Favorite Things, Humor, Life

Birthday Week: Make it a Thing

I felt this was an appropriate post to share at the end of my 50th birthday week; how it all started. 🙂 


First published May 1, 2017


Birthdays are important.

My parents have always made me feel this way, especially my mom by 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 to others.

I didn’t always 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, at least he got me something but I had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl six weeks earlier and felt I deserved more than just a candle on my 30th birthday.

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.


Men Holding Red Pink and Yellow Balloon Under Blue Sky during Daytime

 

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.
Well, no one except you.

I like myself, I am a pretty good egg and to reward myself for being me, I give myself treats now and then.

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 family’s 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.

 

Landscape Photo Of Green and Red Balloons

 

Here is what I did this past birthday week, 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 trash to treasure items, 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 instead

 

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.

 

24 thoughts on “Birthday Week: Make it a Thing”

  1. I have a guy friend who celebrates all month . He calls it H.B.M. Every day he would post a picture of what he ate that day and or share an interesting story about himself on facebook.

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  2. You deserve a birthday YEAR just for how often you make me laugh. (And then I get off the hook for failing to wish you a happy birthday during your birthday week.) You keep being you. Please. And treat yourself more than once a year.

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  3. This is awesome! I love my hubby, but he never makes a big deal out of my birthday. I don’t want to divorce him over it though – he does have other good qualities that make up for it. 😉 I do treat myself extra special on my bday, but all week? Hmm, that might have to become a thing! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. Oddly enough I read a blog post this morning saying the exact opposite: birthdays are irrelevant so why bother with them. Like all topics anymore there are many opinions. 🙄 That being said I’ve enjoyed your birthday month.

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  5. You do know how to make your day/month special. I grew up with the opposite – very little focus birthdays. It was sort of an after thought. My brother’s bday Dec 27th, mine Dec 30th – people were pooped. Gifts were scarce. Not much celebration to be had. My favorite birthdays as an adult are the ones when Coach takes the day off and makes everyone BEHAVE. My guy is NOT a good gifter. I once got a potato peeler for Christmas. For years he would go to the Irish imports store and just buy something, cause I’m Irish. I finally put the kabosh on that because I really don’t need socks with the flag of Ireland on them (no joke). Nowadays he and I usually get dinner at my favorite restaurant. I might have to borrow some of your ideas and maybe avoid after-Christmas related chores. I have some time to plan it out.

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    1. Use my ideas all you want! I think part of the biggest problem is that we expected go big or go home for our birthday and if we don’t get that even the little things don’t matter. But the little things save me.

      I really think you need to do a week in January that is just yours. Instead of December. For real. Once the kids are done with break. It doesn’t have to be big, just little nice things for you. Like taping the morning news and watching it alone while eating cake. 😚

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    1. Yes! I just told another friend to do that as well.

      Anna had a friend who has a December birthday and she always had her birthday parties in the summer and celebrated her half birthday. 🙌🏻

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  6. My sister in law (and her entire family!) joke that she has a whole birthday month!! I try to do nice things like that for myself year round– not all the time but just here and there because I am starting to realize that I am important and while my husband and kids love me dearly they are all guys and therefor just don’t think of doing those small little things very often. I’m quite lucky if they remember mother’s day, my birthday, or even Christmas gifts. They want to but often wait until the last minute and then complain about all that they wanted to buy me but couldn’t find.. they typically have great ideas too just no the foresight to plan ahead. I really do think it’s got to be a gender thing.. I hope you had a fabulous birthday week even if it was in the midst of a pandemic this year.

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  7. I remember my mom giving me a big birthday party when I was five, with all the neighborhood kids in our basement. That was the only big birthday party I had. Otherwise, we had a birthday cake and a present after dinner, but that was about it. Our family just didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays. Now as empty nesters, Brian and I spend our birthdays out on a day trip…birthday person’s choice of where to go and where to eat.

    This year, both at the end of July, Brian is going to be 60 and my mom 80! I am hoping to have a small family party here.

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  8. I should definitely have taken more time to process that this was a post reblogged (quarantine brain is so much slower). I was stunned by all of the things you did while socially distancing and then realized Anna did not have a prom this year

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  9. It’s weird to say but my birthday is the only day where I feel like it can all be about me. I pick everything we do, and I feel no guilt about it. I hate that it’s not like that all the time, but it’s just not how I’m wired. I love my birthday, and try to always eat lots of sweets, cupcakes if I can get to place that has them. I’m not sure what I want to do this year. The kids keep asking me but I don’t want to think too much about it. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have a choice for what we do, even though I’m sure we’ll still be in quarantine.

    I absolutely love what your husband did for you! I’m still on husband number one, so I’m not holding my breath for that kind of treatment, lol.

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