Birthdays are important.
My parents have always made me feel this way (especially my mom); carefully planning my gifts, the dinner I wanted, my favorite cake flavor.
I am the same with my children; talking about their birthdays for weeks in advance. I want to make sure they know how important the day they came into this world is to me and others.
I didn’t do that for myself, however. In my first marriage, my ex-husband never made my birthday feel special because it wasn’t on his radar even though I expected it to be. On my 30th birthday, he got me a candle and one could argue that, yeah, he got me something but I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl just six weeks earlier and felt I deserved more than just a candle.
I made sure to divorce him before my 40th birthday because I like to plan ahead.
So when I remarried, I made sure I got me a man who made birthdays special.
He did for the most part but there were a few years when he dropped the ball because at the end of the day, he has a penis and he just doesn’t see birthdays the way I do.
It was after recently reading a damn self-help book (post to come) that I had a realization about my birthday: only I can make it as special as the expectations I have set for it in my head. My kids and husband could not possibly live up to what I felt I deserved on my special day.
No one can do that for you.
Except for yourself.
I love myself, a lot and I love to give myself treats now and then as shown by my hips and thighs.
So why not celebrate the week leading up to my birthday?
My husband always laughs at me when I squeal BIRTHDAY WEEK! on the Monday preceding my or my families big days.
It is a big job being you and going through all you do throughout the year so you need to live it up the week before or after (you do you) your birthday as well as on the actual day.
Living it up does not have to be expensive or a huge gesture. It is simply, for me, doing little things to make me feel more joy. If you are like me, you probably have no problem doing things for others without even thinking about it but when it comes to yourself, you most likely take a back seat.
I would buy my kids an entire outfit but hell if I buy myself some underwear to replace the ones that have gaping holes in them.
There needs to be a week of the year that you are kinder to yourself than normal, that you give yourself extra love, that you do little things to woo yourself, that you replace the holey underwear.
Here is what I did to give you some ideas:
- ordered something that had sat in my Amazon cart for over six months because it wasn’t really a need
- bought a plant when I was at the store ordering a boutonniere for Anna’s prom date
- made tortilla pizza and shared with the dog
- got a manicure and pedicure with my mom
- went to lunch at a restaurant I have always wanted to go to with a friend
- went to a warehouse sale of a friend’s that was out-of-the-way
- wrote for ME every single day
- took my dog with me almost everywhere I went (it’s his birthday week too!)
- watched the Real Housewives of New York City on Hulu every single night
- skipped Ella’s soccer game because it was 40 degrees out and stayed at home with a Starbucks and Pinterest
I never felt any guilt doing any of the above, it was the best birthday I have had in years and I will do this for myself every year going forward.
So should you.
Because we deserve it.