Each month we’re celebrating someone’s birthday, if it is your birthday this month, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! If it isn’t, your month will be here before you know it.
“Your birthday is the beginning of your own personal new year. Your first birthday was a beginning, and each new birthday is a chance to begin again, to start over, to take a new grip on life.” __ Wilfred Peterson
I believe birthdays are special and are to be acknowledged and celebrated. They don’t have to be about expensive dinners, exotic trips or elaborate gifts. No matter what birthday you are celebrating, whether you are in your teens, turning 21, hitting 30, approaching 50, getting sassy in your 70’s, reaching 80’s, 90’s and beyond, consider this…….there are people that never made it to your age. You have friends and/or relatives that never celebrated the birthday you get to celebrate. My good friend, Dessie, never made it. My cousins, Debbie, Diane, Rita, Irene, and Clarence never made it to my age. Wow, how sobering. I mention this not to make you sad, but, to encourage you to reflect on your gift of life.
“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” __ George Meredith
Each birthday is a blessing and awesome gift in itself. The older I get the longer my husband and I celebrate. We use to celebrate the day, then a weekend, advanced to a week, and we have reached the point where we now celebrate an entire birthday month. I love it! How is that for acknowledging our gift of life?
You are probably asking, “What do you do to celebrate for an entire month?” It takes imagination and frequently telling the person, Happy Birthday during the month. This year, we enjoyed a great birthday month for my husband. The month started with a surprise jazz weekend get-a-way, our friends met us at the event and shocked him with his favorite cake topped off with glowing candles for him to blow out. We had multiple dinner dates with friends at surprise locations. Each time we went out to eat during his birthday month, the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday. The Italian restaurant sang in Italian and the Mexican restaurant sang in Spanish. The bonus was a yummy dessert with a candle.
Birthdays can be an empowering experience. By taking the path of self-empowered birthdays, we can push back against the loss of purpose that too often comes as our years advance.
What Are Self-Empowered Birthdays?
A Self-empowered birthday means taking control of one’s life, learning, updating and improving skills, taking risks, building confidence, assuming power over personal circumstances, and developing the resilience to overcome inevitable challenges to come. Self-empowered birthdays improve your odds to accomplish life goals that others may discount, and to enjoy self-esteem and satisfaction that others may lack.
“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had.” __Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
The positive self-perception of birthdays that can flow from self-empowerment may actually save lives. An article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reported that individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging outlived those with less positive self-perceptions of aging by seven and a half years.
There are many roads to self-empowerment, depending upon an individual’s personal goals, beliefs, and values. Here are just a few……LIVE
Live a Life of Learning
Lifelong learning should be a personal commitment for us all. Whether learning takes place in a classroom or online, it stimulates, engages, and empowers. It increases knowledge and refreshes skills. Education enhances confidence. It presents new challenges and goals. It provides an information base and a new relationship network from which to advance a current career, pursue a new career, or begin an entrepreneurial venture.
Live Your Dream, Take More Risks
Make your dreams a reality. Start your own business, go back to school or seek a new career, etc. Entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, but increased experience, perspective, and problem-solving skills that comes with each birthday enhances your chances of success.
Live a Life with Flexibility
The person with the most flexibility will have more choices in life. Having a choice is better than no choice and more choices are certainly better than less choices. Similarly, if what you are doing is not working, you need to do something else. This highlights the need to change your behavior and do something else, again and again if need be, until your desired outcome is achieved.
Live a Life with Humor
With the confidence that comes from self-empowerment and the experience to know that all paths in life have twists and turns, we all need to take the opportunities presented by birthdays seriously. At the same time, we must try to maintain perspective and a sense of humor, even in the face of frustration and fear.
Appreciate that longer lives are a great gift. Past generations would be awestruck by the extent of our longevity and the possibilities. Embrace with gratitude the experience each birthday brings and the challenge of taking on each through self-empowerment.
“Life isn’t about your age. Life is about living. So when your birthday comes be thankful for the year that has just past and anticipate with a happy heart what the coming year will bring.” __Catherine Pulsifer
A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-481-2268.