You are worth celebrating!

I not long ago celebrated my birthday. Yay! Happy Birthday me! I love enjoying other people’s birthdays and I love the concept of birthdays, a whole day to celebrate… you! It is such a lovely time to press pause on activities that are often about everyone else and turn the spotlight on you even if it is just for a brief moment. As we age, birthdays are often shunned as an acknowledgement of our demise, the clock ticking on our life … but that is just so sad. When did birthdays become something that can arouse anxiety, fear and dread? Remember when we were young (er) and we counted down, “Only 364 days until my birthday!” We corrected our parents if they miscalculated our actual age “I am not 6, I am 6 and a half!” We took delight in choosing the cake, writing the guest list and the most important part, being very specific with exactly what presents we wanted. We made sure that everyone was very clear that we wanted that Strawberry Shortcake house or the He-Man figurine.

As we accumulate birthdays it seems the emphasis on the celebration dims and we just long for some time out, a night off from cooking or a sleep in ... meh.

I must admit, with complete transparency, this year for my birthday I didn’t ask for anything in particular, I wasn’t pressuring anyone to create the perfect day, I didn’t even request a sleep in. But now that I think of it no one really asked either! So I just went with the flow expecting nothing. I often find myself in conversations where people confess that among the busy-ness of life their interests have faded, they've disconnected from the things that bring them joy and have forgotten about who they are. When it comes to focusing on their own needs like around birthdays they are at a loss with what to do, not knowing how to celebrate who they are. Unfortunately, I hear this all the time.

When spending time tending to the needs of others whether it is family, your partner, staff, students, patients, or clients it is easy to become lost in the sea of needs. You can be guaranteed the waves of needs will keep coming at you 24/7, it can be relentless. The result can leave you feeling deflated, exhausted and even ignored. So how do you protect yourself so you have the energy, the time and the vigour to celebrate your life each and every day? It really is simple. Bring on the cake and balloons!

Do more of what you love.

It's party time! Allow yourself guilt-free time during your day (each and every day) to do something that you love. It might be reading a book, listening to music, having a healthy breakfast, going for a walk, having a cup of tea, even watching your favourite show on TV. Whatever it is do more of it! These activities are a priority, not something you will get to if you have the time. These activities are the energisers, the cup fillers, the soul feeders. Without doing the things you love days will drag on, people will continue to take from you and you will wonder where your time has gone.

Instead with a little dose of you time in your day, very quickly you will have the energy to give to others, you will have the joy to inject into life and time will be full but with the things you choose!

Now that is worth celebrating.

Angela