I am firmly in the camp of those who believe your birthday is a great day to celebrate you. In fact, really, I am among those who would stretch it happily over an entire week or longer if given the opportunity.
Yet I recently read about Dr. Christiane Northrup’s advice to Oprah about celebrating birthdays differently as a means to live agelessly. She says in a clip (see below) from her discussion with Oprah for Super Soul Sunday, that she doesn’t want to see her milestone birthdays becoming millstones. “In our culture, it says you’re running out of time. You only have so much left.”
Who over the age of 40 hasn’t felt that way?
Northrup’s plan is to celebrate more than just surviving to one of the big-O birthdays. Instead she wants to focus on all of her accomplishments and things she is proud of from the past year. Then, she suggests, you’re celebrating your increased competence and enhanced worth.
This is a great perspective to take at a birthday – whatever age you are turning. This treats the birthday as a time for reflection and valuing our own self worth. This sounds more in line with what the Victorians thought of birthdays, as discussed in a previous blog. The only worry is that this might make things worse for those who’ve endured a tough year and are prone to more desperate thinking as a milestone birthday draws near.
Maybe Northrup’s idea needs to be tweaked further. Your birthday is a day to take a look back at the positive things that have happened — and celebrate them — but also a day to look ahead and set some realistic goals for the positive change you can bring about in the coming year.