It’s been a little quiet on the blog these past few weeks (sorry guys), but seriously, June is crazy for us. In a two week period David and I celebrate our anniversary (Sweet 16 this year!) and all three kids have birthdays. Add to that my mom’s birthday, Fathers Day, and the last day of school — ahhhh! We’re right in the middle of the chaos as I type! In honor of the big birthday month, I created the Birthday Blueprint: 8 simple ways to make your birthday more meaningful.
My siblings and I must have hit the jackpot when we were growing up because when our birthdays rolled around, our parents celebrated us for at least a week. Sometimes longer. David jokes we have birthday “seasons” instead of days. My grandparents were alcoholics most of my mom’s childhood, so she was determined to give us the childhood she never had. It wasn’t about throwing us elaborate parties or showering us with expensive gifts — she just made sure we knew our lives were valuable and that the world was better for having us in it.
Is there any better gift than that?!
In a noisy world, my mom looked for little ways to whisper our worth until it was seared on our souls. Her simple offerings of love aimed like a missile against every messed up message designed to dismantle the truth of who we were — treasured, valued, unique, gifted, cherished, beloved.
She knew one day we’d need to own those truths for ourselves. Know them deep down so when the people around us were too broken to remind us, or when we failed at something (or everything) for the thousandth time, we’d remember the truth on our own.
Sadly, even with a formidable foundation like that, I sometimes forget. I get so busy meeting the needs of everyone else, I forget to attend to my own.
Can you relate?
I know you’re busy but I hope you won’t let another year go by without attending to that beautiful soul of yours!!! Here are a few things I’ve learned about making birthdays meaningful as an adult:
8 Ways to Make Your Birthday More Meaningful
- Cross Something off Your Bucket List – Gifts are great but memories are what make life special, so make your next birthday rich with memories by doing something you haven’t done before.
- Come Up with a Theme for the Upcoming Year – Many people come up with one word, phrase or scripture to help them define the direction of their life around the new year, but there’s something intimate about drawing inspiration for your life on your birthday and letting it serve as vision throughout the year.
- Review Your Goals and Dreams – Take the temperature on the fire that is, or once was, burning inside of you. Remind yourself why you were passionate about those things to begin with. Be honest with yourself if you’ve genuinely lost interest or shifted your priorities or if a certain goal is going to have to wait for a different season in your life. Set yourself free from the pressure to make it happen all at once. It’s okay! Take a breath and focus on the things that are most important to you now.
- Practice Gratitude – Exercising thankfulness is the best way to fast track happiness. Paying attention to the small ways we’re blessed takes us from not having enough to knowing there’s more than enough. I’m surprised how well it works when I feel angry or anxious — it usually snaps me right out of fear or scarcity. One way to practice gratitude on a special occasion is with the You Are Special Plate. While enjoying a meal, each person at the table takes turns saying something they appreciate about the person being celebrated. On birthdays, it’s nice to point out something they’ve seen develop in that person’s character over the past year. At the end, the birthday girl/boy remarks on a way they’ve seen themselves grow. I had this exact plate growing up! *affiliate
- Set Your Relationships Right – Sometimes things are completely out of our control, but if at all possible, don’t let your birthday go by without making your relationships right to the best of your ability. It’s easy to let days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years without resolving offenses that have come between you and someone you care about. Birthdays are the perfect time for a fresh start!
- Splurge a Little – Light the candles, draw the bath, eat the chocolate and drink the wine. Birthdays are no place for fasting! Birthdays are for feasting and by being surrounded by the people you love. Don’t deprive yourself of enjoying the good things God has given.
- Schedule a Getaway – Value yourself enough to schedule some R&R. Don’t fall into the fear trap and forgo investing in yourself in this way. Because, this is just crazy! If you can’t afford a fancy trip, plan a staycation — either way, do not neglect your need for refreshment and reflection!
- Communicate Your Expectations – As much as we like the idea of our loved ones surprising us with coffee, cupcakes, and confetti, (or bread, cheese, and wine!), chances are, if you have specific expectations, they’ll need a nudge in the right direction. If you want to get away for the weekend but never mention it to your tribe, they’ll have no way of knowing. Communicate your needs so they have the chance to celebrate in a way that will be memorable for you.
The Birthday Blueprint
I left some blank space for you to customize your own Birthday Blueprint.
Send Me The Printable!