Whether you’re celebrating solo or with friends or family, take time for gratitude and joy on your special day.
Posted in , May 12, 2017
Tomorrow is my birthday—and I’m at an age when not everyone looks forward to cake and presents. I love my birthday, though. It always makes me feel excited to be alive, grateful for my life and family and mind and body. Some birthdays are more overtly celebratory than others (lucky me, this year my birthday is on a Saturday!), but I have found that even if your birthday is a regular old day at work or home, there are some easy ways to elevate it to the special occasion it is.
1. Give a Gift to Someone Else
They say it’s better to give than to receive, and while everyone loves to open a birthday present, there’s a surge of joy and goodness to be gained from being generous with others. Making a birthday donation to a charity that means something to you—this year I will donate to the Sierra Club—is a great way to make your values known to the world around you. One option is to donate a dollar amount to match your age.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
2. Try Something New
Today you are starting a new loop around the sun—why not embrace the new-ness of the moment by dipping your toes into some new waters? Download an app to learn a new language, sign up for an adult education class, go for a walk in a new-to-you park, sample a new cuisine—do something that reminds you that your life is an ever-unfolding story, with myriad opportunities to freshen up your routine.
3. Revel in Your Relationships
Whether or not you have the opportunity to share a meal, outing or party with friends and family, take time on your birthday to connect with people who are important to your life. If you use social media like Facebook, you’re likely inundated with well-wishes from loved ones—use these as a jumping-off point to start new conversations and reconnect with people who lift your spirits and support you in your journey toward being your best self.