Celebrate your own birthday

posted by Jeff | Thursday, July 1, 2021, 5:30 PM | comments: 0

In my second "real" job, at Penton Media, I met my friend Mike. I learned fairly soon that he declared an entire week around his birthday as being named for him, and celebrated accordingly. This is something that I started to embrace for myself thereafter, to varying degrees, depending on the year. It was a big deal when I turned 30, for example, but being in the midst of our Florida move, went largely unrecognized at 40.

There are a lot of reasons I think you should celebrate yourself, at least annually. By the time you get into your teenage years, birthdays become less important to you. Mine was always joined with Independence Day, which was also my great-grandmother's birthday (she lived to her mid-90's, when I was in high school), so it was never entirely my day alone. And to be clear, I think that's fine.

But as I got older, I did notice that birthdays, along with Christmas and the various "greeting card" holidays, came with a lot of baggage among some adults. Far too many people use these occasions as ways to measure how much others love or appreciate them, a kind of test of sorts. That's pretty toxic and gross. And now everyone has a day, and collectively there are too many days. Can't we just respect, appreciate and value people everyday instead of having to make it a point once a year?

I realize that I am probably not culturally aligned with most everyone here, but I've just not maintained any expectation that others should be celebrating me on a special day. That's why I feel pretty good about taking a week to celebrate myself and do the things that I want. Sure, I get significant attention from Diana and Simon, but I have zero expectation of it.

I've got some interesting activities coming this week.


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