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What happens when your milestone birthdays have come and gone, and you no longer feel like celebrating your day of birth?
You’re old enough to buy cigarettes, drink legally, rent a car, and you’ve already thrown a “Dirty 30” bash.
What’s next – retirement?
Once the cluster of milestone birthdays between 20 and 30 are in your rear view mirror, you might find yourself being aloof when you think about celebrating your birthday.
This was my current predicament as I turned 34 years old just a few days ago.
I knew I fully went into “IDGAF” mode when I mentioned to a friend that my birthday was on Friday, and she kindly reminded me that my birthday was actually on Saturday. (I blame some of this on being a corporate dropout and having no real need to remember the days of the week anymore.)
But still, it reminded me that I’d grown completely apathetic toward my birthday.
Has that happened to you?
So I started thinking…what are the reasons we no longer welcome our birthdays with such pomp and circumstance like we did in the past?
I’m not afraid of getting older, nor am I afraid of getting pregnant and being considered a “geriatric pregnancy”.
If it’s not that, then what?
It was time for me to get real with myself and look at the reasons why I didn’t care about celebrating or acknowledging my birthday anymore.
- There’s nothing commemorative or significant about turning 34.
- As I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost the magic around seemingly important holidays/celebrations and have written them off as “just another day.”
Somewhere on the spectrum between “It’s my birthday month! Let’s get wasted every.single.day!” to “Everyone has a birthday. Big deal”, there’s got to be a place for those of us who want to acknowledge the day but not go completely overboard.
Here are a few simple ways to appreciate your birthday when you’re not in the celebratory mood.
1. Write down 3 things you’ve learned or accomplished over the past year that resulted in personal growth
Did you run a triathlon that pushed you past your mental and physical limit? Did you push yourself to do something you were afraid of, like giving a public speech?
Did you learn to be more assertive by unapologetically stating your needs and desires?
Don’t think too large scale – focus on situations where you’ve smashed your goals or matured (because we never stop maturing) since your last birthday.
2. Think of your most unexpected memorable moment
Pull out your journal and reflect on a memorable event that happened completely out of the blue in the past year. This will remind you that bigger and better things are on the horizon as you gain an extra year of wisdom and surprises.
3. Have dinner with someone you appreciate
Whether it’s a best friend, significant other, or a family member – sharing a meal with someone you trust sounds like the perfect way to celebrate another year of your life.
You don’t have to call it a birthday celebration either, just a nice evening with a special person in your life.
4. Call your mom and have her replay what happened the day you were born
Every year my mom calls me and says “Around this time, we’d just arrived at the hospital…” and then she breaks into full storytelling mode. It makes me smile to relive those moments with her.
By the end of our conversation, I always feel a bit more excited about my birthday.
5. Make plans to do an activity you’ve always wanted to try
You’ll naturally start looking forward to your special day if you make plans to try a fun activity you’ve had on your mind for a while.
If you make plans on your birthday, your friends will probably want to join as well.
Tip: Groupon has plenty of fun, local activities for you to try at discounted rates.
There are many ways to recognize your birthday aside from over-the-top fiestas. For my birthday, I ultimately made plans for a tasty steak dinner with one of my best friends, followed by a night at the casino playing roulette. (I doubled my money, too!)
Low key, but still honoring the day – and a total blast.
How do you plan to honor your next birthday?
This post was proofread by Grammarly