Way back in the day, I celebrated a birthday week. That was it… one measly week. Then, I moved to another town and met Mary Ann who was much, much wiser than I. She celebrated her birthday for an entire month. You read that right… an entire month. It just so happens that her birthday is in September so she was my mentor during my first ever birthday month. And… since the year 2001 I have celebrated the birthday month. In the beginning, the month-long celebration involved extra glasses of wine and many, many sweets, but it’s different now… I know my close friends just rolled their eyes a bit. I admit… I still have extra glasses of wine and likely an abundance of treats, but since The Birthday Bust of 2014, my birthday month has taken on a bit of a different tone.
The Birthday Bust: 2014 was the year that I had the biggest of celebrations planned during the month since I was turning 40. There were fun runs, trips to Vegas and Mexico, new heels and so much more… and then I fell and severely broke my leg. It’s okay now since I learned many valuable lessons from that experience, but at the time, I made Debbie Downer look happy.
Sometimes, the best lessons are learned by being forced to slow down and appreciate what is right in front of you. While there were buckets of tears during September 2014, there were many moments that friends that had been MIA came around for visits, Adam waited on me hand and foot, I had a week of laughing, chilling and watching movies with just my mom (and she too waited on me hand in foot… it was kind of a competition between the mother-in-law and husband. They tied… both were amazing), and on the most special day of the month… September 15th, my husband planned the most beautiful surprise party. (Moment of gushing… there are times that Adam jokes that he can’t believe I married him, but I can’t even count the times I’ve fallen in love with him all over again… this was one of those nights.) What I learned to appreciate was time… time spent relaxing, time spent with family and friends, and time spent remembering.
Birthdays are kind of like the new year, but better. During the birthday month, you get the chance to set some goals or intentions for yourself during the coming year. In January, everyone is setting a goal often related to weight loss or health… I will lose X amount of pounds. – I will quit smoking. – I will exercise every day. – I will only cook healthy meals. – etc. The chances are, a hundred other people will have the same goals and then when everyone quits, there is camaraderie in quitting. Birthday goals are better, because it’s a time when you can look at where you are and where you’d like to go. So… here are mine:
Birthday MONTH Intentions:
- Time – I love a good gift, but I’m more up for the gift of time – time sharing a meal, cup of coffee, run chat, etc. The birthday month will include more of this.
- Send More Fan Mail – I’m a total fan of snail mail. A couple year’s back I made a chart of people’s birthday (thank you Facebook) and sent birthday cards to those I had addresses for. I also like to send “just because” cards. I need to do that again. I fell off the wagon.
- Plan the Fall Favorite Things Party – This is a bit of a gift to myself. While the party won’t happen until October, planning it makes for great excitement in my life. Curious? Blog post follow-up will come later.
- Keep on Rocking my Health Plan – After a summer of overindulging, I followed the guidelines of Whole 30 to reset my body. I’ve completely kicked my crappy carb and sugar addiction. While wine was hard, I’ve been okay without it. It’s my birthday month, and don’t get me wrong… I will celebrate, but I’m going to use better judgement.
- Run with ♥ – After some debate over summer, I decided not to run a fall marathon. Then I planned to run a half marathon… but decided against it. My work/life balance was struggling after a tough start to the school year. One thing I learned, and learned well, from The Birthday Bust is that I GET to run… I don’t HAVE to run. If I’m forcing myself into a run and compromising the enjoyment then there’s a problem. So… I’m off to 5k and 10k land and since they are shorter (but not always sweeter) I’m going to run with my heart and if I explode… well… there will be always be another… but the first chance of explosion is September 9th.
Birthday YEAR Intentions:
- Let It Go – Remember… we can’t control others and we are not tacos… there’s no pleasing everyone. After learning this throughout the last year, I’m holding it close to my heart this year.
- Fan Mail – Keep it up.
- Sunscreen – Keep wearing it.
- Run With ♥ – While the Fall marathon is out… there will be a spring one with the “A” goal of a big ol’ PR.
- Home Stuff – Simplify… declutter, cook easy meals, host more dinner parties… again… time is a theme.
- Relationships – Time…. keep making time for them. Adam also has some requests, but this is a PG blog ;o)
So… now you know where I’m headed in the short-term and in the long-term. Ask how the ride is going cause it will hold me accountable, and also, it means we are using the gift on time.
Happy Birthday Month to Me… and you! Whatever month you were lucky enough to claim is a great month to set some goals. What do you say?