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, particularly my mother, have always made me feel this way by meticulously planning my gifts, asking me what dinner I want, and my favorite cake flavor.

I’m the same with my children; we discuss their birthdays weeks in advance. I want to make sure they understand how important their birth is to me.

But I didn’t always do this for myself. 

My ex-husband never made my birthday special because it wasn’t on his radar, even though I expected it to be. On my 30th birthday, he gave me a Yankee candle. Please don’t defend his actions by saying, “Well, at least he got you something.” I had just given birth to our baby six weeks before, so this was a pretty big birthday.

I made sure to divorce him before my next milestone birthday. 

When I remarried, I made it a point to find a partner who made birthdays memorable. There were a few years when he dropped the ball since he has a penis and doesn’t perceive birthdays the same way I do.

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

It was only recently that I realized something about my birthday: only I can make it as spectacular as the expectations I’ve made for it in my brain. My children and hubby could not possibly live up to what I felt I deserved on my special day.

Being a human and going through all the human things we do throughout the year is a hefty job. So I resolved to live it up the week before and/or after my birthday, as well as on the actual day.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or a big deal to have a good time. For me, it is just doing small things to increase my delight.

There should be one week a year when you are better to yourself than usual, when you lavish yourself with love, when you do tiny things to woo yourself, when you replace the holey underpants.

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 felt no remorse for accomplishing any of the foregoing. It was the nicest birthday I’d had in years, and it’s something I’ll do for myself every year from now on.

You should, too.

Because we have earned 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.


  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.


  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.


  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.

    Liked by 1 person

  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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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. 😚


  6. With a mid-December birthday, I don’t know that birthday week can ever be a thing for me. Maybe I should borrow yours? A birthday in the middle of spring sounds kinda wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    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. 🙌🏻


  7. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 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

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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