Not all annual self-directed celebrations are created equal

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 10:37 PM | comments: 0

Back in the day when I worked at Penton Media with arguably one of the most fun crowds of people I've ever known, my friend Mike Freeze described the week of his birthday as "Mike Freeze Week." This resonated with me, and it has stuck with me ever since because to me it meant that the celebration of your birthday should be more about how you celebrate your existence yourself than how others might.

I've generally carried on this tradition, making time for myself every last week of June/first week of July. I try to think of things that I want to do, make them happen, and refuse to feel guilty for thinking of myself. Last year seemed particularly epic in scope. While I had some anxiety around moving, my week was more of a month. Two weeks before we nailed down the decision to move (and sold the house in two days), and I didn't do the actual move and start the new job until two weeks after. Prior to that even I was working a contract gig and billing an insane $100/hour, so there was little to no financial concern over work, with the new job starting soon anyway. Sometimes I would sleep in, other times I would go hang out at BWW and work on a project. We went to Cedar Point a bunch and visited the zoo. I've never spent as much time with Simon. It was awesome.

This year, my birthday kind of crept up on me. As in, I didn't even realize it was approaching until Sunday. I made no plans, and I wasn't really stoked about it. I'm really focused on the new job, which I just started. And if that weren't enough, well, my birthday is on a Wednesday and I had to go to Tampa. If Diana hadn't made one of my favorite dinners and a cake, it might have just been any old day.

What it really comes down to is that the timing just wasn't ideal this year for me to focus on me during "my" week. I'm OK with that. Aside from our misadventures in Ohio, I had a couple of really fantastic weeks of fun and (mostly) got to enjoy everything that makes it fun to be me. This weekend, I look forward to taking it easy and enjoying some quiet time while watching my friend's dog.


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