Confession: my birthday has always been a quietly sad occasion for me. Not because I’m getting older – that’s bound to happen – but because it’s always felt indulgent to celebrate myself. I’d rather spend that time criticizing who I’ve become because that is what we do as women. It’s dumb and counterproductive and sad. NO MORE. This year, I wanted to be happy and to have a wonderful day – because I was born, because I’m still alive, and because there is much more to do. It was time to let go of the Birthday Blues, once and for all. Read on to see how I did it!
So, what did I do?! Exactly what I wanted. The entire day. I didn’t overthink the year that had just passed. I didn’t overthink the year to come. I simply focused on joy and the activities that bring it to me, in the moment, and on that day. And it was finally, wonderfully and happily simple. It only took me 33 years to get here. But I’m here.
- I took the day off from work and planned out exactly what I wanted to do. Salon. Spa. Shop.
- I woke up early and started the day by smiling – I was going to have a wonderful day.
- I set realistic expectations, though. (I have a tendency to live in black or white circumstances – either things are WONDERFUL!!!! or they are HORRIBLE…which is exhausting). I told myself that things might not work out perfectly today – someone could bump into me on the sidewalk and spill my coffee, the train could be late, or no one would post on my Facebook wall with birthday greetings. And all of those things would be okay with no significant meaning other than the circumstances of a normal day.
- I ate what I wanted for breakfast: a donut with sprinkles and a coffee, compliments of my grandmother’s gift card to Starbucks.
- I went to the salon for highlights and a blowdry – only Marilyn Monroe hair would do, of course.
- I went for a mani/pedi and massage at the Virgin Hotel spa – thanks to my sweet boyfriend – who set it all up for me. I just showed up and they pampered me!
- I took myself out for lunch – read a book, drank a mimosa and sat outside. One should never be afraid to eat alone! It is one of the joys of life, forcing you to be comfortable with your own company.
- I went shopping with my gift cards and my birthday coupons! Don’t forget that Sephora gives it’s VIB Beauty Insiders a birthday gift and that DSW gives you $5 off your purchase on your birthday! Plus, I had a gift card to Ulta from my aunt.
- I opened gifts from my family – my sister always gives me the best, most perfect presents.
- I got dressed up in blue from head to toe, an irreverant F-you to my birthday blues of years past.
- I went out for dinner with my man at a restaurant I’d always wanted to try – Ada Street in Chicago. It was fantastic!
- I ate a grocery-store cupcake – my favorite kind with the most sugary icing and fun-fetti batter.
- I responded with a thank you to every single well wish I received because each one was special and I was so grateful to even receive one, let alone 100!
- I went to sleep smiling, just as I’d woken up that morning. And that’s all I could’ve asked for.
Bring it on 33. This is my year to be happy with who I am, and to go out and get more of my piece of the pie – with kindness, integrity and gusto. For those of you with birthdays coming up soon, I beg of you to take it by the horns and celebrate you. You are worth it, and you deserve it.
Outfit Details: Navy Satin Tuxedo dress: Dolce Vita, purchased second-hand at Crossroads Trading Company in Brooklyn // Blue Snakeskin belt: Alice & Olivia, purchased second-hand at Crossraods Trading Company in Los Angeles // Navy Embossed Clutch: Gigi New York // Blue Suede Fringed Stilettos: Steve Madden // Gold bib necklace: handmade in Mexico