else’s preferences matter, spend the day the way you wish. If you want a party, throw one. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. If you want a quiet dinner, have a quiet dinner. If you want a trip, plan one. Celebrate yourself, don’t wait for anyone else to do it for you!

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