Big birthdays can mean a lot of different things—here’s how to choose to celebrate yourself.
Posted in , May 10, 2019
When I turned 10, my next-door neighbor came to the fence between our yards with a crisp $10 bill in her hand. “For your double-digits!” she said excitedly. Ten dollars! It was an epic, unexpected gift from a kind neighbor. It made me feel special, seen and like I had accomplished something just by being myself.
This year, I have another milestone birthday coming up, and I have, let’s just say, been having some feelings about it. But a benefit of getting older is that I have learned to take the time to reflect, to look closely enough at this moment in my life to embrace it with peace, joy and celebration.
1) Give a Little
Why not use your birthday as an opportunity to make the world a better place? Think about a charity or organization that is meaningful to you, and organize a fundraising page online, a volunteer event or other way to channel your celebration into a way to serve the community you call home. After all, as Francis of Assisi famously put it, “For it is in giving that we receive.”
2) Take a Little
Celebrating a birthday is a little like accepting a compliment—it’s tempting to brush off the well-wishes with a humble, “oh, it’s no big deal.” But especially on a milestone year, embrace having reached this moment in your life—and letting others share their thoughts of love and encouragement with you, either with simple words or with a bona fide birthday party.
3) Make a Fresh Start
A milestone birthday could be said to represent the end of a chapter in your life—but it most certainly also brings the beginning of a new one. There are countless ways to let your birthday launch you forward—a change of career, a family or housing decision, or a smaller shift like learning a new language or musical instrument. Take some time to reflect on what you want your next chapter to be about, then get started writing it.