How Do You Want to Celebrate?
I’m celebrating a birthday this month, it’s not one of those “big” ones, but I still love to celebrate. My kids tease me that I call July “My Birthday Month.” They’re not wrong. I have multiple rituals around the month of my birth. Most are low key. Many involve nature or food or family and close friends. Some rituals are internal, assessing the last year, looking forward to what I want and hope for going forward, journaling and setting some intentions to mention a few.
My actual birthday celebration will be simple with just family… and CAKE. I’ll do a 7 mile hike to a point on the seashore with my husband, Chip and Murphy, our dog. I’ve been taking this route on my birthday for years, first running, now walking. It’s become a tradition, a tradition that I love.
Celebrations are personal. We all have different ideas of what feels good and is meaningful.
How Do You Like to Celebrate Yourself or Your Milestones?
Doing the same thing on my birthday most years feels good to me. I like the ritual of it. Even as it is the same 7 miles each year, the walk is different as the wind and sea change the landscape. But it is also the same, awe inspiring beauty, the sounds of the birds and the ripples of the small waves in the bay fill me with joy each year.
You might have a ritual that you do every year. It could be a big or all day thing—a big barbecue with everyone you know a full day at a spa. It could also be a small action that you do no matter what else happens in the day, like making a wish when you first get up or cake for breakfast.
What kind of celebration or celebratory ritual would you enjoy?
- Who do you want to celebrate with? Do you like to celebrate or conduct a ritual by yourself? Would you rather have dinner with a few people or a big party with a lot of people?
- What do you love? Your celebration might center around good food, dancing, singing, being outdoors, games, sharing stories and laughter … what do you love, what do you want to be part of “your day”?
- What feels meaningful? Do you like being surrounded by people you love? having your kids share a memory with you? baking a cake with a family favorite recipe? writing a letter to yourself to read next year (one of my favorites)? Making meaning shouldn’t create pressure and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Create Your Own Celebration Ritual
When I was a kid, my birthday was in summer, and friends weren’t around for a party. Instead I got to choose what we ate and what we did. I use this same framework for my birthday even now.
You can choose how you celebrate. Whether you plan the celebration yourself or somebody plans it for you, you can choose what you want. You might make a ritual that you repeat or adjust annually.
There are so many ways to celebrate! Recently I went to a 60th birthday party for a friend. There were 45 women there. I didn’t know most of them, but it was amazing to meet all these friends of my friend, and see many facets of her life reflected in the amazing women.
I have another friend who plans mini celebrations throughout her birthday month, cake with one, dinner with another, a beautiful walk with another. It gives her a chance to spend time with people important to her and really give each attention.
So what would your celebration ritual look like? What would be meaningful and joyful for you?
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Hi, I’m Melanie!
I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.
I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.
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