"Oh no, never tell anyone you're 40! Never over 35."
I shut my eyes and sat there reflecting on why she would say that. Why should a woman's age be such a secret? What's the shame in being a certain age? Some people online have posted that we:
- are ashamed of getting old/don't want the reminder
- like to pretend we are younger than we are
- compare ourselves with Hollywood standards of others who "age well"
- don't like to be labeled or categorized
- believe our greatest value is in beauty and looks
Let's face it, most Americans cling to the goal of "anti-aging" and we are attacked daily by "not young enough" messages but we know deep down that each day added to every year is a blessing!!!
So when your next birthday rolls around and you happen to be feeling blah, here are some birthday celebration ideas of ways to celebrate LIFE and your birthday no matter what your age:
- Dare Me Birthday: I heard one woman share that to celebrate her 30th birthday she completed 30 adventurous dares from friends/family and finished the month with a birthday party to share photos & her stories. [I'm sure there were guidelines of the dares she'd accept- ha]
- RAK: Spend your birthday doing Random Acts of Kindness for others. One RAK for each year of your life then do one for yourself as your one to grow on!
- Epic Vacation Birthday: Save up and go on a vacation of a lifetime. Is Hawaii, Italy, Australia on your bucket list? Maybe your birthday is the perfect time to go epic and celebrate?
- Givers Birthday: "donate" your birthday to an organization like Charity Water or contact a local children's home and organize a party for a child that shares your birthday. You may even decide to throw a birthday party to celebrate all the children's birthdays that share the same birthday month as you.
- Routine Break: Go camping, stay at a B&B, find a cool place to stay on VRBO, escape to a neighboring city or book a last minute travel deal.
- Relax the Day Away: Maybe you are exhausted and don't feel like a big fuss. If so, go ahead & unplug for your special day. Go completely off-line. Treat yourself to a spa service you haven't tried before...seaweed wrap? Fake eye-lashes? Have you always wanted to pour a whole bottle of bubble-bath in the tub? Do it. Or maybe join a relaxation retreat where no electronics are allowed.
- Get Crafty: Have a private celebration or a day with your closest friends and do a creative project you've been putting off. Vision board, dream list, crafting...whatever un-ruffles your feathers.
- Favorite Things Birthday: Since your birthday is about celebrating life and celebrating you, get a pack of note cards, count out one for each year of your life. Now write one thing on each card that is niffy, unique, and wonderful about you or your life. If you get stuck, update your fb status asking for people to describe you in one word. Tape the whole block of cards up on a wall in your home for the month of your birthday.
- Person Touch: Ever heard of the Free Hug movement? In the spirit of community encouragement, go online and make an inexpensive, personalized shirt/button/hat/sign for your birthday that reads in large letters: "It's my birthday - I need a hug." Or if you are a bit more reserved, "It's my birthday. High-five me!" Don't be shy to let people know it's a special day for you.
- Unique Lodging/Spa Retreat: Reserve a spot at the local "dude" ranch, join a yoga retreat, stay in a hotel that has themed rooms or like me, decide to have a girlfriends weekend get-a-way birthday at a boutique hotel matched up with a spa day of massages and facials!
- Dare Devil/Experience Birthday: Sky-dive, I-Fly, visit a "float spa", take archery lessons, go hot-air ballooning, take golf lessons from a Pro, go to a cooking class, do a behind the scenes tour at a local zoo, take a helicopter tour or flying lessons. [internet search for 'gifts of experience' to find things in your area]
- "It's a Wonderful Life" Birthday: Grab your smartphone [or camera/video] and use your camera/video app to record "a day in your life." If making a video, show your typical day and as you record it, share about what makes you grateful for your life. Consider posting it on YouTube or having a DVD made for posterity. If snapping photos is your thing, then create a "Mixbook" album of those pictures with captions about all the great things that make you - You!
These are just a few ideas that I hope will inspire you. :) Aging is a blessing - may you be blessed with many, many, many birthdays and celebrate your life!