The Colbster celebrated his 29th rotation around the sun last week. (I know. I know. Not even 30. He’s so young!) I love celebrating other peoples birthdays. I like buying gifts, I like eating birthday dinners and I love sticking candles into desserts and singing loudly to embarrass the birthday celebrant. Ultimately, I think birthdays are a chance to be grateful for those you love.
I’m really excited about his birthday this year and it got me thinking about being excited about life. Specifically, our life. We don’t have a perfect life and bad things happen from time to time. At the end of the day though, he’s a really amazing partner in crime and I adore him.
But then I got to thinking… Why do we only celebrate our lives once a year? Why do we wait for our birthdays to enjoy our life?
Why not celebrate your life today? And everyday?
I’m going to practice the celebration of life, mine and those around me, more often. But how do you do that? Let’s break this down a bit. How do you celebrate a birthday?
- Presents. The Colbster and I are very serious about presents. We agonize over our gifts to each other. Are they thoughtful enough? Are they useful but exciting? Do they serve a purpose? Give yourself gifts. Give those around you something special.
This doesn’t have to mean you’re buying stuff all the time. In fact, just buying stuff would diminish how special the gift is. This may mean you send a friendly note or love letter. It might mean you do the dishes. It may end up that you take a long hot bath with a glass of wine to relax. Presents are special. They’re not stuff and they’re thoughtful.
- Thoughtful words and expressions. At birthdays, my mom always gets two cards. One sweet and thoughtful. One funny. Inside the thoughtful card, she tells me she loves me and signs her name. Inside the funny card, she writes an essay on why she thought the funny card fit and how much fun she had picking out this hilarious card. It’s awesome. It makes you feel loved and full of laughter. Why don’t we do this every day?
I have a stack of cards on my desk just waiting to be sent out. Sending thoughts and expressions doesn’t have to wait until that one day a year. Think about the last 5 people who made you laugh – throw your head back, cackle and shake laugh. Now send them something thoughtful. Think about the last person who really supported you through a tough time. Send them something that expresses your gratitude or shows your support for their tough times. Maybe it’s a card? Maybe it’s a pineapple? Maybe it’s a phone call? Be thoughtful.
- Sing songs. I kind of hate the birthday song. I have a hard time finding a key to sing it in that I really like. My mother always harmonizes when she sings it which means that when she’s not around I feel the need to fill in that role despite being annoyed by it. But regardless of how you feel about the song, the act itself is pretty awesome. It’s a mix of celebration and embarrassment. It’s a way to embarrass someone at a restaurant and a way to focus all of the celebration onto that person. We can do this daily though and it doesn’t have to be that damn song.
What can you do today to make someone around you feel seen and celebrated? How can you tease them in a way that makes them feel appreciated and valued? Maybe it’s letting them pick the radio station in the car. (Colbs – I don’t care if this is your birthday, it ain’t happening.) Publicly celebrate someone you love for no reason.
- Eating cake. This is probably the best part about birthdays. I love celebratory food. This is one of those little things you can do to show a little love without much effort. The Colbster loves steak and potatoes. He also loves Mike & Ikes’ candy. Sometimes I just bring a box of candies home. Sometimes I secretly sneak steak and potatoes into the meal plan. Every now and then, I bring home a nice bottle of beer for him. It’s almost nothing for me to do it but it shows a little love.
A nice bottle of wine to celebrate a good week at work is one way to celebrate yourself. Did you hit a milestone at the gym? Did someone you know have a hard day and need a pick me up? It doesn’t actually have to be cake (although it can be) to celebrate. Pick up a little treat to celebrate.
While birthdays will remain the annual markers for celebrating those you love, there is no reason why you can’t bring a little more confetti to your life every day. Find time to be thoughtful for those around you. Make time to be celebratory of yourself. Be grateful for who you have and who you are every day because cake is delicious regardless of what day it is!