During times of transition, it may be difficult to muster up enthusiasm for celebration. As my birthday approaches, I look back to how I chose to authentically celebrate my life journey a few years ago. I encourage you always to find ways to celebrate and sparkle on.
I say it every year – regardless of the gradual hike upward in age – I LOVE my birthday. I love a day designed for simply celebrating your own unique existence. This year I charged at my birthday with the same gusto as my nine-year-old daughter (who coincidentally celebrates her birthday the day after mine). I went so far as to put the party planning techniques I have mastered for my daughters’ birthday parties to use for my own. I hosted a Celebration of Sparkle in honor of the women in my life who contribute to my sparkle.
My intentions were threefold: join together some of my favorite women in one room and let the fun unfold; have an event around my birthday that I would look forward to, plan for and enjoy every minute of; and, put a bunch of glitter on stuff all around my house because that would simply make me happy. I met each intention and then some.
As I looked around at the women gathered in my living room, all dressed in their own bit of sparkle, I saw that I had formed lasting relationships with women at every stage in my life. There were high school friends, college friends, law school friends, and friends I had picked up over the last decade-plus since becoming a professional. And they were all still with me. As a divorced person, we may get the thought that we don’t know how to make relationships last. I felt affirmed looking at all of the women with me. I was, in fact, good at lasting relationships. My full living room proved it. But until it was staring me in the face, I had been holding a different and damaging opinion of myself. I realized one failed relationship does not make me a failure.
I know how hard it is to have your first birthday post-divorce. But I now also know how fabulous and fun your second birthday post-divorce can be with a little bit of focused intention. I urge you to consider taking one of the following actions for your birthday this year. Pick the one that matches your energy level best.
- Throw a party: Even if a party for 1. Make sure that you pause to celebrate you in a way that is meaningful for your heart. Whether it means a small dinner with a friend, a picnic in the park with you and your kids, or a long bath filled to the top with bubbles, pause and take time to honor you. In the way that means the most to you. Plan it, schedule it, mark the time out on your calendar. Anticipate it and then relish it.
- Celebrate your successes: Reflect on the last 12 months of your life. Write down – yes, I mean physically write down, each and every accomplishment. Write the sad parts that you got past. Write down the things that happened that you never could have predicted that brought you joy or pain. Write it all down. Look at what you did in the last year. Sit with it. Cry about it. Laugh about it. Feel proud.
- Write your vision: I urge you to think about your life a year from now. Be brave and muster up all the courage you can and look out a year from now. What would be the perfect thing to see? Where do you want to be? Get real and start thinking about the changes you would like to see, the parts you would like to improve or what absolutely must stay the same.
Most of all – I wish for you to get back to a point of celebrating your inner sparkle. It may be buried now, but it will resurface. I promise. And there is no better day than your birthday to start looking for it.