Last weekend, someone said to me that only milestone birthdays should be celebrated in a big way. I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment.
Every single birthday should be celebrated and here’s why: Life is fragile and we should be grateful that we get to experience another year.
When it’s your day, don’t just blow out candles, cross off bucket list items — big or small. Each day, so many people lose out on this life we’re given. Livelihood should never be taken for granted. Why wait until a decade passes to celebrate that?
It sounds grim, but you may not have that decade to wait. Like I once wrote, I don’t have time for time. Just like you have to find a way to be happy every day, you have to find a way to celebrate every birthday you have.
When I say celebrate, I don’t necessarily mean fancy trips or elaborate adventures; I mean finding a way to make yourself happy and make your life stand out… if just for a moment.
On your birthday (and every day) the small things can be big things.
Maybe you don’t go out to eat often. On your birthday, if feasible, go out and order an appetizer, a drink, entree, and a dessert! A lot of restaurants offer free treats on your special day, too. All it takes is a simple Google search ahead of time. Wherever you go, or whatever you do, take your own balloons with you! You’re never too old for balloons. Find a show in town that you’d love to see or drive away and escape for the night.
Gather people you enjoy being around and share the moment. Explore a new place or an old place. Do your own thing. After all, you should always be your own best friend. Bottom line, what you chose to do on your birthday is not important. Just do something to celebrate your life. Birthdays are not an age celebration or a number celebration, they’re life celebrations.
Here’s the thing, if you wait for your 20, 30, 40, or 50th (and beyond), you’re setting yourself up to believe that there will always be more — more time to live, more time to celebrate. But if you treat every birthday like a momentous occasion, we set our minds up to celebrate every day, to collect moments. It’s not even about the yearly celebrations as much as it is about finding the celebration in all things — especially you.
To celebrate my recent 31st birthday, here is my own gift to you. Thirty-one pearls of wisdom (because 31 is just as important as 30). After 31 years on this earth, I’ve learned some things that have led me to have the outlook on life that I do.
1. Don’t apologize for who you love.
2. But don’t forget to love yourself more.
3. Listen more than you speak.
4. But never silence yourself.
5. Give more than you receive.
6. But never empty your cup.
7. And when your cup is getting low, fill yours the most.
8. Love others wholeheartedly.
9. But love yourself first.
10. Not everyone is your friend.
11. But the ones who are, really are.
12. Family is a priority.
13. But blood isn’t always thicker than water.
14. Don’t sleep on your dreams.
15. Do at least one thing every day that takes you one step closer to those dreams.
16. Go with your gut.
17. But don’t be too safe that you forget to live.
18. Live your passions.
19. Be more daring than realistic.
20. Realistic is safe and we don’t always have time to play it safe.
21. Have experiences that may not be good for you.
22. Know that failing isn’t really failing.
23. Carry peace with you more than you carry your burdens.
24. Variety really is the spice of life — it’s not so cliché.
25. Because life is way too short to live mundane and routinely.
26. Never discount your past.
27. If you do, you’re discounting your whole story.
28. If you died trying, you were a success.
29. Seek less reassurance.
30. Don’t allow people’s opinions to dictate your life.
31. If you agree with everything, what do you stand for?
These 31 pearls of wisdom didn’t come to me once every decade. As I lived each day and each year of my life these realities sunk in. This is why I believe there is something to be said for not waiting for a specific time to celebrate your life. You must always find a way to celebrate the life you are creating for yourself.