I love birthdays. A day where each person is celebrated simply for arriving in life. Aging has not diminished this joy. In fact, it’s illuminated the blessing of a birthday and another year. Another year with those I love. Another year growing. Another year laughing. Another year witness to heartbreak. Another year contributing. Another year of wonders. Another year part of community. Another year of gratitude.
I view my birthday as my own January 1st. New Year’s Day… Emily style. I fill both the day – and actually the month – with people and things that feed my soul and put me in the best state to start my new year. This year included time with my parents eating birthday cake (my grandmother’s fruit cocktail cake recipe to be exact), a two-day mindful leader summit with a best friend, a spa pedicure, a mindful walk soaking up the colors of my season on tree leaves, Orange Theory Fitness‘ “Hell Week,” a few more long calls with far away friends, a little more reflective quiet time, a stack of Halloween cards sent to loved ones, a haircut, new yarn for the next knitted baby blanket gift, time reading, and a favorite dinner with ice cream to follow. Nothing fancy but fulfilling.
As I get still and listen, here is what my heart speaks…
- Find the people in this world who care for, accept, inspire, and support you – hold them tight and connect them with others in your circle to build a meaningful community
- Make space for you in your life – be purposeful in how you spend time on things that recharge you, you’re worth it
- Build a relationship with the universe – for me this is Sunday morning in the church chapel, walks in nature, meditation, and written prayers; the connection to something bigger gives much needed perspective
- Stretch yourself – through books, classes, conversations, music, and differing ideas, as we should not remain contained within the same limited beliefs year over year and decade over decade of our life
- Bring joy into your life and those of others – dance in your kitchen as you make dinner, be silly with a young child, share your gratitude, hold a hug 10 seconds longer, sing at the top of your lungs with the windows down on a sunny day, send flowers to a loved one, text “you’re on my mind and I love you,” or drop off a pie
- Give what you can to those in need – we all need help
My birthday wish is to embrace more of all of these things in my new year… and am grateful for the time to do so.