My Birthday Intentions:
I’m celebrating my birthday this month – not a “big one” with a zero – that was last year. Nope, this year it’s just a regular birthday. Sixty-one, to be precise. There was a time not that long ago when protecting my age was really important to me. I didn’t want anyone to know how old I was. And let’s face, we do get judged based on our age. Especially women. I’m not sure why older men are considered sexy and older women are considered sad. Not sure I ever will get that.
But what I do get is that I’m not going to hide or apologize anymore.
I am 61 (almost) and I have learned so much in those years. So, I’m going to wear them proudly. And celebrate the wisdom and love and knowledge that those years have brought me.
Here’s my list of intentions of the coming year, followed by a list of ideas for helping you celebrate you – because really regardless of the number, you’re pretty amazing!
- To strive for balance. Life is not a zero-sum game. No one has to lose so I can win. There’s more than enough of everything to go around, if we work toward balance. Balance arrives when we stop holding on so tightly and trust. Prepare and then believe.
- To give and receive grace freely – even (perhaps especially) when it’s hard. Sometimes receiving grace can be even harder than giving it. I tend to be rather hard on myself – the negative voice in my head can be very loud. So this year, I’m going to try to turn down the volume on that voice and I’m also going to take the gift of grace at face value. When my friends and family show me the gift of grace, I want to accept it without question. And I want to give more grace to those around me. I want to be curious, not judgmental.
- To see joy. This year, I’m going to consciously check in with myself and ask whether I’m seeing joy. Joy is always there but it’s so easy to put your head down and push, push, push. When the holidays become a chore and not a joyous time of celebration or when birthdays are a time of anxiety rather than happiness at all that’s been accomplished we deprive ourselves of the joy that we should be feeling. So, this time around the sun I’m going to make a deliberate practice of seeing the joy in the moment.
I’ve created some simple reminders for myself – Post-It notes are involved – but also some more subtle reminders. There’s a set of decorative scales that serve as a reminder each time I see them to check in and see how I’m doing with balance. I’ve printed off a photo of balloons and taped it to the inside of the closet door because balloons remind me of joy. I’ve placed a Buddha statue in a prominent place. The statue was a gift from a friend who has shown me a great deal of grace. I can see it each morning and it’s a reminder that grace and loving kindness for myself and others go hand in hand.
It’s my new year – and I think I’m ready!
And here’s that list of birthday ideas – including a link to a list of 101 places that offer you something free on your birthday!
Fair warning – most of these involve food and you might have to sign up for newsletters or email to get the free thing. My niece is an ace at this free birthday thing – I’m going to follow her example this year! In moderation, of course!
Because birthdays are about more than free coffee and doughnuts, spend some time contemplating where you’ve been and where you are going.
Then, let those contemplations become intentions and help them take root with this birthday meditation.
Doesn’t matter whether you believe astrology is real or just for fun. Reading your horoscope is thought provoking.
You won’t always be surrounded by friends on your birthday – but you can still make it special!