Birthdays are magical. They create lifelong memories. Like my twelfth birthday, my first slumber party, we rented a VCR and watched Annie at night and in the morning. (Possibly, my first binge watching experience.) Or a few years later, when I was in high school, my friends “kidnapped” me and took me to fun dinner at Ed Debevic’s in Los Angeles. There was the time in college where my mom, who lived hundreds of miles away, arrived on my doorstep to take me to a Birthday lunch. And of course, I will never forget my husband taking me to a local wine bar, only to find many of my closest friends, from all stages of my life, waiting for me inside.
These are just a couple highlights from my own birthday. There are probably hundreds of parties and surprises I’ve been involved with for friends and family. Then add in the parties we’ve had for the kids including bounce houses, giant inflatable slides, bowling, painting, mini-golf, games, presents and all the pizza, cake, ice cream and candy you could dream of. And don’t forget the soundtrack of giggles, squeals, laughter and singing that goes along with a great celebration. I could write volumes on my great birthday party memories.
Birthdays give us a reason to celebrate in a rare way that we seem to reserve only for special occasions. Why? Why can’t we celebrate like this more often? We get so wrapped up in the stressors of everyday life. These stressors consume us to the point where we only set them aside if we have a reason, like a birthday, to let go and have fun.
If they bring us so much joy, why only celebrate once a year? Why not multiple times a year? Pick a day, or two or three, where you treat yourself like it’s a special day. This could mean taking the day off work or sleeping in or simply declaring you’re not going to let anyone, or anything ruin your happy mood for the day. Invite your friends to join in the fun. Whether it is at home or doing a fun activity together, you must surround yourself with people who are important to you. Treat this like an honest to goodness birthday party, a true celebration, because only then will you give yourself permission to leave everything else behind and enjoy this time. Play games, do things you wouldn’t normally do, but most importantly have fun. You’ll know it was successful if in the end you are exhausted, but full of pure joy.
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Image by Prashant Sharma from Pixabay
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.