Do Scary Things on Your Birthday

I just celebrated my birthday and it was awesome.

birthday0315First, I had breakfast with my family, then a mocha at my favorite café, got my nails done, had happy hour with a dear friend, then dinner with my kids hosted by another close friend. I told everyone I came across during the day that it was my birthday, and all were gracious in their good wishes for me. All in all it was a fantastic day, another milestone in the year that I’ve themed the year of relaxing.

The day wasn’t perfect, though. A few things didn’t go as planned. For example:

I spilled tea all over me and my clothes (on my way to work). Shoot!

I messed up the nail polish on my big toe as soon as the appointment was over. Darn it!

My specialty—homemade frozen mango margaritas—came out lumpy and fell short of my usual standards. I was a bit embarrassed to serve them to my friend. Oops!

And you know what? None of these things got me down.

They might have, on another day, but not on my birthday.

Why am I telling you this?

If you are like me, you feel invincible on your birthday. For that 24-hour period, the swell of goodwill that the day brings outweighs any negativity that comes your way, big or small.

I think that is why you hear about people doing outrageous things on their birthday, like jumping out of airplanes and getting tattoos. We’re brave on our birthdays.

So that makes me wonder: how can we bottle that energy for other times of the year?

Here are some qualities of birthdays that could be replicated on non-birthday days:

  • Having authentic connections with other people. I made an effort to connect with people around me. I had a smile on my face, shared tidbits about myself, asked open-ended questions, and listened to the answers with curiosity.
  • Prioritizing what makes you feel joyful. I spent time with a few select clients (I love my job) and arranged my schedule to allow for me time, a mix of alone time to refuel my batteries and time with friends to feel surrounded by love and companionship. I thought about what I wanted my day to feel like, made an informal schedule, and then adapted it as the day progressed.
  • Practicing gratitude. I did not take the day’s happenings, and the relationships that are important to me, for granted. I thanked people for their graciousness and took time to appreciate the natural world around me (it helped that the weather was gorgeous). There are many ways to practice gratitude; it’s one of the keys to being present with your life.

These three attributes were all I needed to feel brave, courageous, and to a certain extent, invincible, on my special day. By applying an upbeat energy to my day, I felt like I could tackle anything.

I wonder what else could be possible if we all lived every day like it was our birthday?

It will be fun to give it a try!

Photo credit: Meredith Bell 43 Austin’s 13th Birthday 2012-Edit via photopin (license)

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