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Guest Column

Why I Love My Birthday (and you should love yours too)!

Melissa Cohen, LCSW

Thursday, December 5, 2013 • 11:56am

Before I delve into my love of my birthday, I want to address 3 common reasons that others give for birthday dread:

  • “I don’t need a reminder that I am getting old.”  The truth is, I am not loving the aging process but I know I am just getting started.   Rather than fretting about aging, I choose to focus on the fact that “the good old days” are happening right now. Isn’t it better to enjoy the time while you have it?
  • “Its just another day.”  Well, of course it is.  Even the best and worst days of your life are just days.  Each one is 24 hours long, so why not take the opportunity for joy?
  • “I don’t want the attention.” This statement seems to be connected to the idea that a birthday is a time to look at yourself and where you are in this point of your life.  This seems especially true on milestone birthdays.  If you use your birthday as a time of reassessment and find there is a gap between who you are and who you want to be, you have two choices:  you can either make the necessary changes or accept yourself as you are.  Both choices are valid but perhaps on your birthday, you can go easy on yourself.

Now for the top 5 reasons I love my birthday:

1.  Special things happen on my birthday. For example, my husband has written me poems on my birthday.  My children bring me breakfast in bed.  I catch up with friends from all the phases of my life.  This doesn’t happen on an ordinary Tuesday.

2.  get to wear my birthday shirt.  When I was a broke social worker living in New York City, shopping was a luxury I could not afford.   However, I always treated myself to a special shirt to wear out on the town with my friends for my birthday.  When, I told this story to a dear friend, she bought me a t-shirt with the words “Birthday Girl” bedazzled on it.  When I wear it every year, I am reminded of our friendship and how much it means to me.

3.  I love to celebrate!  We can get so caught up in the mundane, monotonous and stressful aspects of life.  We focus on all the things on our to do lists, rather than all the good in our lives. I will celebrate almost any occasion because it reminds me that life is sweet and joy is often just waiting for us to invite it in.

4. My birthday is the only day of the year that I consciously make a wish. I take a deep breath, I focus on the light of the candle and make a heartfelt request and send it out.   I really like this ritual, perhaps because it is the opposite of what I usually do, which is set intentions.  I always say that the difference between an intention and a wish is action.  Making a wish on my birthday reminds me that it is okay to stop trying so hard, stop taking action, and just relax.

5.  The most important reason that I love my birthday is also the most obvious: people say “Happy Birthday” to me.  It is the one day a year that almost everyone I come in contact with wishes me happiness (especially since I am wearing my sparkly birthday girl shirt). It is like a getting a booster shot of positive energy!  Who wouldn’t want more of that?

I hope that my enthusiasm for my birthday inspires you to love your own–to really celebrate your birthday, and yourself, in your own unique way.

 

 

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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