Recent events including some family birthdays and the Royal Wedding have put me in the mood to celebrate. If you're looking for a good celebration, my mom is your go-to gal. She's an expert at embracing and celebrating birthdays, holidays, random days -- whatever! Whether it's her own special day or someone else's, she knows what it means to embrace and make the most of a celebration. A few weeks ago I came across the image above (from Kate Spade NY) and it made me pause and think about the difference between a birthday and regular ol' day. It made me ask myself, "What if we celebrated every day like it was our birthday?"
For as long as I've been alive, my mom's been making a big fanfare out of birthdays and holidays, and though at times I've resisted, I've always loved my mom's enthusiasm and exuberance when it comes to celebration. With her leading the way, I grew to love birthdays -- seeing as them as one of the best days of the year. It's a time to feel special, to be celebrated just for being you, and to reflect on the year behind (and ahead) of you.
Why shouldn't we feel special, celebrate ourselves, and take time for reflection every day? Why must we wait for only one day of the year to enjoy life to the fullest? Personally, I think it's time we all took Kate Spade's advice and start celebrating each day -- all day -- like it's our birthdays. Or, better yet, like it's someone else's birthday! Here's how we get started right now:
5 Ways to Celebrate Each Day Birthday-Style
1. Make yourself (and others) feel special. Nothing brings out the specialness in someone like a special day. It's easy to celebrate others (and ourselves) on a big day like a birthday, but what about celebrating others all the time? This doesn't mean every day must be a party, but it does mean we should take some time to break from our busy lives and recognize someone for being the special someone he or she is. A random card sent in the mail, a surprise cake baked just for them -- there are so many little ways we can make other people feel special on an ordinary day. And we can do the same thing for ourselves. Every once and awhile, treat yourself to something nice. It can be anything -- from a day at the spa to a long walk in the middle of the day -- but make it something special.
2. Treat yourself to something out of the ordinary. As I mentioned in point one, one of the best things about birthdays is that they are days that we feel special; they are out-of-the-ordinary kinds of days. We let ourselves do things we normally wouldn't. We embrace life and the things we love most about it. And why shouldn't we do that every day? Every day is an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. Yes, you may be tethered to a job and some unfortunate routines, but that doesn't mean you can't mix it up a bit. Put some sprinkles in your cereal. Buy yourself a balloon. Celebrate every day for what it is: amazing.
3. Remind yourself of what you've accomplished. Each year I usually use my birthday as day to reflect on the year. I look back at what I've accomplished (or not accomplished) and try to focus on the good things I've done throughout the year. I've found it to be a worthwhile exercise and something I've always thought I should more often. You don't need to pat yourself on the back every minute, but it wouldn't hurt to take a moment every once and awhile to think about all of the things you've done and be proud of the person you are.
4. Experience the present fully. You've heard it before, but it's true: life is short. One minute you're a child and the next you're working full time and rushing through your day-to-day routines. It's often special occasions that offer us an excuse to relax, do what we love, and fully appreciate the moment. But, in my opinion, there's no need to wait until you're next big day to appreciate the present moment. You might not be living out your perfect birthday on a daily basis, but you are probably experiencing some pretty great things. If you take the time to look around you, to be fully present, you can make the most of any day -- birthday or not!
5. Look forward to what is to come. Birthdays are a good time to reflect on the past year, but they are also great days to look forward to the future. Yes, focusing on the present is fantastic, but it never hurts to look a bit at the future and look forward to all of the great things to come. Even if it might not always seem like it, exciting things are coming your way. Life really is an adventure and you never know what can happen. Take time each day to get excited about what is to come. Whether you realize it or not, every day is an opportunity for a fresh start, the same way every birthday is the beginning of the next year of your life. Stay focused on the present, but don't be afraid to look forward to your future.
Some might argue that treating every day like it's your birthday might dampen the celebratory nature of your actual birthday, but I say a year is much too long to wait to take part in the joys that make your special day so special. Birthdays and holidays always end up having such build up that they often leave us feeling let down -- but if we celebrate all of our days as if they are special, we'll always be looking for the good, hoping for the best, and seeking out the ways to make the most of the day. No one wants to have a bad birthday so the more you start thinking about every day as a special one, you'll always be striving to have a good day. Start each day as if it's your birthday and you'll be in for a year filled with special days!