I don’t understand the person who lets their birthday slip by. Don’t they understand that birthdays matter? These naysayers say birthdays don’t mean much when you get older but I beg to differ. I turn 43 this week and I don’t care who knows it. Another turn of the wheel is never cause for despair because it means I’ve made it another glorious year.

I love using my birthday, the one day about me, to celebrate the cycle of my life. Why birthdays matter to me so much is because they offer the perfect pause to reflect and recalibrate. 

We all need to time to remember the good stuff we’ve done. It’s easy to remember what went wrong but when was the last time you remembered what went right? We need time to take stock of what is serving us and what we to be let go. Why not use a day that is already designated as yours to do so?

My personal birthday reflection rituals are mine and I want to keep them so, but I can share this much. I will review the 100 Dreams List I made when I turned 40. I am sure there are things on the list that in just one year’s time no longer seem as important to me. I’ll feel free to strike through them without guilt for being left undone.

I’ll also tune into my 18 in 2018 list. I still need to visit Rainy Day Books and learn how to make tea eggs but I’ve still got six months to make it happen. Maybe this is the year I will get my tattoo as well.

I will celebrate but in a low key “I can’t stay up past 10 pm anymore” way. I’ve got a massage scheduled and the promise of lunch at Cherry Picker with some Prairie Pie with Bri. (This time I will be getting my own slice thank you very much.)

If you’ve been known to let your own birthday pass without so much as picking up your free Starbucks drink (dirty chai for me!) here is what I want you to do to make sure your next birthday serves to honor how far you’ve come and celebrate your greatness.

  • Take the day off work. (Unless you really really love your work and can still have some quiet time during the day too).
  • Tell someone else they are making dinner. No chores for you on your birthday.
  • Find a quiet spot to journal a Ta-Dah list (all the things that went rights!) and review or start a 100 Dreams List. Bring tea.
  • Do something kind for yourself, like a massage or mani-pedi.

This is a wonderful ritual you may get accustomed to fast. You might even do it on your half-birthday, at the change of the seasons and just because you need it. It doesn’t have to be your birthday or half birthday for example to go on retreat with me. (Click here to get ready for the next Refill Your Cup weekend.)

This is why birthdays matter. They are a celebration of you. They are a chance to practice gratitude for all you have and acknowledge all the gifts of another year here. It’s a chance to choose joy in the moment and plan for creating moments of joy in the future.

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